VCU 85 GW 54 RECAP
the dude
 1/14/2017 2:54:22 PM      Replies: 75

the dude1/11/2017 8:07:42 PM

Well, that was painful.

Thoughts?

1

gw alum abroad1/11/2017 8:13:04 PM

I think soft butter gives a knife more bother than GW provided VCU tonight. I also think all,of us would be better off to just put this behind us and focus on the next game, instead.

class of 20151/11/2017 8:16:33 PM

Was that the worst GW game in maybe 4 years?  Starting Guards Sina and Jordan Roland shined today though.

gw05091/11/2017 8:18:29 PM

Shined?  All 1 point they contributed?

hugh1/11/2017 8:22:16 PM

@gw0509 i think that was sarcasm font.

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class of 20151/11/2017 8:23:56 PM

That was indeed sarcasm. Roland and Sina combined for 0 Fgs, 0 assists, 1-2 FTs. 1 rebound.

 

lt1/11/2017 8:26:38 PM

Not that it would have mattered but how is it that a team loses by 30 and has three unused timeouts (they don't carryover to the next game-lol).  Bolden did his Cartegena impression by dribbling, dribbling, dribbling and then handing out gifts on errant passes.  Surprised Cavanaugh wasn't called for a foul during the layup drills.  Why didn't Mitola and Williams get playing time?  Is VCU still pressing- bush league that they were up by 30 and still pressing full court.  All in all a nightmare.

1

la fan1/11/2017 8:30:21 PM

The entire team had 4 assists, 2 from Marfo.  Neither starting guard had an assist, and only Sina managed to get 1 point, with JR not scoring.  That is some tough sledding right there.  A10 guards are taking us to the woodshed.  Bolden showed some game tonight, but it's tough to put a Freshman out on the court at VCU and not turn the ball over.

1

dn native1/11/2017 8:38:00 PM

Wow, I'm glad I am overseas this week and missed the game! It's the first game of the season I didn't see in person, on TV, or listen to on the radio. I guess I should thank fate for getting me out of this one!

greenpoint ny1/11/2017 8:46:22 PM

this is what you get when our freshman play against a team full of seniors. It's painful, but we knew it was going to get bumpy. Our team has a lot of potential but we are not at VCUs level.

since 991/11/2017 9:01:04 PM

Tough pill to swallow: we do not have a point guard. 

I thought Jair showed flashes of scoring potential in the future. Bonehead turnovers even those fuzzy feelings out.

Cav has been in foul trouble the last 4 games. Obviously not being coached. Might not like Mojo. Who knows?

Yuta is 75 percent present in games.

Bigs are doing the best they can. They got trashed by Tillman and Cox (although Marfo's block had me screaming!)

Roland is in a slump but wasnt ever expected to be good (at least by most of this bunch anyway). Im sure he will bounce back.

At the end of the day, if the shots arent falling you cant win games. On to the next one.

1

dmvpiranha1/11/2017 9:05:33 PM

Not a whole lot of good to take from the game unfortunately. When you get a total of one point(!) from your backcourt, it's gonna be a long day. On top of that, there were two terrible calls on Tyler to take the game into blowout territory. The problems were on both sides of the ball. Our strength is our length in the frontcourt, and VCU absolutely dominated the paint which we couldn't afford to do. Offensively, the ball refused to go in, and we shot 2-16 from behind the arc and we didn't take good shots in general. Turnovers are always going to be an issue against VCU, and with us having a terrible year holding on to the ball, it wasn't hard to see a disadvantage from the start. I honestly expected a double-digit loss, but a 30 point loss has to be eye-opening for the team. Mojo was put into a tough situation coming in to this season being handed the keys in September, but you have to think that if we perform poorly for the remainder of the conference season, we interview some coaches during the offseason. If there were good things to take from the game, we got to the line a lot and put some of their guys in foul trouble (VCU is surprisingly thin in the frontcourt). At the end of the day, we are missing an athletic guy. Was the problem last game against Richmond. Was the problem last year against Richmond. Definitely was a problem today against VCU. Haven't really had such a player since Kethan (who unshockingly held an offer from VCU when he was being recruited but picked us). 

Tyler - had a poor shooting day, but the fouls were a big factor in him not getting into rhythm (including zero trips to the line) so I'm not going to put the blame on him.

Yuta - probably one of the most passionate players on the team, if not the most. Has mastered that up-and-under shot which is not easy at all. Not as good as he usually is on defense, but still probably had the best performance on that end of any player, and for that matter overall today.

Jaren - absolutely nothing to show today. Precisely why I don't put weight into the so-called "rankings" online (he was in the ESPN top 100 of his class). No assists. Bad at breaking the press. Didn't get back on defense to guard VCU on the fast break. Not good today. He has really underwhelmed overall this season.

