Syracuse will play George Washington for the first time in nearly 20 years when the Orange host the Colonials on Saturday.
While SU has a 7-1 all-time record against the Colonials, GW won the last matchup between the two teams back in 1994 during the first round of the Preseason NIT. Syracuse guard Michael Lloyd hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, but George Washington went on to win the game 111-104.
We recently caught up with Herve from GWHoops.com to get Orange fans up to speed on what to expect from the game.
1. Tell us about your site.
Gwhoops.com was started in 1996 and has since become a niche website hobby gone haywire. It averages between 3K – 10K visitors each day depending on the time of year and has a faithful cadre of about 100 posters, many of whom have been posting on the board for over a decade.
2. What are the expectations of the GW team?
Last season GW finished in the top half of the Atlantic 10 with essentially the same line-up returning this year, including the re-entry of Lasan Kromah into the line-up after a year off from a foot injury. However, with a new coaching staff and an entirely different philosophy at both ends of the court, most players are having to learn a whole new system. Most realistic GW fans are hoping for a record similar to last season with a first-round A-10 tournament win. The optimistic view the team as getting better every month as the season rolls on and eventually flirting with an NIT bid. The pessimistic believe Coach Lonergan does not have the players in place to run his system and the season will be filled with frustration with little upside.
3. Who should we look out for?
Tony Taylor is one of the top three guards in the Atlantic 10 and has been forced to shoulder the offensive load both last year and early this season. Taylor can get his shot against almost anyone and can score in a variety of ways, but can be off-put by physical defenders and is simply asked to do too much. Kromah is in the midst of an offensive slump, still shaking off the rust from a year off, but is the most dynamic prospect on the roster. Confidence is a huge factor in Kromah’s all-around game, meaning when he feels like he’s “on” he dominates play and when he is questioning his abilities he disappears. Mikic is a deadly 3-point shooter who can hit five in a row before the defense gets a chance to adjust, but the rest of his game is badly limited; he cannot create his own shots. Mikic is currently searching for a role on the court as his 6-foot-8 frame says forward but his style of play is entirely behind the arc. Aaron Ware is the stereotypical blue-collar player who will scrap and fight for everything at both ends of the court for 40 minutes.
4. What are your predictions for this game?
GW cannot hang with anyone on the glass, nor do they have the physical nature to battle Syracuse on defense. The game will be a sloppy, ugly affair for the first 12-15 minutes of play with GW still rested enough to play solid defense, but out-of-sync on offense. An Orange run late in the first-half will put the Colonials away for good, with the second half being little more than a scrimmage.
Syracuse by 23.