George Washington Men's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule

George Washington Colonials
Atlantic 10 (21-12, 10-8)


Despite recent success in the A-10, George Washington has not found much postseason success. In the last ten years, the Colonials only have one postseason victory. That is counting the NCAA Tournament, NIT, CBI and CIT. The victory did come in the NCAA Tournament at least, back in 2006 against ninth seeded UNC Wilmington. Coach Mike Lonergan hopes to recapture some of elusive postseason success in 2015.

Big Wins: 12/25 vs Wichita State (60-54), 2/6 Dayton (65-64), 3/7 Massachusetts (87-65)
Bad Losses: 12/14 at Penn State (51-64), 1/10 at La Salle (50-63), 2/11 at Duquesne (62-78)
Coach: Mike Lonergan

Why They Can Surprise:
George Washington has six talented players who average over 20 minutes per game. Nobody else averages over ten. It starts with junior wing Patricio Garino. Not only is he the team’s top scorer, but Garino is also an extremely tough and versatile defender. Kethan Savage and Joe McDonald are healthy again and round out the impact guards on the team. Savage is a superb talent when his shots are falling and McDonald has done a solid job running the point. The big name in the paint is Kevin Larsen. The 6-10, 260 pound junior is a consistent scorer in the paint, a superb rebounder and the team’s top shot blocker. John Kopriva and Yuta Watanabe eat up the rest of the minutes in the paint. Neither are great scorers, although Kopriva is extremely efficient, but both help turn this into a solid rebounding team and an even better defensive team.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The biggest problem for George Washington may be their depth. Coach Lonergan does have other options outside of his main six, most notably Paul Jorgensen and Nick Griffin, but they are not used regularly. One thing both of those players can provide is shooting and that is what the Colonials lack. There are only a handful of teams in the nation that have made fewer three-pointers than George Washington. With that said, this is a team that can stretch out the opposing defense since the big guys can shoot, but sometimes they shoot more than they should. In an upset loss to Duquesne, George Washington was down a dozen at halftime and forced to attempt to come back quickly with three-pointers. They took 25 in that game and made just seven. The Colonials were not able to stick to their game plan and were never able to mount any semblance of a comeback. If they get behind in the postseason, the story will probably be the same.

Probable Starters:
Joe McDonald, Junior, Guard, 10.2 ppg, 3.2 apg, 5.9 rpg, 1.2 spg
Kethan Savage, Junior, Guard, 11.2 pg, 2.3 apg, 4.8 rpg
Patricio Garino, Junior, Guard, 12.4 ppg, 1.5 apg, 5.3 rpg, 1.7 spg
Kevin Larsen, Junior, Forward, 10.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.1 bpg
John Kopriva, Senior, Forward, 6.9 ppg, 3.7 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Yuta Watanabe, Freshman, Forward, 7.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.3 (178th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.3 (48, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.5 (113, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.0 (55, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (264, 8)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.4 (120, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.0 (217, 7)
Rebound Margin: 4.3 (52, 1)
Assists Per Game: 11.7 (243, 13)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (169, 7)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round loss to Memphis
2010    CBI    First Round loss to Virginia Commonwealth
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Vanderbilt
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 win over North Carolina-Wilmington
2006    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Duke
2005    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Georgia Tech
2004    NIT    First Round loss to Virginia

*all team stats through 3/8


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