Jordan - didn't think it was possible for a player to show less than Jaren today, but Jordan managed to pull it off. In a mini-slump shooting the ball, but I don't base a player's performance on scoring itself as everyone has bad shooting days here and there. Didn't show his passing ability today. Just too undersized to hang with the VCU guards and not a good matchup for him (also not quite athletic enough to hang with guys like Williams of VCU) to show anything on defense.

Arnaldo - had some nice rebounds today to keep possessions alive, but he isn't really that big of threat yet offensively for defenses to care all that much. With time, I'm confident his touch near the rim will get better and jump shots will go down at a higher rate. I didn't realize he even fouled out of the game until I saw the box score. Seemed to get five pretty quietly.

Kevin - after having 0 assists all season, he actually led the team in assists today with 2. That pretty much sums up how badly we moved the ball offensively today. Competed for the loose balls (even though he couldn't save one out of bounds), and was great competing on the glass. FT shooting not the best, but definitely played hard today.

Collin - interesting to see him come off the bench against the rams although I think that was the right move. He's been a little foul prone at times this season and made some silly fouls today. Defense somewhat disappointing today, allowing VCU to score fairly easily near the rim, but gave us some of the little offense we had. Team high 8 rebounds and better than usual at the line. One of the better performances today.

Jair - a lot has gone wrong the past two games. He has been the bright spot. With more playing time, his shot has been falling with greater consistency. Although he had only one assist today and committed a team-high four turnovers (there was one in the backcourt where he had to pass to Smith and VCU covered the half-court line well leading to an inevitable turnover - he looked over at Mojo with that face of "what could I have possibly done there") he actually gave VCU a taste of their on medicine at times and stole the ball back (led the team with 3 steals). He is probably our most athletic option at this time in the backcourt (really hoping either freshman coming in next year can give us a lift in that regard). The thing that I liked the most about his game today is that he has quickly become one of the vocal leaders of the team as a freshman. When we got down early in the first half and the team got together in a huddle he got in Kevin's face after a poor defensive play and gave him an earful. He looked to be emotionally into the game which is what this team needs more of. Probably the most apart from Yuta.

Matt - could have used more of him today. At this point, our defense is below national average anyways and we needed more offense. Hit is only shot today on a nice pump fake (one of the best on the team of using the pump fake properly). He has pulled down some tough rebounds in traffic during some games this season as well. 

C. Goss/Justin/Patrick - it's unfortunate that one of our expected transfer players has become an end of bench player on the team. I know that Steeves is returning from injury and being eased back in, but it's a bad sign that Mojo is showing such little confidence of giving him hardly any time at all in a blowout. His lone attempt barely hit the rim. One can only hope he stays healthy next season because we can't just take away his scholarship. Goss was unable to stay with his man on defense and committed a foul. Justin pulled down a tough offensive rebound late in the game. Mojo not playing him means he is probably still not ready to get minutes, but he looks to be our strongest looking guard and wanted to see him get more minutes today.

Things don't get any easier with a trip to La Salle (still remembering that BS offensive foul that cost us the game last time we went there), but this team is still talented enough to pull off a few surprising wins this season. Am a little concerned next season of where we will replace Tyler's production on the offensive end. Maybe we can land a grad transfer. 

rkelley1/11/2017 9:07:51 PM

Definitely painful.

Just identifying the guy, has nothing to do with race otherwise, but the black ref with the shaved head seems to call a lot of games that I feel are biased against GW. Those offensive fouls against Cavanaugh were astonishingly unfair calls, another out of bounds call that my girlfriend took a picture of was clearly off the heel of the VCU player and called against GW. The whole night, VCU got nearly every call while GW hjad nearly everyone go against them.

Sure, the game was lopsided, but it GW was within shouting distance until Cavanaugh was forced to the bench. The guy averages 2.5 fouls a game and he had 4 in the space of 14 minutes tonight. Ridiculous.

In terms of talent, Sina's lack of athleticism and speed was on display all night. 

Regardless, we can do a lot better than this. Do we have one big that can dunk the ball confidently? Do ew have one guy that can sink the 3 no matter the matchup? Seems a lot of other teams do every year. 

