The entire men’s basketball season came down to the final 2.2 seconds of Saturday’s game against Temple. With the score tied, Attila Cosby had one free throw left to win the game for GW. One chance left to take the sting out of a disappointing season, one shot to make all those missed shots, close losses and bad breaks disappear for a few sweet moments. But he missed.
The 3,703 fans at the Smith Center collectively let out the breath they were holding and let reality – a long, disappointing reality for GW fans – set in. Afterwards they had a few things to say about it.
“In one word, fundamentals,” junior Jeff Lerner said. “We can not hit free throws; we are not a good defensive team; we are not good at doing the little things that you need to do to win basketball games.”
Junior Bryan Pasquarelli agreed.
“It was a disappointing season for the team,” he said. “They showed some camaraderie today, which was nice, but overall it had to be a disappointment for the squad. They haven’t had it all year, and the fault lies with the players and the coaching staff – there is no team unity.”
Some fans said GW (12-17) has the fan support it needs, but cannot produce.
“Everyone was pumped to support the team and everyone was excited and involved, especially for Cosby’s shots,” sophomore Kelly Holtmeier said. “Then we headed into overtime and all of a sudden we were down. The morale just plummeted. Soon I was looking at my watch with disappointment wishing I had just left.”
Other fans held a more positive outlook, hoping the young team will mature in time for a tournament berth before they graduate.
“I’m happy with the way we ended the season,” junior Ryan Yasgar said. “They did well for a young team.”
While other students said they thought GW did not fulfill its potential.
“It’s a shame we didn’t win more games, we were close almost every time,” sophomore Andy Wilson said.
Optimists were few and far between at the Smith Center following the heart-breaking loss Saturday afternoon.
Most seemed to agree with junior David Kirsh:
“I’m just glad I’m not a senior, because that’s not the way I want to end my years here.”
So whose fault is it when a Colonials season goes bad?
The consensus from fans interviewed Saturday was not that Penders is a bad coach, but that he lacks the ability to get his players to gel into a single unit.
“I think Penders has had his better days, but I don’t think he should be fired,” Lerner said. “I think there is very little team chemistry. Val (Brown) wants the ball all day everyday. Everyone is there own player, it’s not a team.”