Grading A10 Non-Conference Performances: George Washington
The Colonials certainly had a good showing in the non-conference slate of their schedule, getting out to an 11-2 record. Facing some real difficult teams, George Washington managed very well and even found a way to beat a top ten team at the beginning of the season. The Colonials finished their non-conference season with a win against UCF on Tuesday night. Now they’ll face Fordham at home on Sunday to open up conference play in the Atlantic 10.
George Washington got the best win out of any team in the Atlantic Ten this season when it took down then #6 Virginia at home. The Cavaliers have yet to lose since that contest and are proving to be one of the best teams in college basketball. The Colonials played a hard fought game in D.C. in which they pulled out a 73-68 win early in November. Foul shooting was key for George Washington, as it was able to make an extra 10 shots from the charity stripe.
In addition, George Washington got good home wins against Tennessee and Seton Hall. The Volunteers are struggling this season, but the Pirates very well could be an NCAA Tournament team. In addition, the Colonials took down two Big Ten opponents in a row: Penn State and Rutgers. Despite the two being at the bottom of the conference, those wins look good for the program and the Atlantic 10 conference. Finally, George Washington was able to get a good win when it handled a pesky UCF team on the road on Tuesday by a 17 point margin.
George Washington really only had one bad loss, and that was when it fell 61-82 on the road against DePaul. The Colonials had made their way into the top 25 before falling to the Blue Demons, and a loss against DePaul isn’t detrimental but definitely shouldn’t have happened. The bottom line was that DePaul was hot and George Washington was not. The Blue Demons knocked down 55% of their field goals in comparison to the Colonoials’ 33%. In addition, George Washington shot just 14% from three.
The only other loss that George Washington suffered was in the Barclays Center Classic against Cincinnati. The Bearcats used a +7 rebounding margin and a +7 free throw margin to slightly edge the Colonials. Had George Washington pulled this one out, it would have two huge wins in the non-conference portion of its schedule.
George Washington: A
The Colonials had an excellent showing before conference play and did just about all they could given their strength of schedule. Obviously a loss against DePaul hurts, but a win over Virginia will benefit this team when NCAA Tournament selection starts. George Washington will have a really good shot at winning the Atlantic 10 this season, and even better, making it to the Sweet 16 and beyond.