1

rkelley1/11/2017 9:10:26 PM

PAGING DR. MOJO--WHEN JORDAN IS ICE COLD, FEEL FREE TO PLAY MATT HART!!!!!!!!!!!

rkelley1/11/2017 9:10:57 PM

And yeah, if JoeMAC could've played this year, probably wouldn't have been raped.

rkelley1/11/2017 9:11:37 PM

I convinced a former MLB player to watch the game tonight, he's definitely gonna be a huge fan of the colonials after this game. Not.

university of richmond fan1/11/2017 9:18:03 PM

I was watching the Spiders game tonight, so I didn't get a chance to watch VCU-GW. Why did you guys lose so badly? Think you'll suck this badly for the entire year?

rkelley1/11/2017 9:19:51 PM

@UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND FAN

If you can't get a replay of the game, give me your email and I'll send it to you. Tell me if you think the refs at this game were trying to apply the rules neutrally.

rkelley1/11/2017 9:21:46 PM

I'm telling you, the dark-skinned, pot-bellied ref with the shaved head consistently calls games against GW. This is at least the third time I've brought up bad officiating on these boards, and each time I've realized it has involved him. Calling bad officiating isn't in my typical repertoire.

long suffering fan1/11/2017 9:24:01 PM

Please GW...please don't make us endure this crap indefinitely into the future. Fix it.  Start by hiring an experienced coach...or at least a high assistant from a successful program.   The poor kids were lost on the court.  They did not have a clue what to do on offense or defense.   No leadership on or off the court.    VCU (and Richmond before) masterfully worked the ball until they got a good, high percentage look, or even a layup.  They picked our defense  apart mercilessly.  When we weren't turning the ball over, we seemed to be throwing it at the basket and praying.  We probably had more assists on VCU baskets than GW baskets.   On defense, it is as if someone nailed our sneakers to the floor.  No rotation, no help,  no clue.   I am generally a believer in the saying that you are never as good as you look when you win or as bad as you look when you lose...but I am starting to believe that we are that bad.  Just fix it for next season.

long suffering fan1/11/2017 9:25:03 PM

Just one more thing, all.  After a 30 point loss, STOP COMPLAINTING ABOUT THE REFEREEING.  It makes you look ridiculous.

gw691/11/2017 9:26:24 PM

First time this season I felt we truly are not a "decent" team.

I know this has been noted before many times but our lack 

of athleticism is so apparent it's painful.Depressing.I don't 

see how we can improve substantially enough to make much 

of a difference the rest of the year.Just don't have the horses.

Wish I could be more optimistic.

1

rkelley1/11/2017 9:30:54 PM

@LSF

We can be bad and be mad about the officiating at the same time. Neutral officiating is the bare minimum to ask for. If you love this game, you'd want the same.

Why watch away games against well-supported teams otherwise? Any time a team can sell tickets, there's going to be +4 foul shots for the home team against a small-money team like GW that can't speak up for itself?

rkelley1/11/2017 9:32:56 PM

Tell JoeMac to get glasses and a mustache and come back as Jeff Mac and start at point guard again.

2

long suffering fan1/11/2017 9:35:16 PM

That is correct, RKelly, but the time to bitch about the refs is when they have any impact on the outcome, not when we just got blown out.  The problem with GW is not the refs.

gw alum abroad1/11/2017 9:39:03 PM

Calls sucked, but would have only narrowed the margin by 2 or 3 points (just as the flight may have been late leaving the gate but it would have flown in to the volcano killing all on board anyways). Team is clueless on how to move the ball vs the press or switch off on D when the other team rotates the ball. Add cold shooting and a heavy dose of turnovers and you get a blowout loss at VCU. 

On to the next potential train wreck (or triumph).

vcu fan coming in peace1/11/2017 9:56:44 PM

As a VCU fan I'm happy with our performance and think we would've won no matter what...butthe refs were atrocious tonight.  I hope your coach sends tonight's tape into the A10 and these refs are docked games. Alot of phantom bs calls on TC

Good luck the rest of the year 

5

the dude1/11/2017 10:07:52 PM

We have some talent, but we also have some major Flaws.  We had big flaws last year and that was a much better team.  Going to have some serious ups and downs this season.  More than any other game we saw the flaws on display tonight, rather predictably on road against VCU.

Just want to see the team fight hard for 40 minutes and for the players to develop as the season progresses, at least a few of them, particularly the ones with expected long futures at GW.

 

gw 971/11/2017 10:13:16 PM

Yuta was great, Jair had his moments, the rest of the team struggled mightily, especially the starting Guards, and yes sometimes even in a blowout, awful calls play a role. A lot of things went wrong though including 2 for 16 from deep.

class of 20151/11/2017 10:23:18 PM

First, the players limitations is 90% of the issue. 10% of basketball is Coaching, that 10% can be huge in close games.  When you are blown out like this blaming the interim Coach is about as dumb as it gets.

So what are the issues with the our players? I see many wondering what you all think.

 

 

rkelley1/11/2017 10:24:57 PM

@VCU FAN COMING IN PEACE

Good job recognizing the bad calls. Agree, VCU is undoubtedly the better team, and was at home, but these calls were suspciously lopsided.

the dude1/11/2017 10:30:52 PM

DMV, a Grand Slam of a post, per your usual, nicely done.

