A winter break game of shoots and ladders

There are two undefeated teams left in men’s college basketball. One is Stanford, the number one team in the country. The other is the 11th-best team in the land, and they come from your very own nation’s capital. That’s right, the Georgetown Hoyas are back and better than ever. If I had said at the start of the season that one D.C team would be undefeated after winter break, would you have considered it to be GW? Of course you would have. Well, you would have at least thought about it once.

And why shouldn’t you have: In December, GW had a crack at old coach Mike Jarvis and St. John’s, they seemed to own Maryland at the MCI Center and they had Richmond and Providence coming into the once-feared Smith Center. GW would have Attila Cosby in uniform for the big game against Tennessee and from there they could win the Rainbow Classic, seek revenge against Charlotte after blowing last year’s game against them and then go on to beat UMass and certainly St. Joseph’s and La Salle at home. Given games of that magnitude, with players like SirValiant Brown, Chris Monroe, Mike King and now Attila Cosby, why couldn’t GW have been that D.C. team?

Well, the reality is that GW is 7-9 with a must-win home game against Xavier Tuesday night. The next reality is that the Colonials are close to disarray. They are currently 1-2 in Atlantic 10 play, and after the Musketeers, GW will play six of their next eight conference games on the road. Such sites include Temple, Xavier and Dayton. Another reality is that GW’s only entrance into the NCAA’s is a three- or four-game winning streak at the A-10 Tournament in Philadelphia. And that’s unlikely.

So what’s going on here? There was the post-game scuffle with Tennessee in Hawaii. Reports said chairs and ladders were picked up by Tennessee players and both teams needed assistant coaches to keep them from getting involved in something really dangerous. This isn’t how you want to gain national attention.

And then there’s the fact that GW has yet to prove it can play 40 minutes of basketball. Their second half display at Massachusetts was terrible. They can’t seem to hit the big shot, and Val Brown can’t seem to hit most of his shots.

They talked about being a family, working together first and foremost to rid themselves of the internal conflict and egos that existed last season. Might some of that still be affecting this team?

There are so many questions still left unanswered, so many shots that are falling short and too many on-and-off the court scuffles that will soon enough turn into all out brawls if people aren’t careful.

As requested, I was going to write a column about how it can be proven that GW is the best team in the nation. But, Stanford is undefeated so there goes that. And because No. 2 Duke has lost to just Stanford, the best I can do is prove how GW can be the third best team. So, let’s now enjoy the moment. You see, No. 3 Michigan State lost to Indiana the other week. Indiana then lost to Michigan. Michigan lost to St. John’s earlier this season and of course, your very own Colonials put it to the Red Storm. So, maybe that does leave some hope.

But, back to reality, the Colonials have left themselves no margin for error. And that goes for both on and off the court.

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