Observations from GW’s Win over Colorado

Cameron Rohde
Assistant Sports Director

The Colonials edged out the Buffaloes today for a 53-50 win. In honor of Festivus, I bring you my observations.

“Airing of Grievances”

Post Passing/ Interior Passing – GW struggled to start the second half, committing three turnovers all related to interior passing or post passing. For a team that heavily relies on inside production you would think that they would have superb post entries, but it seems to be a constant weak spot for this team. GW was bothered today by the length of Josh Scott, and when they drove to the basket, they would often pass out of their attempted layups, and turn the ball over. As the game progressed, the offense ripened up, and they didn’t commit a turnover for the last six minutes of the game. For GW to make a tournament run, they will need to cut down the turnovers.

Three-Point Shooting – This is, by far, the weak point of the offense. Yuta Watanabe was the sole Colonial to make a three-pointer, and the other attempts were not even close to going in. GW needs to continue taking the shots to keep the defense off balance, but after a strong shooting performance yesterday, attempts from Kethan Savage and John Kopriva were way off the mark today. I’m not sure Nick Griffin is the answer as he has struggled on defense this season, but Savage, McDonald, and Garino need to improve their shooting.

Referees – The block/charge call needs to change next year as there are far too many charges being called and it is proving very detrimental to the game. The excess of charge calls limits drives to the basket and turns the game into a defensive struggle. The game today was a nail-biter and all-around very enjoyable.  However, most 53-50 games are a snore-fest, and there have been too many low scoring slugfests the last few years. The best approach to block/charges is to only call it a charge if it is, without a doubt, a charge and to stop calling charges when it is up in the air. The refs reward floppers with the current system and it needs to be changed.

“Feats of Strength”

2-3 Zone – GW had to go to a 2-3 Zone in the first half due to foul trouble, and it was very effective. GW held the Buffs to 9-27 shooting, and did not allow a three-point field goal the entire half. The Colonials also ran the zone against Ohio and it helped them hold the Bobcats to 49 points (Ohio scored 99 points against DePaul). The 2-3 Zone seems to be the zone Lonergan goes to this year instead of his patented 1-3-1 defense (the 1-3-1 was inconsistent today and Colorado was able to move the ball effectively in spurts). The Colonials rebound the ball well in the zone (usually a weakness in the 2-3), and do an excellent job of defending the three. Look for the 2-3 Zone to continue to be a weapon for the Colonials this year.

Bench Production – When Savage picked up his second foul early in the first half, it was interesting to note that Paul Jorgensen and Darian Bryant received heavy minutes, not Nick Griffin. Griffin only played one minute the entire first half while Jorgensen logged 10.9 minutes, and Bryant played five minutes. It seems that even though Nick Griffin is, by far, the best shooter on the team, he is deficient enough in the other areas to not receive time.

Jorgensen and Bryant both were solid in the first half and provided GW with tough defense. Jorgensen can handle the rock nicely, and can rebound surprisingly well for his size, grabbing three rebounds in the first half. GW is going to win games with defense and rebounding, and Jorgensen and Bryant are much better on that end than Griffin.

Lonergan didn’t go to his bench in the second half and the only bench player to log any minutes was Yuta Watanabe. Yuta hit a key three-pointer with 10 minutes left in the game to cut the Buffs lead to three.  Watanabe has consistently been one of GW’s best offensive players and the Colonials need all the offense they can get. This game was a defensive battle, and Yuta was solid on that end of the court. He manned the top of the 1-3-1 in the second half and his length disrupted the passing lanes for Colorado.

Joe McDonald’s Rebounding – McDonald had a terrific game in all aspects but what stood out for me was McDonald’s ability to rebound. Lonergan said earlier this year that McDonald might be the best rebounding guard he has ever coached, and he had six rebounds today. McDonald has great anticipation, and is able to use his quickness to grab long rebounds. GW struggles to rebound the ball when Larsen is on the bench, and if were not for McDonald’s rebounding they probably would have lost.

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

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