3

rkelley1/11/2017 10:31:23 PM

It's early to blame MoJo, and I think it's misguided regardless. No coach could've won this game, with this team, against these lopsided calls. The team has played quite well this season despite the talent turnover and youth. Again, given the circumstances I think MoJo has done quite well. The emergence of JR after showing nothing last year, the improvement of Yuta, the effectiveness of Smith, Toro, Marfo and Bolden right off the bat have to be attributed to him so some degree.

Clarence Armstrong made a lot of mistakes tonight, and every time I see him, it also happens to be the game where I see a lot of phantom fouls against GW. Particularly Cavanaugh.

 

2

greenpoint ny1/11/2017 10:35:27 PM

I like our team, good character kids with talent. Unfortunately even the announcers noticed the tremendous advantage in athleticism vcu had over us. That is exactly the reason I liked the signing of the kid out of buffalo - the kid can flat out fly. We looked like we had cinder blocks on our feet. I agree with some of the other posters - our major flaws are that a. No true point guard b. Lack of athleticism c. Young team d. Inexperienced head coach e. Higher academic standards than our opponents (no offense) lol f. No shut down defender - No consistent defense. We don't have a chance if we can't stop people from scoring in the paint. 

former colonial1/11/2017 10:38:22 PM

I give Mojo a break because of the circumstances but if you think we were prepared for this game ... Our talent is nowhere near 30 pts inferior to VCU. A few more performances like the last 2 and we will be looking elsewhere for a coach and that's too bad.

1

former colonial1/11/2017 10:40:30 PM

To add to the above it should be noted that a ML coached team would not have lost by 30.

3

mcg1/11/2017 11:01:11 PM

Recall those opening games against 300 RPI teams and seeing Sina have trouble with some pressure, remember what we all said about VCU games? Compounding matters, the undersized off guard Roland can not play point.  

Everyone knows that against a team like VCU Guard play is a must. Look at how our starters Sina and Roland played tonight, and there is your answer.  GW simply must recruit better more athletic Guards.  Its little surprise that for all his mistakes, Jair was actually better than Sina/Roland tonight.   

Sina at no point in his life was ever a point. Not quick enough.  Roland is very small for a Guard who can not play the point. Ditto Hart.  They are getting all of the minutes because the past half dozen other recruited Guards transfered out of the program, mostly after playing very little and to lesser programs, with one exception.

2

former buff blue donor1/11/2017 11:08:15 PM

Did anyone notice the picture the Buff & Blue Fund tweeted out during the game?  Jack Kvancz, George Balanis and Bob Tallent are close friends of ML and I doubt they would want Nicole using them as part of GW's orchestrated effort to pretend all is well with the AD.  The keep insulting our intelligence by pretending they were at the game with their friend Nero.  They know he is as phony as that picture.  Those guys have no respect for Nero and know he was behind the firing of ML.  Just ask them.

1

gw 971/11/2017 11:22:50 PM

That post above is about the 30th post today from the same person under 30 different names, an endless, baseless pathetic tirade against Nero that has gone on for months, its now on every thread even on game days and recruiting signings.  Its ruining the board, can we put an end to these?

5

the sons of liberty1/11/2017 11:31:02 PM

Jair showed progress tonight.  

I was happy to see that.

2

long duffering fan1/11/2017 11:35:00 PM

Not blaming the coach for the loss  What I am concerned about is we don't seem to have answers on offense or defense.  The wheels came off quite quickly and we did not have a clue what to do. 

2

vcu fan number 2 coming in peace1/11/2017 11:47:23 PM

I love Collin Smith!  You have some pieces up front!  VCU got blown out by illinois, heck lost to Georgia tech, Georgia Tech blew out UNC.  it happens, you guys will be in the top half of the A-10 before the season's out.  Good luck the rest of the way!

5

bigfan1/12/2017 12:20:54 AM

1) VCU Fan Coming in Peace. You are very classy and honest. We rarely see that from opposing fans and honestly personally don't like that.

But you sir, are a class act. Thanks for being a stand-up fan.

 2) When even an opposing fan comes on here to post about it and even biased VCU announcers notice undeserved fouls, particularly on our star, something is wrong. As LSF aptly noted, we didn't lose because of fouls, but we lost a heck of a lot of momentum.

Maybe I missed in the ten minutes into the second half I was blessedly on the phone and not totally focusing on the screen, but didn't see Mojo react strongly.

Once again, he has to stick up for his people and make a stink. Wade did that when one of his maulers, Hamdy got a call he definitely deserved, Wade threw a shit fit and the right away, the next call was a fictional one on us to assuage him.

As someone pointed in chat, Mojo is going to get a reputation as a coach who can be pushed around by refs and other coaches.

He's young and inexperienced, but we are a fair amount of games into the season, so he has to learn.

A T wouldn't in this game. Stick up for your players. Show some fire, Mojo, so the players catch some fire, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the dude1/12/2017 12:37:11 AM

Absolutely agree that tonight, a T and a loud show of anger from Mojo was necessary and absent. No way your star can 3x get terrible calls already in foul trouble and not protest vehemently, in a not very close game, a super easy decision.  

Egregious, obvious error from a man who largely done an admirable job coaching in a very tough situation.

 

rkelley1/12/2017 12:44:35 AM

Agree BigFan, Dude

gw 971/12/2017 1:24:13 AM

Hobbs and ML both pulled off fantastic turnarounds built in large part on a single recruiting class.  Both rode that class to success, in KH case tremendous heights.  Neither guy was able to add enough players so when the class graduated, the good times would keep rolling.  ML might have brought in another wave in time, we'll now never know, but the writing was long on the wall this would be a tough year with the Core graduating from a zero depth team.

Its amazing though that a few years ago the Guards on GW:

Creek Garino Savage and Joe McDonald.

Guards on GW today:

Sina Hart Bolden Juice and Roland.

Any questions?

2

haha1/12/2017 1:36:51 AM

Not to bash anyone on the team, but I've been saying a long time that Jaren Sina is too average of a point guard. He is only one of those "guards", not point guard (useless dribble + clueless passing), not shooting guard (too short to be a shooting guard), and honestly, the match-up was too much for him. Credit to VCU, a very good team with the balanced front court and back court powers. We can't really initiate offense from him because he struggles with the ball too much. We had to go high post with our big men to start offense (running horns), which made the offense so stagnant sometimes. 

About Jair Bolden. To say he had a Cartagena impression is disrespectful. He is sloppy with the ball, but at least two of turnovers were not entirely his fault (poor inbound play design + no movement on breaking press). He showed techniques that won't be seen on Sina. The baseline pass and cut, and the pull-ups. He has the bright side and should be expected to get better. Not a quick guard, but surely athletic, and athleticism is severely lacked from the team for some time and is killing us. 

About the referees. Refs won't change the outcome of the game, fair and square. But those bs calls on Tyler really disrupted the rhythm of this team. I understand that losing by 30 or losing by 20 doesn't matter in terms of the outcome. But it will surely change the way players behave on the court and their mindset. If Tyler would stay on the court for longer, I think we won't be mentally checked out that early in the second half. Again, coaches need to get fired up and get a technical. We are being too polite. We need to get nasty for a bit, stand up for the players, let the refs know our reaction and attitude, get into their ears. 

It's time for this team to regain its focus and win the next game. This is a game that many of us did not predict we can win in the first place (although losing in this manner is quite embarrasing)

haha1/12/2017 1:41:39 AM

About coaching. I think our offense is OK. But our inbounding play calls and those after timeouts should be planned better (let's not even talk about execution for now smh...). We need to take timeouts, can't just let the freshmen freelance on the court and think they will grow as they play. They need constant guidance, in-game mentoring is important. Growing with direction will make the best use of their talent. 

high flyer1/12/2017 3:04:38 AM

watching VCU last night made me think, how is Shaka's Texas team doing?

7-9.

 

1

istanbulram1/12/2017 3:08:13 AM

Don't start no stuff woooooon't be no stuff

clueless1/12/2017 8:20:47 AM

Is how the team looked last night.  Completely befuddled by a press they knew was coming... now 211th in the country in defensive efficiency rating on www.kenpom.com .  Not good

 

motherfudge1/12/2017 9:21:56 AM

I don't see how in league that has VCU we don't have guards that can handle pressure and penetrate  That's like the number one priority in recruiting for every A-10 team.

the mv1/12/2017 10:45:27 AM

Sina is a basketball player.  Like Tyler, he is being asked to do too much, and it is often exhausting him.  VCU is a nightmare matchup fior this GW team in general and Jaren in specific.  He was close to singularly responsible for the win over Siena, and without his 4-4 free throw shooting in the closing seconds against Davidson, I'm not convinced we win that one.  He will have some tough games like last night's but when he is contributing, he is about as valuable as anyone on this team not named Tyler.  Not necessarily as skilled (Yuta, for example, is more skilled), but about as valuable.

bo knows1/12/2017 11:22:56 AM

Stop crying about officials please! Let's stipulate that the officials suck. Who cares? We still need to find a way and when you lose by 30 you need to fix a number of broken parts right now. Our defense is suspect and we turn it over too much at times. When our shooting fails us you get nights like last night. When we can shoot it well we are in games. Fix the defense and we will have more margin for error. It's not just on one or two players, it's on the whole team to up their defensive intensity. Over the past 5 years GW has had a simple formula for success = good defense, defensive rebounding margin and eliminating turnovers. When one of those three things is missing we usually lose. When at least 2 of those three things are missing we get smacked.

