#137 George Washington Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

George Washington Colonials

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #137
Conference Rank: #11 Atlantic 10
George Washington Men's College Basketball 2012-13 Team Preview

George Washington Team Page


Coach Mike Lonergan took over the George Washington program last season and it was supposed to be a rebuilding year. The rebuilding will continue, but this is a team that is growing up nicely and will eventually compete with the best teams in the Atlantic 10 as long as Coach Lonergan sticks around. There are some key pieces to replace, but with the influx in overall talent, the Colonials can only go up in the revamped A-10. With a likely starting five that consists of all upperclassmen, now is the time to get the program a winning record while they continue to build with talented recruiting classes.

2011-12 Record: 10-21, 5-11
2011-12 Postseason: None
Coach: Mike Lonergan
Coach Record: 10-21 at George Washington, 136-89 overall

Who’s Out:
Tony Taylor is a huge loss. He had a relatively disappointing senior season, but he still led the squad with 13.1 points and 4.3 assists. He was the scorer for the Colonials and finding a new go-to-guy will be imperative. Taylor’s inconsistent outside shooting did hinder his final year at George Washington, but that was a problem the entire team had. The backcourt also lost reserve wing Aaron Ware. He could provide a nice scoring spark off of the bench and added some size to the perimeter. Jabari Edwards started 16 games during his senior season. He was never a good scorer, but his shot blocking skills will be missed. He was also a strong rebounder, but GW seems to have plenty of big men who are good rebounders and not particularly strong scorers.

Who’s In:
It is hoped that Isaiah Armwood, a transfer from Villanova, can be a scorer and a rebounder inside. Armwood started a handful of games for the Wildcats in 2010-2011, averaging 2.5 points and 3.6 rebounds. With a fresh start, Armwood could turn into the interior scorer this team needs at the power forward spot. A handful of freshmen will look for playing time. Shooting guard Kethan Savage may make the biggest impact this season. He could be the answer to the Colonials shooting woes and the depth in the backcourt is pretty much non-existent so somebody will have to play some quality minutes. Wing Patricio Garino and point guard Joe McDonald will be in the mix as well. McDonald is a very smart floor leader and he will immediately be thrown into a backup role. The frontcourt adds Kevin Larsen and Paris Maragkos. Larsen, a 6-10 Copenhagen, Denmark native, has the size and strength to play at this level right away. He is also a typical European player in the sense that he has great fundamentals and can pass and shoot despite his size.

Who to Watch:
David Pellom only cracked the starting lineup four time last season, but he averaged 10.4 points and a team high 6.1 rebounds per contest. At 6-8 and 220 pounds, he has the size needed to man the five spot. While he is a solid interior scorer, Pellom would be much, much more effective if he could knock down some free-throws. At the end of games he will be on the sidelines if his free-throw shooting does not improve. Dwayne Smith saw his scoring drop from 9.3 points to 5.5 points per game last season. The 6-6 senior still started 16 games, but the emergence of Pellom saw his production decrease. This group will not be backcourt heavy like they were last season, so Smith could get back to his old scoring ways. However, it still may be off of the bench thanks to the addition to Armwood. John Kopriva is another big man who can do the dirty work under the basket. The 6-8 sophomore never put up big numbers as a freshman, but that year of experience could be helpful. The likely starter at small forward is Nemanja Mikic. Mikic had a bit of a sophomore slump, averaging 7.6 points per game. However, he was still the team’s most prolific and consistent long range shooter. The problem was he spent too much time beyond the arc instead of using his 6-8 frame to attack the basket. If the newcomers can take some of the shooting pressure off of Mikic, he will have a much better season.

Final Projection:
The two most important players on the team are probably Bryan Bynes and Lasan Kromah. Bynes is now a senior and will be asked to run the point. He is a decent passer and a ballhandler, but more importantly he has the experience. But starting on a daily basis is a lot different than being a backup and it remains to be seen how well he can handle that leadership role. Kromah, a 6-5 senior, will help Bynes out, but Kromah also needs to emerge as the new perimeter scorer now that Taylor is gone. After averaging 11.1 points per game last season, Kromah has proven that he has the ability to score in bunches. At 6-5, he is also a fine rebounder and defender. There is not much he cannot do. And George Washington will need him to do it all and then some if they want to make any serious noise in the A-10.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Bryan Bynes, Senior, Guard, 4.4 points per game
Lasan Kromah, Senior, Guard, 11.1 points per game
Nemanja Mikic, Junior, Forward, 7.6 points per game
Isaiah Armwood, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
David Pellom, Senior, Forward, 10.4 points per game