Head coach Maurice Joseph really put his team through the ringer with this non-conference schedule. GW had to face Florida St., Xavier, Kansas St., Temple, Penn St., and Miami FL among others. Finishing with a winning record at 7-6, you can’t really fault the Colonials for 6 losses given the level of competition faced.
A win over Temple stands out as the most surprising victory for the Colonials. George Washington got balanced scoring as 4 players reached double figures with Jair Bolden and Yuta Watanabe scoring 17 apiece. The Colonials also snagged a home win over Princeton, a team that’s certainly ranked higher than GW and recently won a true road game over USC. The final Kenpom top 200 team the Colonials took down was Harvard; though it wasn’t necessarily a good win, it was great to see Patrick Steeves go off against his former school.
George Washington’s home loss to Rider is the only one really holding it back. That certainly was a winnable contest; Kenpom shows that the Colonials had greater than a 90% chance of winning with just 10 minutes to play. Obviously, coach MOJO and company are hoping they could get that one back.
None of GW’s other losses were bad or unexpected. In fact, the Colonials’ best performances of the season (minus the Temple game) may have come in Las Vegas where GW gave Xavier and Kansas St. quite the fights. Yeah, they didn’t come out with either victory, but those aren’t games they’re supposed to win.
Non-Conference Grade: B
With a win over Temple, GW gets a big boost and finished with an above-average non-conference grade. The Colonials faced a ton of tough teams, and their one bad loss wasn’t good, but it wasn’t one of the worst losses in the league. I look at George Washington as one of those middle-of-the-pack A-10 teams that’s probably trending in the right direction. I’m not sure the Colonials will finish in the top half of the league, but it’s wide open.