By: Me (138 posts) - 7/28/2015 11:12:38 AM

George Washington Colonials

2014-15: 22-14 (10-8, tied for 6th in the A-10), lost to Temple in the 2nd round of the NIT

Head Coach: Mike Lonergan (5th year)

Projected Starting Lineup

PG Alex Mitola - 5'11", 170 Senior: 12.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, @ Dartmouth

SG Joe McDonald - 6'1", 187 Senior: 9.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.1 apg

SF Patricio Garino - 6'6", 215 Senior: 12.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.7 spg

PF Tyler Cavanaugh - 6'9", 232 Junior: 8.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.7 ap @ Wake Forest

C Kevin Larsen - 6'10", 250 Senior: 10.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.0 bpg

Key Reserves

G Paul Jorgensen - 6'2", 180 Sophomore: 3.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.9 apg

F Yuta Watanabe - 6'8", 210 Sophomore: 7.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.6 bpg

C Matt Cimino - 6'10", 220 Sophomore: 0.4 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 36% FG

Key Newcomers

G Jordan Roland - 6'1", 170 Freshman - unranked 3-star prospect

C Collin Goss - 6'10", 210 Freshman - unranked 3-star prospect


Two short years ago, George Washington would have been very pleased with a 22-win season, and a postseason win to boot. Instead, last season felt like a mild disappointment for the Colonials. Coming off of a resurgent season in 2013-14, a season which saw GW acquit themselves well in an NCAA Tournament metchup against a talented Memphis team, the Colonials wanted to take another step last year. 

To that end, GW beat Wichita St at the Diamond Head Classic to close out non-conference play, and they entered A-10 play at 11-3. It was a good position to be in, but the Conials stumbled. A series of close losses and miscues later, and they finished on the wrong side of the NCAA bubble.

The offseason has seen its share of transfers, as per usual for head coach Mike Lonergan. GW had been expecting Wake Forest shooter Tyler Cavanaugh to become eligible; what fans hadn't expected was that 3-year impact guard Kethan Savage would transfer to Butler. Additionally, Lonergan lost backup guards Nick Griffin and Darian Bryant, as well as last season's versatile starting power forward Jon Kopriva (to graduation).

Lonergan reeled in a promising newcomer to salve those wounds, adding Dartmouth graduate transfer Alex Mitola. With Cavanaugh eligible and expected growth from a trio of experienced and talented seniors, GW has every reason to believe that this team can be an A-10 contender.

In a perfect world, this will finally be the year that Danish center Kevin Larsen puts his many skills together and puts his stamp on the college hoops landscape. With NBA size and skill, Larsen presents a serious matchup problem to many big men. He can score with both hands, has become more and more comfortable with his back to the basket, passes effectively when doubled and can knock down jump shots. Larsen's biggest struggles are with turnovers, free throws, and consistency. There are times when Larsen does not assert himself in the offense; occasionally he will get careless with the ball and stagnate a possession. And, frustratingly, his free throw percentage has degraded each year of his career. With range to the 3pt arc and a developing array of moves around the basket, Larsen could become one of the nation's 10 best centers. It's just a matter of putting everything together.

Cavanaugh, eligible after transferring from Wake Forest, should help even more than the departed Kopriva. They are similar players; sweet-shooting forwards who can do just enough with their length and hustle to disrupt people on defense or chase down a few rebounds. Cavanaugh has proven he can score in a Power 5 league, and now figures to help space the floor around Larsen. Yuta Watanabe forced his way into the starting lineup last season as a true freshman. The young Japanese combo forward looks like a future star, with good range on his jumper and smooth moves when putting it on the floor and driving. He had some turnover issues and struggled with his shot down the stretch last year, but such things are expected to some degree from a freshman. If he can't reclaim a starting spot, Watanabe is probably the A-10's early leader for 6th Man of the Year. Garino may be the team's best all-around player, and is becoming more fit for comparison each year to his childhood hero, Manu Ginobili. He is the team's leading returning leader in scoring, steals, FG% and free throws - and last year he ranked second in blocks and rebounds. Garino is strong enough to drive on smaller wings and increasingly can shoot over people, though his 3pt shot still must improve. The biggest issue for Garino - like this team overall - has been an abundance of turnovers. Garino gave the ball away 89 times in 35 games last year, and that's far too many miscues. He has set the tone offensively and defensively for this team: now Garino must lead his squad in playing a cleaner brand of basketball.

