The epansion of the Department of Homeland Security has had many after effects. Most of the negative aspects have already been reported ad nausem in the New York Times, yet some still continue to go unreported to this day. One of the least discussed consequences is the effect the more stringent immigration guidelines have had on the George Washington University basketball program. Gone are the days when GW could simply bring in a 35-year old former freedom fighter-turned-basketball mercenary from some far off land the UN wouldn't even recognize. The Colonials no longer employ the services of roundball warriors like Yinka Dare, Pops Mensah-Bonsu or Balki Bartokomous. GW's more recent rosters have been littered with names like Mike Hall, T.J. Thompson and Carl Elliot. The result? The current Colonial team is 6-9 on the season, winless in the conference. Karl Hobbs is on the proverbial hot seat, and Colonial fans long for the day when large men in Dashikis would show up in droves, ready to eperience the warm embrace of freedom and basketball.
If there has been a bright spot for GW this season, and there hasn't, it has been the play of senior forward Rob Diggs. Diggs leads the team in scoring, rebounding, blocks, and clearly has the team's most audacious name. You don't want to mess around with a guy named Rob Diggs, simple as that. Diggs will likely matchup with Chris Wright and may be a handful for a foul-prone guy like Wright, it would behoove GW to go at Wright from the bell. Diggs has been wildly inconsistent all season, following 20 point games with 8 point outputs. Looking at their stats, it's obvious that Wright and Diggs either share the same mother or were under the tutelage of the same professor of basketball, Dr. Dunkanlayup. The two men share eerily similar numbers and abilities.
Do the Colonials have anyone else that can hurt the Flyers? Does unrequited love count? Outside of Diggs, Damion Hollis appears to have the ability to "score the ball." Hollis averages around 12 points a game and has the type of silky stroke that most lonely men traveling on business would pay good money for. Fortunately for you Flyer fans, Hollis may not play on Thursday night due to a concussion suffered during GW's last outing. Senior guard Noel Wilmore is the Colonial's version of Luke Fabrizius, he's never seen a three point opportunity he didn't like. You know what really freaks me out about Luke Fab, besides his gaunt facial features and lack of common decency? He shoots more often than any other player on the squad. One shot for just about every two minutes. The net biggest gunner on the team is Rob Lowery. I'm not sure why this fact caught me off guard, but it did. I know Luke Fab likes to shoot the ball the first time he even gets a whiff of the rim, but I had no idea he chucked it up so much. In addition, what if I told you that percentage-wise, Lowery and Luke Fab were two of our worst shooters. Would that surprise you at all?
|Player||Minutes||FGA||Mins Per FGA|
George Washington's other impact player has been freshman point guard Tony Taylor. Taylor was supposed to spell Travis King this year at the one spot, but has impressed enough to unseat the former starter. Taylor has started all 15 games for the Colonials. Last, and perhaps least, is Wynton Witherspoon. Witherspoon, a senior forward, missed a few games but is starting to ease back into the lineup and get heavy minutes. In his last three games, Witherspoon has averaged 33 minutes and 14 points.