haha1/12/2017 11:23:28 AM

Sina can shoot the ball fairly well. But what I'm arguing is that Sina can't run the point too well, which means the offense under him is not smooth. He has very limited PG skill. 

embarrased1/12/2017 11:27:59 AM

Obviously the team got smoked.  What's worse... this is probably the weakest VCU team since 2011. We need to hope LaSalle plays with tired legs, or they might drop 90 points on us

gw 20151/12/2017 12:58:37 PM

GW has defensive issues with quick athletic teams for years, it was a major problem last year and that team had Joe Mac and Pato Garino. Defensive match up personnel is the issue.  The Guards are Sina Hart and Roland pretty sure we all know the problem would grow this year from last year no?

1

no1/12/2017 1:10:02 PM

The dropoff is too severe to use the loss of Pato as an excuse (both offensively and defensively)

xac1/12/2017 2:00:35 PM

Why all the handwringing? Most of us seem to agree that GW is an average team, but still get so upset. It’s clear that VCU had a decided edge in strength and athleticism over GW. Seems the same with some of the other teams we've played. We may have some finesse and skill, but most of the time that doesn't overcome the brute strength and speed of other teams. VCU exposed these things of which we all already knew:

1)      Lack of speed and quickness at the guard positions, both offensively and defensively. This hurts when we are being pressed, and especially, when we need a defensive stop.

2)      Inexperience in the post, and tendency to be out-muscled and out-jumped by superior athletes.

3)      At this time, we have more potential than ability. If Marfo can turn into a Cox by his senior year, or if Toro can develop into a Tillman, I’d take that in a heartbeat.

Mojo’s coaching challenge is going to be developing strategies to overcome other teams’ athletic advantage. Not easy, but what he’s getting paid to do. I really don’t think another coach would make too much of a difference with the current roster. If we’re worried about what future rosters are going to look like, then it may be a concern. Maybe he should have a chance to build the team for himself, before being scrutinized so closely.

 

For the rest of the season, we are what we are. But we are seeing some things-- Yuta can PLAY. When TC is having a bad game, the rest of the team is out of rhythm; the more we see the young guys, the more we see their potential (and weaknesses); outside of Yuta and TC, there hasn’t been an ideal complement. Any other of the three on the court can be good or bad, but we at least have six guys with the potential to be good. The team won’t get much better defensively as individuals because of their physical limitations, but they can improve their cohesiveness and team defense with more playing time and experience. It took last year’s team a few years to get better as a defensive unit. This is an area where Mojo should focus. 

2

please1/12/2017 2:35:15 PM

Defense and not turning the ball over is about fundamentals, not physical limitations.  There are 3 starters over 6'9"

the dude1/12/2017 2:47:59 PM

Good post XAC.

Score was 23-19 late 2nd half. Team was actually battling well, hitting the O glass.  

Very rough 2nd half.  Team is not nearly as bad as we've played much of the last 2 games, has a lot to do with personnel match ups against these 2 opponents.

Hard to win when your two starting Guards combine for 1 point and 0 assist.

Eager to see the team bounce back.

 

gw 971/12/2017 3:25:20 PM

GW is going to have trouble against VCU's pressure and defending a team that athletic. The counter to stay competitive must be offensive success, good shooting.  

Check the offensive games last night from four of GW's starters, Tyler Toro Sina & Roland.

 

free quebec1/12/2017 4:08:12 PM

Decided I would weigh in on this post.  I was at the game, sitting behind the bench.   A few thoughts:

 

1) Our problem was not the press.  There were a few turnovers against it, but not unmanageable at VCU. Ourproblem was running any kind of offense when Jaquan Lewis was in the game at the point.   We simply couldn't run our offense because we could barely dribble against him to set anything up.   There was a point in the first half, after Lewis' first foul, where he sat and we got some rhythm going on offense, but as soon as Lewis came back in the game, we stopped scoring and they extended their lead right back out.  By the time Lewis sat in the second half, the game was long over.   We simply could not run any kind of half court offense with him at the point of attack.  

 

2) The biggest problem, though, as its been all year, is the inabilty of our guards to guard.  They aren't quick enough or strong enough.  There was one play right in front of me in the first half where Sina backed way off Johnny Williams at the arc to dare him to shoot, but Wiliams dribbled left right by Sina and got all the way inside for an easy basket.  Mojo tried to show Sina what he did wrong there, but there was really no answer.   Bolden actually did alright on defense, and made some good offensive plays (I can overlook 2-3 freshmen mistake @VCU turnovers, mostly it was positive - and he especially looked athletic and strong on some of those mid-range jumpers where he created his own space), but Roland, Hart, and Sina were getting blown by at will and all the hedging and help on the guards left their bigs either inside for one on one moves or open off penetration or putbacks.   Whether the new recruits turn out to be good or not, it's clear the coaching staff realizes we need bigger, more physical, more athletic guards to play defense.   But I agree with XAC's post - it is what it is this year so let's just enjoy the ride while understanding hte weaknes our conference foes will exploit.

