A healthy Savage may be key to GW’s success
George Washington’s Kethan Savage was in the midst of a breakout season before a fractured left foot ended his 2013-14 story and threatened to knock the Colonials off the NCAA tournament path the sophomore guard had helped put them on.
After averaging just 3.1 points in a 13-17 season as a freshman, Savage exploded as a sophomore, posting 13.4 points per game while dishing out 2.7 assists and grabbing 4.6 rebounds and two steals per contest. The sophomore had raised his field goal percentage over 11 percentage points from his rookie season and was connecting at a 52% clip. On the other side of the ball the 6’3 guard was second to only A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, Briante Weber, in steals percentage at 4.4%.
With the emergence of Savage and fellow sophomore, Kevin Larsen, not to mention the immediate impact of senior Indiana transfer, Maurice Creek, GW had climbed up to No.22 in the RPI before losing Kethan and boasted wins over the likes of Creighton, Maryland and VCU.
Following his injury the Colonials went 9-6 the remainder of the way — all six losses to NCAA tournament teams — including a 71-66 tournament loss to Memphis.
Savage returned for all of one minute in an A-10 semi-final loss to VCU but when he returns for good (knock on wood) next season will join a lineup that must replace 43% of their scoring from last season’s third-place Atlantic 10 squad.
Will Savage be able to lead the buff and blue to another 24-win season or are the Colonials in danger of looking more like the previous season’s squad that won 11 fewer games without the help of Creek in the backcourt? Time will tell, but GW fans are sure to see plenty the Fairfax, VA native that showed so much promise throughout the healthy half of his sophomore season.
In 19 games, Savage’s usage was tops on the team at 26.6%. With the graduations of players two and three on that list (Creek and Armwood), he will most likely be expected to do even more during the 2014-15 season, but he must remain healthy and on the court in order to do so.