Joe McDonald is the backcourt's top holdover, a savvy and versatile combo guard who doesn't mind rough play. McDonald's outside shot improved last season, and he led the team with 41 triples. McDonald is a quick and scrappy defender who can check larger 2-guards and will have to, now that his backcourt buddy is the 5'11 Mitola rather than the departed 6'4 Savage. Mitola brings more than 200 career made triples and a solid 209:143 career assist to turnover ratio from his days with the Big Green. Neither McDonald or Mitola is a classic point guard, which is of some continued concern given the turnover issues of last year. While McDonald has filled the point role for an NCAA team already, it's up to Mitola to prove that he's not going to add to GW's giveaway problems now that he'll take a turn running point. Sophomore Paul Jorgenesen is the backcourt's top reserve, and like Mitola is a solid three point shooter. Over the past three seasons, GW has become a better and better outside shooting squad. Last year, the Colonials knocked down 192 three's. This season, their trio of guards could approach 150 on their own.

Minutes figure to be sparingly handed out after the top 7 players in Lonergan's rotation, but sophomore big man Matt Cimino should be hungry to contribute after playing just 56 minutes and scoring only 10 points in his 28 freshman games. Last year he lacked strength, and hopes to have added the size and muscle to make a bigger impact this season. GW's two freshmen are largely unheralded recruits, but either could earn a legitimate role. Collin Gross, like Cimino, needs to get stronger in order to match up with high major big men. Meanwhile, if Jordan Roland can make shots and take care of the ball, he could carve out minutes behind Lonergan's top 3 guards. The Colonials also return a pair of barely-used veteran forwards who will look to earn more playing time this year. They combined to play 54 games last season, but saw the floor for only 145 minutes in those appearances. McCoy should earn a few backup minutes behind Cavanaugh, while Swan has a chance to earn a larger role because of his shooting ability on the wing.

George Washington has returned to prominence within the Atlantic 10, and now expects to play in the postseason each year. A season ago, too many turnovers, too many defensive lapses, and too many missed free throws burned the team in close loss after close loss. McDonald, in particular, needs to get better - he made just 63 of 114 attempts, and figures to be at the stripe again regularly as a senior.

The Colonials are a good rebounding team, and the roster is now littered with guys who can step out and make three point shots. Losing Savage is a blow not just on offense, but defensively. Garino has to step up even more, and Mitola can't be a liability in the Colonials' undersized backcourt. Even so, GW is a solid defensive team. There are a lot of things to like about this team.

The A-10 as a league is looking to prove that 2013-14 - when the league got 6 NCAA bids - was no fluke. So to is George Washington. Lonergan has a starting five that matches up with all but the top contenders among Power 5 teams. Watanabe and Jorgensen are a strong pair off the bench. This team has the talent to earn an NCAA bid, and to challenge for the A-10 crown as well. It's all a matter of playing smarter, more efficient basketball.

By: Colonial'13 (94 posts) - 7/28/2015 12:05:18 PM

What is this from?

By: BM (5,673 posts) - 7/28/2015 12:17:33 PM


By: Colonial'13 (94 posts) - 7/28/2015 12:24:42 PM

What is this from?

By: Colonial'13 (94 posts) - 7/28/2015 12:26:12 PM

Oops double post again, cool thanks BM

By: Colonial'13 (94 posts) - 7/28/2015 12:28:09 PM

Guy seems to know his stuff, but Alex Mitola starting PG?? Guess it could happen but I never even considered that option to be honest..

