The Colonials literally have big shoes to fill this year if they want to return to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season. Head coach Mike Jarvis has had his GW team in the post-season in four of the past five years, a sure sign the program is on the rise. This year, however, he’ll have to do it without one of his biggest weapons.
The decision by Yinka Dare to turn pro after his sophomore campaign left many at GW wondering how Jarvis would respond. True to form, Jarvis went out and found a replacement for the 7-1 center.
The man expected to step in for Dare is a massive young center from Belarus named Alexander Koul. Koul, who spurned recruitment offers from such powerhouses as Kansas and UCLA to come to GW, impressed the GW coaching staff during an exhibition game at the Smith Center last fall.
Joining Koul in the front court will be Nimbo Hammons. The small forward was often the glue for GW on the court as a co-captain a year ago. Hammons is the returning statistical leader for the Colonials in both scoring (14.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.5 rpg).
GW also will need a sizable contribution from Kwame Evans (13.2 ppg). Evans has been perhaps the best Colonial when the cameras are rolling, as evidenced by his strong showings in the NCAA Tournament.
Ferdinand Williams learned last season how tough division I basketball can be, even for someone 6-10. The power forward must now translate his size and experience into meaningful minutes on the court. However if Williams falters, do not expect Jarvis to sit tight. He has a wealth of big men to turn to, including 1993-94 redshirt Rene Harry and freshman Darin Green.
Another hole Jarvis must fill is the point guard slot. Alvin Pearsall’s graduation has opened up a mad dash between players wishing to fill the void. Vaughn Jones and Omo Moses appear to have locks on the job. The two combine to offer GW versatility.