(Photo courtesy of 247 Sports)
FOGGY BOTTOM – Yinka Dare, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Patricio Garino, Yuta Watanabe, and now, Benny Schröder. Schröder, the second transfer to have committed to George Washington this offseason, is looking to become the latest in a long line of international players to star in Foggy Bottom.
“I think I can really continue that legacy,” said Schröder.
Schröder announced his commitment on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon.
Schröder, a 6-8 wing originally from Munich, Germany, spent last season at Oklahoma. He appeared in six games for the Sooners, averaging 2.3 points and 0.8 rebounds. Schröder was supposed to play a larger role, but had a difficult time cracking the rotation after dealing with ankle injuries and COVID complications.
The GW roster is still relatively thin, and Schröder should be in line for significant minutes. He joins Atlantic-10 First Teamer James Bishop, who recently announced his plans to return to GW for his final season of eligibility, reigning A-10 Rookie of the Year Max Edwards, incoming transfer wing Garrett Johnson, rising redshirt junior forward Keegan Harvey, and the heralded freshman guard trio of Jacoi Hutchinson, Trey Autry, and Christian Jones.
Before coming to the United States, Schröder dominated in Germany and was rated the top international prospect by ESPN. He played for Kickz International Basketball Academy Munich, TSV Oberhaching, Bayern Munich U19 and U16, and various youth national teams. Schröder averaged 16.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 23.4 minutes per game, shot 71% from the field, and finished second in scoring and third in player efficiency rating (PER) at the2021 FIBA U18 European Challengers.
Once Schröder entered the transfer portal, there was immediate interest from programs around the country. His top five before choosing GW included Colorado, Davidson, Duquesne, and Indiana State.
What did GW head coach Chris Caputo and the rest of the staff do to make them stand out?
“Coach Caputo and the whole coaching staff, they were different from all of the other coaches,” said Schröder. “Throughout my visit it just felt right and that I was at the right place. The players were nice, the coaches, and just everyone was so nice to me and they really cared about me, that made the difference.”
Throughout this offseason, recruiting international players has been a consistent talking point from the GW staff.
“GW is a great place for an international player to be,” said GW director of recruiting Matt Colpoys in a conversation with WRGW’s Abe Rothstein.
That knowledge and commitment shone through to Schröder during his visit and communication with the GW program.
“I was talking a lot to Coach [Zak Boisvert], he knows ball for sure, he knows everything. When we were talking about European players, the way they played in Europe, he knows the game so well,” said Schröder. “The same thing with Coach Caputo… They just knew a lot about how to play Europeans, how to use them, how to develop them, and how to fit them into an American system.”
Coming from Europe and playing limited minutes last season at Oklahoma, Schröder’s game is a relative mystery to most American fans.
“I’m a really good scorer, I can facilitate for others, I’m tall.. so I can see the floor well,” said Schröder. “I’m kind of positionless so I can play 1-4. I can handle the ball, play off the ball, I think that’s why I really fit in the way Coach Caputo wants to play because I can fit whatever role he puts me in and that’s why it’s such a good fit.”
“[Schröder] has ample size and strength to play either wing position at the college level,” said ESPN NBA draft expert Jonathan Givnoy in 2021. “He’s an aggressive slasher who initiates quite a bit of offense, getting to the free throw line and playing above the rim frequently, thanks to his strong ball-handling ability and willingness to embrace contact. His physical tools and competitiveness are similarly assets on the defensive end.”
Schröder, along with Johnson, GW’s other transfer so far, fit a versatile, positionless style of basketball. They both have guard skills like ball handling and playmaking, but enough size to play either forward spot.
GW now has five scholarships remaining. Expect for them to target multiple big men and at least one experienced ball handler to play alongside Bishop.