By: Poster (5 posts) - 7/28/2015 12:33:06 PM

Wow, this was awesome. Last week I had written I was looking for the best way to learn about the current roster. Well, there we go.

Thanks for sharing.

By: Salz (7/28/2015 12:33:17 PM)

Wow, this was awesome. Last week I had written I was looking for the best way to learn about the current roster. Well, there we go.

Thanks for sharing.



By: BM (5,673 posts) - 7/28/2015 12:52:28 PM

The upside of than starting lineup is that we can bring Jorgensen AND Yuta off the bench keeping high quality players on the floor well into the half.

By: kaj (51 posts) - 7/28/2015 1:20:49 PM

I'm in the same boat as '13. I always assumed Yuta would be starting but now that he mentions it, I wonder if a more conventional starting five with Alex could work, especially given how many turnovers and how few assists they had at times last season.

By: The Dude (529 posts) - 7/28/2015 1:42:27 PM

I like all GW previews and this guy put in a good amount of effort and did some good work.  That said, seems like he mostly looked at stats without context and has made some assumptions based on them.   Very hard to see a defensive minded ML starting Mitola and JoeMac in the backcourt.  Harder yet to think the guy knows much about GW if he thinks John Kopriva is a "sweet shooting forward"  John was many things but sweet shooting doesn't come to mind.   Nor is Kethan 6'4...or a great defender.

Seems like the work of a guy looking at stats without context, no one should think JK and TC are very similar but someone looking at just one year's worth of stats might.  No weight was afforded to say TC's ACC competition vs Mitola's Ivy league stat profile.

He does get one thing right though, after the top 7 in the rotation, minutes will be hard to come by.  Make that two things, we'll be in the top 50.

By: Long Suffering Fan (4,106 posts) - 7/28/2015 2:06:41 PM

Whomever wrote this article knew his stuff.  He nailed Larsen's game perfectly, including those lapses that we all lamented.  He knew about Yuta's ability to put the ball on the floor and Garino being the offensive leader on the team.  He knew of JoeMac's physicallity or that Cimino needed to get stronger.  And I believe he wa correct about Kopriva and Savage.  John Kopriva led GW in 3 point shooting percentage at 44.2%  He made more 3s and shot a higher percentage than Nick Griffin.  Kethan Savage, when his head was screwed on right, was an excellent defender.   A great writeup...maybe the best one we will see.

By: Colonial'13 (94 posts) - 7/28/2015 2:11:24 PM

I agree LSF, he definitely had to do more than some stat skimming for his info, maybe he took a few trips to this board. Pretty amazing he does this for 50 teams it must take forever.

By: ziik (2,950 posts) - 7/28/2015 2:25:38 PM

Not to be a wise ass, but I can think of 6 guys who are regular posters who could have written that article, if they took the time and refrained from making pissy little posting points. It sounds like the guy is a regular reader of The Great  and Wonderful Herve. (and FQ, BM, MV, Dude, Bobo, LSF, BC and others who serve humankind as Knights of the Herveian Round Table.) Congratulate yourselves, gents.

By: BC (1,645 posts) - 7/28/2015 3:30:01 PM

I deny any contribution to whoever's preview, unless he had a slyly snide point of view.

By: Bigfan (2,829 posts) - 7/28/2015 4:23:14 PM

He did nail a lot of things like Kevin and Joe, as LSF points out, though missed a number of them or portrayed incorrectly, as The Dude noted.

Sounds like he has some familiarity with GW and in general in a broadbrush way, has our number, despite some glaring inaccuracies.

Don't think Alex is starting ahead of Yuta, at least from what we see now. But Alex can make a real contribution if he can defend at this level and get off his shot at his height. So can Jordan. And PJ has already shown he can.

Young Mr. Goss may be able to give us a few minutes to spell Kevin, as well.


