We took some time to ask Andrew from Colonial Hoops, a sports blog covering GW Basketball, some questions about the upcoming season. We break down GW heading into 2018-19, coach MOJO and some of the incoming players, and the chances the Colonials make it back to the NCAA Tournament in the near future. Be sure to check out Colonial Hoops’ blog and Twitter for year-round George Washington basketball content. Let’s dive in.
A10 Talk: First of all, tell us a little bit about your life as a Colonial fan? When did you become a fan of George Washington Basketball, when did you start your blog, etc?
Colonial Hoops: I became a fan as a freshman in 1998 — going to games was just something you did, and I got really into it. GW doesn’t have football so this was our big sport. I started the blog in 2006, it was actually part of a mid-major blog network called YocoHoops with sites for various schools. Eventually YocoHoops went away and I started running the site myself.
A10 Talk: Let’s dive into some hoops. I get the impression that MOJO is a well-liked coach in Foggy Bottom, and even though last season may have fallen short of expectations, do you think Joseph has this program moving in the right direction?
Colonial Hoops: I really like Mojo, he’s a young, energetic guy and I think he has a lot of potential. There are some GW fans who were upset the school didn’t go after big names and still don’t like him, but then some fans never like anything. There’s been a trend towards young, successful coaches lately and I like that GW is on board. I think this year will really tell how it’s going, but I’m happy with him and the program.
A10 Talk: Losing Watanabe, Steeves, and Bolden will hurt. That said, GW has some newcomers that will hopefully make a splash next November. Who’s your favorite newcomer to look out for and why?
Colonial Hoops: Tough to say! Chris Sodom was an interesting addition from down the road and GW needed some size. I’ve heard good things about transfers Armel Potter and DJ Williams, and all the freshmen have good backgrounds. It will be fun to see how it plays out!
A10 Talk: I think I speak for a lot of A-10 fans when I say Terry Nolan Jr. was one of the more exciting players to watch in the conference last season. What are your expectations for GW’s returning leading scorer as he heads into his sophomore campaign?
Colonial Hoops: I thought Terry showed flashes of brilliance, but also flashes of being a freshman. It happens. I’m looking forward to how he does without the stars from last year, and I think we’ll have a lot of guard-heavy lineups.
A10 Talk: Arnaldo Toro seems to be a guy that is still reaching his full potential. Do you think 2018-19 is the year he has a breakout season and really becomes an impact player for this George Washington squad?
Colonial Hoops: Let’s hope so! We don’t have a ton of size but I expect he’ll play a lot of minutes.
A10 Talk: This is obviously a young team, and though there may not be a Top 25 A-10 team next season, there are a lot of solid groups expected to compete for the 1-5 spots. How do the Colonials stay competitive in the league and try to make a push to finish in the top half next season?
Colonial Hoops: That’s a tough one — I think keep teaching good defense and smart shooting. Last year we didn’t see much of the “pass the ball around the perimeter” that GW used to default to so often offense last year, which is a positive step, and I think making sure the new guys limit turnovers is a big one. Better three point shooting will help too.
A10 Talk: What are your expectations for next season? As a fan and blogger, what would be an outcome that would realistically satisfy you and other members of the fanbase?
Colonial Hoops: I may be a perennial optimist, but this year I’d like a winning record and making some noise in the A-10 tourney. Ideally more of course. As for the fans, it’s hard to say, some are still fighting over Mike Lonergan’s firing.
A10 Talk: The Colonials haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2014. Is it plausible to think they can get back in the next 5 years? When do you think we’ll see the Buff and Blue back in the Big Dance? \
Colonial Hoops: Yes, absolutely. In fact I would be shocked if they don’t. Last year was the first time since 2012-13 that GW didn’t win 20 games. GW won the NIT in 2016 too. This coming season may be too early with all the young guys but I hope in a year or two.