They occupied the building catty-corner from the Smith Center, and then one day they were no more, and an atmosphere of sadness descended on the corner, flushing away the aroma of grease.
And much like that, a promising season has descended into ennui. The good guys beat then #11 Wichita State plus a passel of big-conference teams with killer defense and tough offense, then suffered the dreaded swoon and went on 2-7 slide, dropping from 16-4 to 18-11, groaning to 8-8 in conference play. Those early big conference wins looked rusty as the season went on, too, with many of them faltering badly.
Fans and GWHoops.com netizens can't agree on why the team has slumped so much -- is it the coach? Tired players? A lack of confidence? The curse of Larry Lembo?
I dunno. But I'm still paying attention, though resigned to the fact that I probably won't need to take off those days in late March that I hoped to. I'm going to keep watching, and here's why (aside from the obvious that I am a GW fan and thus slightly brain damaged.)
- Simple reason, but I like watching these guys. When they're on, they're fun -- KevLar's big post moves, Joe being tough as hell, and so on. I remain optimistic that fun will occur.
- John Kopriva: the team's lone senior deserves a big sendoff for his last game on Saturday. He improved a great deal on the court this season and served as team captain, all while studying to be a doctor. No small feat.
- What seed will GW get in the A-10 tourney? Who will they face? Perennial (almost) questions that make for some interesting theoretical banter.
- Pauly Jorgensen and Yuta Watanabe: how will they be used going forward? More two, three or four guard sets?
- The youngsters: will Anthony Swan get more playing time after his three against Bona? How about Nick Griffin with 12 points against Davidson? Will we see more of Cimino and McCoy?
- Did you know that Patricio Garino is the team's leading scorer? When he chooses to, he drives better than Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, combined. (Yes, I apologize for the Fast and Furious joke.)
- Will someone other than a little baby win the Pita Pit dance contest? Who knows!
- George Mason kind of stinks, so the good guys have a shot there.
- The George Mason band is pretty awesome and their band director is famous for being super excited and wearing Bernie Mac suits. Bill Murray likes them. (Also they don't have a band member who lets loose a blood curdling scream all the goddamn time, which I appreciate.)
- It's always fun to see exactly how the Tonic trivia question is rigged.
- Along those lines, Brooklyn is pretty awesome. Just watch out for hipsters. (The crazy thing is that this video came out in 2007, before the word selfie was even invented -- I think.)