By: FredD (598 posts) - 7/28/2015 7:00:58 PM

But he did nail the turnover problem and I don't know about you but that just killed Garino's effectiveness, it sidetracked Larsen and blunted Joe. The games GW played clean were just so different in my recollection than the turnover fests

By: cagwu (645 posts) - 7/28/2015 7:12:01 PM

I actually like the idea of Yuta as 6th man.  He could come in for a lot of different positions (PF, SF, SG) depending on how the game is going and who needs to come out.  Start Paul at pg, Joe at sg, Garino, Tyler and Kevin upfront.  We have 6 guys who can play.  The question is how much deeper we can go than that (much like last year).

By: (7/28/2015 7:17:17 PM)

LA Fan, sorry to cagwu that last post was from me.

By: Mentzinger (3,646 posts) - 7/28/2015 7:49:17 PM

Mitola over The Prince? Pure hogwash.

By: cagwu (645 posts) - 7/28/2015 8:08:44 PM

LA or CA its all love Socal Love here.  -CAGWU actually in LA,CA for a bit

By: The Dude (529 posts) - 7/28/2015 10:31:51 PM

Mitola vs PJ will be an interesting battle.  One will play a good amount and the other I believe will get quite a bit fewer minutes, but don't sleep on Roland, I see that as a true 3 man race for 2 spots.  One will be the backup PG, the first G off the bench, the 2nd guy depth guard, and the 3rd guy will get few minutes. 

Yuta vs any of those guys was answered seemingly last year, Yuta wins that battle, he got 28 minutes a night to PJ's far fewer minutes.  It would figure only an outsider or (one of our oddly huge PJ fans) would disagree and ONLY a stat influenced outsider thinks Mitola wins out over Yuta. Otherwise, a few other mistakes aside, kudos to the writer who did a nice job, yeoman's work.

Mentz, Mitola over the Prince might well happen, so might JR over the Prince.  No disrespect to PJ, Mitola spent 3 years proving himself a good player, and JR, why is PJ better than JR? Who can say that for sure at this point? I like PJ like the next guy, but never quite understood the rush to annoint him, based on what, 10 up and down minutes per night last year?  Mitola or JR are not better? I'm not so sure.




By: ziik (2,950 posts) - 7/28/2015 10:46:47 PM

Dude, your remarks (like some others') seem to be predicated on ML coaching a traditional rotation of guards.

I suspect there is a small likelihood we see something entirely different: the Big Lineup we all like (Yuta, Ty, Kevlar, The Argentine and Joe) replaced in certain situations with 4 guards and a big. 

I think ML is going to change things up, in that and in other ways

By: The Dude (529 posts) - 7/28/2015 10:56:13 PM

Maybe Ziik, so far it hasn't been the ML m.o. 

He's going to play two very small guards together for heavy minutes? When did we see that last year? Why would that happen this year? I'm not so sure. 

Why would anyone but JoeMac be the PG after 3 years of him paying 32 mins/game as the PG? Pure fiction imo.


By: ziik (2,950 posts) - 7/28/2015 11:07:53 PM

Stop using factoids that are only partially truthy, Dude.

Joe played a bit of shooting guard last year, and Kethan played a bit of point. Anybody watching the team saw that.

Sure, Joe has been a 3 year starter, but not exclusively as a point. 

I do think GW can throw major curves at opponents, by using 3 and even 4 guard sets at times. That's about it. Now, don't go and post an irrelevant chart, graph, list or string cite and claim you have concluively disputed my suggestion. Just wait and see. ML is creative, and I would not put anything past him. 

I do join you in grieving, still, over the loss of Kethan. Of course, that presupposes the accusation of someone else (MV?) that is one of your weak spots. (I am not as well versed on the board's shifting alliances as I once was.) 

By: The Dude (529 posts) - 7/28/2015 11:20:15 PM

Ziik for Colbert's replacement! This new guy Larry Wilmore is awful.  We'll call it the Ziik Repoooooort. 

