Men’s Gameday #11: GW vs Colorado

George Washington Colonials (7-3) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (7-3)
2014 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Semifinals
4:30 PM, Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, HI
Media Coverage: ESPNU/WatchESPN, 1500/1050 AM, FederalNewsRadio.com

Last game – GW destroyed Ohio 77-49 in yesterday’s Diamond Head Classic quarterfinal, led by Kevin Larsen’s second straight double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Kethan Savage chipped in 18 points as four Colonials finished in double-figures scoring.

Opponent Preview – Colorado

2013-2014 Record: 23-12 (10-8 Pac-12), Post Season- NCAA Second Round Loss to Pittsburgh 77-48, Ken Pom – 78

2014-15 Record: 7-3 ; Ken Pom – 70. Defeated DePaul 82-68 in Diamond Head Classic quarterfinal yesterday.

Tad Boyle has done a marvelous job with the Buffs, turning the program into one of the Pac-12’s best. The Buffs were picked to finish third in the Pac-12 this year, but they have really struggled early on. They were demolished by a solid Wyoming team, lost on the road to Georgia, and faltered at home to their state rivals (Colorado State). Colorado needs to do well in this tournament to secure valuable non-conference wins that they have not gotten.

Players to Watch

Askia Booker – Booker is an exciting guard with a knack for scoring. Last year, he averaged 14 points per game and his scoring output increased significantly when Spencer Dinwiddie went down. Booker is a strong penetrator and if he cannot reach the hole, he can destroy you from mid-range. Booker had himself a career day against DePaul in their first game of the Diamond Head Classic, notching 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 steals.

Booker may be a great scorer but he is not without his faults. Booker needs to work on his shot selection. He has the tendency to take bad shots outside of the offense. His three-point shot needs significant work and he shot 31 percent on three-pointers last year. As a distributor, Booker has been average, only averaging 3.3 assists to 2.5 turnovers and will need to improve this as well entering his senior year.

Booker can win or lose games with how he plays on offense, and Colorado hopes that they will able to ride his wave to the championship.

Xavier Johnson – He has not quite lived up to his high school ranking at Colorado, but his talent is on par with the best in the Pac-12. Johnson came to Colorado as a top-100 ESPN recruit from Los Angeles and has shown glimpses of becoming a dominant force.

Johnson has been an effective player for Colorado in his first two years. He can score the ball in many different ways. He shoots the ball well for his size, and has a nice first step going to the basket. He is a plus rebounder and defender, and will often guard the other team’s best player. When Johnson puts this all together he is one of the better players in the Pac-12, but the problem is that this has not always been the case, and sometimes he will not show up.

Josh Scott – Was the leading scorer and rebounder last year for the Buffs. Scott has been touted by many as one of the nation’s best centers, and has received rave reviews from many analysts, including Jay Bilas. Scott is currently listed as a 48th pick by draftexpress.com for the 2016 NBA Draft, and if Larsen has a solid game, it could propel him to land on NBA scouts radar.

Matchup vs. GW

GW matches up very well with Colorado. In the past, the Colonials have shown the ability to stop other teams’ best scorers. Larsen matches up well with Colorado’s best post player, and the Buffs do not have the three-point shooting that can damage Lonergan’s 1-3-1 zone. Colorado does have effective penetrators and GW will need to limit the penetration from Booker and Johnson if they want to win.

Prediction

GW 67-61 – GW’s defense stifles Booker, Savage continues to shine, and Larsen goes to work against Scott.

Posted on December 23, 2014, in Campus, GW Basketball, Men's Basketball and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: