Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Colonials...

The George Washington Colonials will be the final opponent in the BG sub-regional for the CBE tournament thing.  If you like, you could consider this game for the championship of the sub-region, since both teams are 2-0 in the games at the Stroh.

GW plays in the A-10, which is a major basketball conference.  They were 10-6 last season in conference and 17-14 overall, which wasn't good enough for their coach to remain employed.  They brought in Tom Lonergan, a mid-major favorite who had previously coached at Vermont.  They were picked in the official A-10 poll to finish 8th.  The College Basketball Prospectus Crazy Uncle system also had them 8th, though the preview writer actually thought they would finish 3rd.

They are also 3-1 this season, with their only loss being to a ranked Cal team.  In BG, they beat Detroit by 13 and Peay by 2.

CBP tells us that Lonergan HATES HATES HATES the 3-point shot, and GW is to date 273rd in D1 for attempting 3s.  They get to the free throw line even more rarely (303rd in the nation).

CBP also tells us that Lonergan's teams make a high priority of defending the paint.  They have been very good so far this year, allowing only .92 points per possession and under 40% FG shooting.

So, that tells us that BG is going to need an outside game to loosen the inside up.  BG might want to play inside out but if GW is giving the out, they might have to show that they can take it.

Individually, they are led by pre-season all A-10 Guard Tony Taylor, who is scoring 18 points a game on over 50% shooting, which is rare for a guard.  He is over 60% from beyond the arc, when he does shoot there.  Aaron Ware is also scoring in double figures for them.  Lasan Kromah is 6'5" and missed last year with an injury and while he has yet to find his scoring touch, he leads the team in rebounding.

Given the unusual fact that we share a significant number of common opponets (2 out of 4) with GW, here are the season's 4 factors for this game.  Based on this, the game could be very competitive.  As with every game in this stretch, I think we are seeing good tests of where we are.  GW defending the paint would make them a tough match up for us, but it tests our outside players.  If BG can't score from the outside, the Colonials won't be the only team to pack the paint.

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