MV is fixated on this Dude/Kethan I told ya so thing, I'm not sure what his beef is there.  He's also had a 10 year running feud with a single message board poster with changing aliases, so as a guy newish to message boards, I guess anything is possible.  In that one, its clear where MY allegiance is. 

I've read he had a long and somewhat separate war with you, which seems to have cooled off quite a bit in recent years, sort of an Israel/Egypt thing. 

Not to be outdone, Bo sure has his own fan club here, so I'd say the allegiances are not as unclear as our depth Guard rotation will be.


By: ziik (2,950 posts) - 7/28/2015 11:33:23 PM

Dude you are offbase.

There was a guy named Mailvan who had a totally irrational "feud" with a relative of mine who used to post here under our family name. That Mailvan had a lobotomy. 

Meanwhile, I barred the old ziik from my account. I am a 12 year old girl.

By: The Dude (529 posts) - 7/28/2015 11:53:05 PM

HAHA You've proved your worth to me, move over Wilmore here comes the Ziiik Repooort!!

To be clear, I missed out on all of the old the Mailvan days but I support his efforts "posthumously" or perhaps "posthumorously" which would put your "relative" and myself in separate camps.  For a 12 year old girl you have very keen opinions, aside from your mistaken views on our backcourt rotation.  ML likes size and defense, otherwise JK would have played less and PJ more last year.  Not to mention Yuta vs the depth guards.  This year a LOT of the minutes are going to Yuta/Garino/TC/BigKev, which will leave smallish guards fighting for limited PT behind JoeMac and yes occassionally off the ball paired with another small guard, but in limited situations I predict, not starting together, and not a regular rotation thing.

As for Mailvan, we could the fully unleashed MV here at times, let him loose MV! Just on some other topic than the Dude will say I told ya so about Kethan topic.  The board can be a bit quiet and tame at times, I assure you the Great Silent Majority thinks so, even if the more vocal minority like a nice, boring, peaceful, group think of tame, safe posts and platitudes.  A little liveliness never hurts a message board, apathy does.

By: thinker (2,825 posts) - 7/29/2015 12:09:17 AM

That is an amazing preview with incredible detail. Only Herve, I think could have done better than that AND he would have added a lot of obscure cultural references and dark humor.

Interesting take on some things - especially Mitola starting - that I wouldn't predict. I'd really like to think though that if Mitola just kills it in practice and the first couple of games that he would start. Considering how much of the roster is returning there are a surprising number of real unknowns going into the year.

This preview gets me excited for the season. Maybe the writer should have serialized it and released it bit by bit leading up to the season.

By: Mentzinger (3,646 posts) - 7/29/2015 7:54:11 AM

So you guys have a 5'11' Ivy player and a Freshman with no D1 experience starting ahead of Jorgensen? OK. 10-4.

By: The MV (4,915 posts) - 7/29/2015 10:07:26 AM

1) Dude, for a guy who is fairly new to message boards, you sure do know a lot about the history of this one.

2) To make a point, and then to restate the point since you weren't sure what I was referring to, does not constitute being "fixated" on that point.  Check out my many 2006 posts abouit our crappy 2005-06 schedule costing uss everal seed spots in the tournament.  THAT is an example of being fixated.

3) ML has publicly stated that Alex can be anything from the team's 6th man to the team's 10th man.  He obviously reserves the right to change his mind but I'm not predicting this.  Paul or Yuta will be in the starting lineup represents my best guess.

4) Prediction..last season, Kevin played 33.2 minutes per game, Pato played 31.6 and Joe played 31.5.  I'm predicting that both Kevin and Joe will average fewer minutes played per game this season, and this could apply to Pato as well (though not as likely).  The team buys into the facts that: a) they have greater depth this season and b) more rest to the starters means less of a chance of a late-season breakdown as was experienced last season.

