At a University known more for its political hijinks than for feats of athletic skill in recent years, the continual success of the women’s basketball program is a bright spot in an athletic department that rarely grabs headlines these days. Unfortunately, students do not appear to support the team; attendance at women’s games remains abysmally low. Students should get behind this consistently impressive program and support the Colonials as they enter the NCAA Tournament.
Coach Joe McKeown is undefeated in the first round of the tournament in his last eight appearances. This fact speaks to the quality of the program he has built, a program that is, above all, flexible. With six new players – five freshmen and a transfer – McKeown has had to reconstruct his team and has completely shifted the focus of the team’s offense. The Colonials have moved from an offense centered around outside shooting to a new dynamic that emphasizes inside shots taken mainly by new players.
The team is exemplary off the court, too. Where the men’s team has been plagued by scandals including gunshots on F Street, illicit sex encounters in Guthridge Hall and post-game fights among others, the women uphold a tradition of success without disgrace. The women’s squad does not allow ego to eclipse teamwork, as its winning record illustrates.
For the past ten years, the Colonials have been ranked in the top 25. Although this year’s team fell just short of that mark, the women are going to the NCAAs, continuing their company with a list of elite teams. The women overcame injuries – sophomore Cathy Joens, the team’s best outside shooter, went out during beginning practices in August and senior Petra Dubovcova suffered several injuries taking her from games – and chronically poor fan support to surpass the often-highlighted men’s team by making it to the NCAA Tournament.
The women have proven year after year that GW has a basketball team that deserves recognition, a team students can get behind. With such a successful program to support, students should no longer ignore the Colonial women.