 

3) On the refs, a few thoughts.  Obligatory caveat: They didn't cost us the game. 

- First, I've never been to a game where the home crowd influenced the officials so much. It's hard to describe, and I don't know how much came across on TV, but virtually every time the VCU fans complained about a call or no-call, there was an almost immediate makeup call given their way.   I literally lost count of how many times it happened somewhere around 5 or 6 - in just the first half before I stopped counting. There'd be a no call on one side of the court and either boos or some murmering in the crowd and then next chance they got, the refs would either make a bad call on us or give a no-call on a blatant foul by them.  I've really never experienced anything like that (I was at the Duke game in Greensoboro where Shelden Williams committed 15 fouls and JJ Reddick grabbed a guy's jersey to stop him in the open court with no calls, but that was more just giving Duke the calls than refs that seemed genuinely scared or influenced by the crowd).  It really was an eye-opener to be there in person to watch refereeing unfold that way.

- Second, I had a perfect view of Tyler's 2 first half defensive fouls.  Terrible.  Maybe the first was ok, but the VCU guy put his shoulder down and ran into him. The second was also a play where the defender ran into Tyler, but not only did I see it perfectly, but the replay in the stadium showed it was a bad call. I didn't have as clear a view of the offensive fouls (actually, I can't remember the 4th one, maybe I saw it).  I know on the third one, Tyler came off the court motioning that the defender was putting an arm in his back and shoving him.  He was seriously frustrated with the officiating.  Obviously we lose anyway, but you take our best player out of the game almost instantly and we have no shot to hang in a game like that. 

- Third, for those saying Mojo didn't do anything, that's not true. He was talking to the officials quite a bit - maybe not as much as I'd like (and I think he should have taken a T), but he was doing it.  During one timeout, I think right after Tyler's 4th (though not positive) he got right in Clarence Armstrong's grill before Armstrong finally walked to the other side of the court to get away from him.  I'm assuming TV didn't pick that up, but I don't know.   Mojo was very frustrated at the refs, though he's not overly demonstrative or aggressive about - but he was not quiet about it yesterday. 

 

4) If I have one criticism of Mojo, it's that he didn't get the ball to Yuta more.  He was our one mismatch and they were having trouble guarding him.  I think we're stuck in a mindset that Tyler is THE MAN and we need to force feed him, and that Yuta is a defensive stopper who can make some plays on offense.  But some games, like yesterday, we need to do a better job making Yuta a go-to guy.  Since our guards couldn't do anything, we should have kept getting Yuta the ball and letting him go to work and try to take over games for longer stretches.  That Yuta disappears for stretches every game on offense is probably a scheme/coaching issue as much as it's about Yuta.

 

5) Our freshmen bigs continue to impress.   Toro was also taken out by some sketchy calls, but also he and Smith had trouble adjusting.  I think it was a good learning experience.  Cox, Tillman, and Hamdy were all kind of putting thier shoulder into the defender's chest and going up strong over them, and our your bigs don't quite know how to stop that yet (actually, it's hard for any underclassman to stop those kind of moves). They will learn in time. Mostly the young bigs battled hard and they all made some nice plays throughout the game.  The problem, again, was more on the backcourt and outside shooting than on the young bigs.

 

6) Because we lack slashers other than Yuta, we have to do two things to win games: make threees and get to the line.  When either of those things go away, we are going to have some ugly games becuase the problems defending opposing guards is a constant (as is our excellent rebounding).    When we do shoot well from three, we will look pretty good (i.e. @Miami) and when we go 2-16 from three, we will look ugly. That's just what it is this year, so no sense crying about it.  Hopefully the guys continue to work hard, stay together and fight, and hopefully Mojo finds some ways to mask our defensive shortcomings so we can get back to beating some decent teams.

10

the dude1/12/2017 4:34:45 PM

Great insights FQ, hope to read more of your acute observations in the near future.

(FWIW, the 2 offensive foul calls you didn't have as clear a view of, even worse calls.)

2

formerly senioritis1/12/2017 4:38:04 PM

This team has a ton of parallels with the 2012-13 team.  A freshman core (today: Smith, Marfo, Bolden, Toro; 2012-13: JoeMac, Kethan, Pato, KevLar) a dominant upper classman big man (today: Tyler; 2012-13: Zeke, who was a Jr); and some decent middle-aged role players (today: Hart, Sina, Roland; 2012-13: Kromah, Bynes, Kopriva).  And let me remind you that the 2012-13 recruiting class ultimately blossomed into a NIT Chamiponship team - despite, what some have reported, was a dysfunctional locker room and basketball program overall. 