George Washington had every intention of employing an up-tempo style on offense this year. After finishing up 9-17 last season, with one of the worst offenses in the nation (63.4 ppg), Karl Hobbs had no inside presence and believed his athletic forwards could run and gun up Victory Mountain. How'd that go? Let's have the numbers do the talking:
|UD Opponents ||57.9||37.0||67.5||31.5||36.1||10.6||22.3||11.1||16.3||5.1||3.2||18.3|
|GW Opponents ||66.9||41.0||67.7||36.0||38.6||12.5||22.5||13.2||13.7||6.7||3.1||18.8|
Karl, Karl...Karl. Where do we begin? You promised the fair citizens of Foggy Bottom a high-octane offense and instead delivered a slow, plodding attack devoid of any ecitement or enthusiasm. You lost to Hawaii, Longwood, and Coppin State. To be fair, the Longwood loss was on the road, and you don't just go into Lancer Hall and epect to come out with a win without being on top of your game. Mr. Hobbs, you were a coaching wunderkind. Remember a few years ago when you won the regular season conference title, going 27-3? That was great. You were the "it" coach, Karl. Women wanted to se you, men lined up to watch you shower. The year after that? A-10 tournament champs! I still recall us going out to the Mad Hatter to get shitfaced after that one. How about on the car ride home, when the cabbie tried to over-charge us? We ended up kicking that guy over and over in an alley somewhere. I still have the video of you pissing all over him on my cellie. Classic Karl. You were still on everyone's radar, man. Then last year, things went haywire. 9-17. You didn't return calls, you were showing up late to band practice. It wasn't the same Hobbsie we used to know. Now this year, you just threw in the towel. There's no more fire, no more spark. You're just going through the motions. We are going to miss you, Karl.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the type of epectations that are epected at a mid-major school such as GW. As to be epected, I had no answers or interesting insight. However, it is quite clear that Hobbs is a dead man walking on the George Washington sideline. The creation of sites such as FireHobbs.com
certainly do not bode well for his job security. At first glance, I am not surprised that Hobbs looks to be done after this year. But then when you actually look at his record, you have to ask: what eactly were the epectations? Hobbs is in his eighth year at GW. In that time he has won 2 conference titles and been to the Dance three times (three consecutive years to be eact). Granted, last year was a complete debacle, on and off the court, and this season appears to be headed towards an even more dismal conclusion. Personally, I don't care if Hobbs gets fired or not, that's really not our concern. What I am interested in is your take on what circumstances would cause Brian Gregory to get 86ed at Dayton? Put 'em in the comments you ungrateful cretins.
I think most Flyer fans are beginning to realize how tenuous our hold on an NCAA tournament bid is at this point. UD is currently 16-2, but as you begin to peel away the layers of this season's results, the weakness of the schedule comes into full bloom. You could make the argument, as I will right now, that the win over current #10 Marquette is the only thing holding our tourney hopes from sinking. As of Monday, Lunardi has UD as one of the last teams in the 65 team field, as an 11 seed playing against Illinois. CNN/SI writer Andy Glockner has this to say about Dayton's post-season aspirations: "It's clear the Flyers are pretty good, but their two lopsided losses (at Creighton and UMass) give you a moment's pause. Dayton beat Marquette for a marquee non-league win and second place in the A-10 is wide open at this point. If the Flyers finish behind avier, that likely will be good enough to get in." The Reverend Jerry Palm doesn't even have UD in the Dance, the Flyers are included in the "Last Four Out" group, instead he gives A-10 bids to avier and Temple. Looking ahead to the remainder of UD's schedule, there are not too many statement games left to be had. Sure, there are the two games against avier--would a split be good enough, what if the Flyers lose both? Go ahead and circle three games on the docket: homes games against St. Joseph's (2/1) and Temple (2/28), and the road game against Rhode Island (2/25). A clean sweep is highly recommended, but depending on how the season plays out, two out of three might be enough. Bottom line, no one is overly impressed with the A-1o this year. Outside of avier, you might have to hold a gun to the committee's head to get a second A-10 squad in the tourney. The lesson for the Flyers is simple, they cannot afford bed-shitters against GW, St. Bonnie, Richmond, etc. A loss to one of these teams could be catastrophic given the little room for error the Flyers currently face.
Prediction: Flyers probably should win this one by double-digits. However, it is a conference game on the road, so I will use common sense and say Dayton by 7. Chris Wright gets tangled up with Rob Diggs all night, and ends up with a very quiet 10 and 8. Chris Johnson leads all scorers with 14 points. London Warren hits his first three pointer of the season as the shot clock is winding down. Marion Barry parks his car on center court midway through the first half. The game is delayed for 45 minutes, as the former DC Mayor strolls around the stands hitting on women, passing out eroed pictures of his dick, and asking people for spare change. No one moves, calls the cops, or says a thing because this is the District of Columbia, and Marion Barry can do whatever the fuck he wants. He speaks truth to power?