#99 George Washington: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #99
Conference Rank: #9 Atlantic 10 Conference
2009-10: 16-15, 6-10
2009-10 postseason: CBI
Coach: Karl Hobbs (149-115 at George Washington, 149-115 overall)
George Washington was happy to get back into the postseason after missing out on even the Atlantic 10 tournament the prior two years. Before that the Colonials went to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments. That success may have taken the pressure off of Coach Karl Hobbs for the time being, but continual improvement needs to be shown and it will not be an easy task without Damian Hollis.
Key Losses: F Damian Hollis, G Travis King, F Hermann Opoku
What Coach Hobbs needed out of this class was a little depth up front and a true point guard. That is exactly what he got with Chris Fitzgerald, Nemanja Mikic and Dan Guest. Guest is the true point guard, but he is certainly capable of scoring when he needs to do so. The bigger concern for this season is depth up front. Fitzgerlad and Mikic are both decent outside shooters who can stretch out the defense and that will certainly help replace one aspect of Hollis’ game. The frontcourt also gains center Daymon Warren who redshirted last season.
Lasan Kromah had a superb freshman campaign and ranked second on the team with 11.8 points per game. He does most of his damage from beyond the arc, but Kromah is 6-5 and once he gets a little more aggressive getting to the basket, he will be a superb scorer. However, he does need to work on his free-throw shooting. Aaron Ware will likely start on the other wing opposite of Kromah. Ware is not much of a scorer, but he is a decent rebounder and a solid defender. Bryan Bynes and Tim Johnson should provide quality depth on the perimeter after having relatively productive freshmen campaigns.
The frontcourt has some rebuilding to do without Hollis and Hermann Opoku. Joseph Katuka is the only senior on the roster and is more than ready to step into a leadership role. The 6-11 center has never been much of a scorer, but he is a big body who can take up a lot of space in the paint and grab some boards. It is finding a consistent scorer in the paint that will be a problem. David Pellom had a good freshman season, but he has yet to develop into much of a scoring threat. Dwayne Smith has a little more of the Hollis skill set in him. As a freshman last year he averaged 5.1 points and, like Hollis, he can hit the long ball. Smith is a ways away from replacing Hollis, but he does add a potential dynamic scoring threat to the frontcourt. Jabari Edwards will not pick up much of the scoring load, but he is good for some rebounds and to give the rest of the frontcourt a break.
Who to Watch:
Tony Taylor was the only player on the team to average over 30 minutes per game. A dozen players averaged over ten minutes per contest, but Taylor was the player George Washington could not do without last season. Fortunately the point guard from Sleepy Hollow, New York is just a junior and his best basketball is still ahead of him. Taylor did a superb job of keeping the turnovers down and finding his teammates. Taylor is also a pretty good all-around scorer when he wants to be.
George Washington is a year away from what should be their best season since their last NCAA appearance, but the 2010-2011 campaign should not be too bad either. It may be too much of a reach to hope for an NIT berth in a tough A-10 conference, but the Colonials should aim for another postseason berth in either the CBI or CIT. Anything better than that and George Washington’s expectations would suddenly sky rocket in 2011-2012.
Projected Post-season Tournament: CBI/CIT
Projected Starting Five:
Tony Taylor, Junior, Guard, 9.4 ppg
Lasan Kromah, Sophomore, Guard, 11.8 ppg
Aaron Ware, Junior, Guard, 6.4 ppg
David Pellom, Sophomore, Forward, 2.9 ppg
Joseph Katuka, Senior, Center, 5.9 ppg
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