By: The Dude (529 posts) - 7/29/2015 1:37:28 PM

MV, its pretty easy, just as you suggest I do here, I've read a few old threads, some are rather entertaining.  With all due respect to our esteemed posters, you can pick out a few 300+ post threads and get a fairly good sense of a few things, one need not have Sherlock Holmesian powers of deduction.  For starters, its rather abundantly clear that you've had 1 primary antagonist under 4 or so names for 10 years, but you already knew this and I'm sure most here do too.  As I said yesterday, having read some of them, I say unleash the ol' Mailvan at times! That guy was pretty great even if some here disagree.

You do seem a bit fixated on pushing a narrative that I am not.  That we'll be worse next year and I will say told ya so about Kethan.  For the 10th and final time I am predicting we will be much better next year, there will be no I told ya so, I am telling ya we'll be BETTER! Like everyone here (I hope) I want the team to do well I don't care about "winning" posts. 

Mentz, one year ago PJ was also a Freshman with no experience, today he is a Soph with 10 minutes/game experience, why does that means he would automaticaly be better than a Freshman?  Mitola is 5'11 but he's good, I just don't A10 good but he's good. As for PJ,  What exactly has PJ proven to get this red carpet treatement from a few people here? 

By: Long Suffering Fan (4,106 posts) - 7/29/2015 2:32:33 PM

I don't think it is a good barometer to measure a frosh over his entire seasons stats.  To fairly evaluate a frost, the focus should be over the improvement over the course of the system,  Without the stats to back me up, I will say that PJ was a fairly solid and fairly confident player by the end of last season, and this seems to have carried over into the Kenner League.  Now, having said that, I still like the idea of Mitola starting and PJ coming off of the bench.  Further, ML likes the idea of having some firepower coming off ot the bench (I guess from too many of those games when we are essentially shut out from the 16 minute mark to the 8 minute mark.  He used both Lasan Kromah and Kethan Savage in that manner and it would not  surprise me if Prince Harry is used in the same manner.

By: jwmost (84 posts) - 8/1/2015 11:42:25 PM


By: NYC GW HOOPS (78 posts) - 8/2/2015 1:05:35 PM

I think it was a decent report.  Some research, some stats skimming and some predictions.  Not bad.  I like Yuta coming off the bench as he was picking up some fouls early and in my opinion he shows a distractability around calls.  Getting himself ready on the bench and burning off some time so that we can have him focused deep intot he game could have it's upside.  It'll be interesting to see what ML does given the team has a somewhat different profile from previous years. 

I'm speculating that Mitola brings a much needed leadership to the court and the team and we could most likely see him get a starting position and time of the court. 

By: Pops (505 posts) - 8/2/2015 8:57:53 PM

I like PJs swagger. 

By: The Dude (529 posts) - 8/2/2015 9:14:26 PM

.....and I like JoeMac's 3 years of being a warrior PG floor general and I believe so does ML.  Why would anyone but JoeMac be ML's starting PG next season?

Man, least appreciated Colonial by far. The grass ain't always greener.

By: ziik (2,950 posts) - 8/2/2015 9:27:13 PM

I agree with Dude, Joe deserves the floor time. But, it is remarkable that the reviews of Mitola, Hart, and the Roland all are positive and upbeat. It could be nice to have a bench.

By: The Dude (529 posts) - 8/2/2015 10:00:46 PM

....The Bench, and The Future Ziik, particularly the development of JR and PG, super important, with their 4 and 3 years of eligibility, and they'll have their day no matter what happens next year.   Encouraging to see the good reviews indeed.

(Mitola of course, different boat he has to make it happen for himself next season)


We quit

I can excuse a lot, but we just didn't hustle for most of that game. We consistently watched Davidson go after rebounds and loose balls while we watched, we let the weakest team in the a10 outmuscle us over and over, and just folded on our home c



Kethan Savage Shooting Guard CLASS: 2012 90 Alexandria, VA Hometown Episcopal High School 6'3Height 190 lbsWeight Overall Rank 23Position Rank StatusUndeclared ConsideringDayton Flyers, Virginia Commonwealth Rams, George Mason Patriots, George Washin