Does anyone remember how that 2012-13 team fared at VCU on February 16, 2013?  We lost by 27. (link to the box score)  Joe had 8 turnovers, Savage and Garino each had 4 and the team had 25 turnovers overall.  Last night was basically a mirror image of that game.  We all agree that had TC not been the victim of some shoddy officiating, the game would have been a bit closer (maybe we would have lost by fewer than 27 points).  I'll grant you that today's team has an upperclassman point guard that should have, in theor, been able to handle the ball.  But the reality is, he is not a true point guard and is just simply not athletic enough to play against VCU's backcourt that is each talented and athletic enough to play in a Power 5 conference.  

I didn't dig into it, but I'm sure that there were many posters on this board on Feburary 16 and 17, 2013 that were claiming the sky was falling and that our big recruiting class looked like a dud.  That the team had no hope and we needed to hit the reset button.  Look at how that turned out.  Yes, last night looked bad but we got trounced by a VCU team that lost to #1 ranked Baylor (then ranked #20) by 8 points on a neutral court and if not for a bad loss to Illinois by 18, VCU would certainly be hovering around the rankings, if not already part of the Top 25.  They're talented, experienced, and athletic.  Plain and simple. 

There were some bright spots from last night, Bolden showed flashes of athelticism and the ability to create for himself, Smith and Marfo took offense at VCU's showboating and didn't give up on the glass or on defense, Yuta tried to put the team on his shoulders.  All of those things are going to help us in the future - if the team sticks together (and that is a big "IF"). 

Let's stop bashing these guys, they may not have had a great gameplan or execution last night, but they played hard, even when the game was out of reach.  MoJo is learning just as the young guys are learning and if they can stay together this is the type of story that CBS will be all over during the 2019 and/or 2020 NCAA tournament. 

The moral here is that the sky is not falling - we knew this team was going to have some adversity but I've been pleasantly surprised with the grit and determiantion these guys have shown in the last two games.  When you're at a mid-major (dont' fight me on that characterization) you're not going to have big guns to fill holes every year, there is much more of a cycle.  We're back at the beginning of the cycle, which last time, brought us to the NIT championship. 

 

 

6

on the contrary1/12/2017 5:27:44 PM

That team had an experienced head coach with a track record (no need to rehash the highlights, one can wiki his name).  You could see the progress right before your eyes. This team has a coach that's never been a head coach on any level, and there are no signs of progress

1

invictus1/12/2017 6:30:04 PM

Agree about the parallels to 2012-13.

1

high flyer1/12/2017 11:08:48 PM

Two Questions come to mind:

1) is that about the bottom for our team, and we're overreacting to one particularly bad game/bad matchup?

2) Jair vs Sina. Interesting question here, do we see some games with more of Jair for extended minutes? Sina maybe plays some at the 2 spot?

mnt1/13/2017 3:29:21 AM

I would extend that question to not just Jair but all of the Freshmen.  Marfo in particular would seem to benefit his development by seeing more minutes.  A luxury you might not have on an NCAA bubble, but this year should really about balancing game management with future development

2

rich maier1/13/2017 7:39:55 PM

Rather than constantly harping on MoJo's coaching let's take a look at the squad he inherited. 6 freshmen, Steeves who hasn't contriuted, Sina who is slow and not athletic. This is not a talented team no matter who is coaching.

2

the dude1/14/2017 12:21:37 AM

Rich, your "cut through the BS voice" on this site has been sorely missed.  We need more of that here. Nice to see you posting again.

2

incorrect1/14/2017 6:12:38 AM

Two of the starters could start on any team in the A-10.  The team in underperforming and not living up to its potential.  One could make the argument this is the most talented freshman class GW has had

maine colonial1/14/2017 7:37:34 AM

There is little doubt MoJo will match and then exceed the last coach's benchmark of 10 wins in his first year at GW even though MoJo has no previous head coaching experience. 

rich maier1/14/2017 9:06:44 AM

Incorrect, sorry GW doesn't play in a 2x2 league. The freshman is NOT the most talented. Go back to the '70s and others. Assume you are a newby.

 

invictus1/14/2017 2:54:22 PM

3 of the 5 Freshmen barely  play, even on a team that returns just 2 guys who had scored over 50 pts in their Colonial career, had no depth and graduated/lost 5 of the 7 rotation, and suffered injuries to YW and PS.  There is some talent for sure among the Freshmen but the same person posting under 60 names the last week, no you are wrong.

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