GW Women’s Basketball 2012-13 Preview: A New Era

Jeff Pawling
Assistant Director, News and Social Media

The summer of 2011 brought big changes to the men’s basketball program as they made a somewhat surprising coaching change by replacing long time head coach Karl Hobbs with current coach Mike Lonergan.

One summer later, the women’s team made a change of its own.

Out is Mike Bozeman, who was let go after four seasons at the helm. In his place steps Jonathan Tsipis, national runner-up Notre Dame’s former associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. As a nationally sought after coaching candidate, Tsipis is a huge get for a program that has struggled to return to excellence ever since long-time head coach Joe McKeown left Foggy Bottom for the head job at Northwestern.

Click here for an archived interview with Coach Tsipis right after Colonials Invasion last month.

Coach Tsipis will be aided even further by the presence of a veteran squad led by GW’s two Atlantic 10 preseason All-Conference Third Team members: forward Tara Booker and guard Danni Jackson. Both Booker and Jackson led the team in scoring during the 2011-12 campaign, each averaging 12.0 points per game. Booker was also the team leader in five other categories, including rebounding (7.0), blocks (1.1), and field goal percentage (.429). Jackson comes off a season in which she led the team with three assists per game and set the fourth-best single season mark in school history with a 85.7% free throw percentage.

Graduate student Sara Mostafa also makes her return to the court after missing all but eight games last season due to injury. The six-foot-five center was a force for the Colonials, averaging just under 10 points and six rebounds per game before breaking her hand during a practice in preparation for their matchup against crosstown rival Georgetown. Sophomore guard Chakecia Miller also returns to the fold after starting the final 12 games of last season and finishing third in the Atlantic 10 in steals with 2.9 per game. Seniors Shi-Heria Shipp and Megan Nipe provide depth in the backcourt and redshirt senior Brooke Wilson bolsters the frontcourt.

Coach Tsipis also managed to keep an impressive recruiting class from leaving to complement the veterans on the roster. The most notable additions are those of freshmen forwards Anjaleace White and DeLacy Anderson. White comes to Foggy Bottom after averaging 14.3 points and 11.2 rebounds per game during her senior season and being named the 2012 Gatorade Delaware Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Anderson was named the top forward in Illinois by Max Preps after leading her Bolingbrook High School squad to three straight state titles from 2009 to 2011. Both players add much needed height and depth to the frontcourt and are expected to contribute right away.

A pair of freshmen from the state of Texas in Aaliyah Brown and Alexis Chandler are also expected to make an early impact. Brown was a 2012 McDonald’s All-America nominee and a four-time All-District selection at Clear Springs High School. Chandler was a four-time All-District honoree, setting the single season assists record at two different high schools.

In a preseason poll of the Atlantic 10’s head coaches, the Colonials were picked to finish eighth out of 16 teams. While it may be easy for many pundits to discount this GW squad based on past success – or the lack thereof – on paper this team has all the makings of a squad that could surprise this season. They bring back many experienced players who have proven to be able to put up good numbers for the Buff and Blue when healthy. It starts to look scary good when combined with the talent that each of Tsipis’ newcomers bring to Foggy Bottom.

With that said, sometimes the biggest upgrade is the one made off the court. A team can have all the talent in the world but if they don’t buy into the head coach’s system and philosophy, chances are success will be elusive. This team is undoubtedly talented, but perhaps the addition of Jonathan Tsipis at the helm is just what this team needs to finally bring a winning product back to the Charles E. Smith Center. If the Colonials can stay healthy and if they take to Coach Tsipis’ system quickly, this team could be far better than a middle-of-the-road team in the Atlantic 10.

GW will host Wingate in an exhibition matchup at the Charles E. Smith Center on Sunday, November 4th at 5 p.m. before officially tipping off their regular season at home on Friday, November 9th at 7 p.m. against the University of Texas-Arlington. Both games can be heard on your flagship station for George Washington Women’s Basketball, WRGW District Radio.

About Jeff Pawling

Co-Assistant Sports Director, News & Social Media, WRGW District Radio

Posted on November 1, 2012, in Audio, Campus, GW Basketball, Women's Basketball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on GW Women’s Basketball 2012-13 Preview: A New Era.

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