Posted Wednesday, March 15, 8:47 p.m.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The GW men’s basketball team is getting used to its surroundings in the 23,500-seat Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina. It’s a different beast for GW as the practices are open and the media is as abundant as So Low sweatpants in the Health and Wellness Center.
The scene at the NCAA Tournament is different because the Colonials have to keep their locker rooms open. Thursday morning’s 9:40 a.m. 20-minute shoot-around is open to the media, whereas game-day shoot-arounds are typically closed to everybody.
Senior Pops Mensah-Bonsu practiced this morning and participated in the open warm-up with his knee heavily wrapped in an Ace bandage. The 6-foot-9 forward jogged up and down the court and even got in a few dunks from right under the hoop.
Mensah-Bonsu and GW head coach Karl Hobbs were elusive about the senior’s playing capabilities.
“Right now it’s day to day and my knee feels pretty good as of right now,” Mensah-Bonsu said in Wednesday’s news conference. “I went through some drills this morning in practice, and it’s holding up pretty good. We’ll see how I’m feeling tomorrow.”
Earlier this week, Hobbs said that 10-15 minutes from Mensah-Bonsu would be sufficient against UNC-Wilmington. Hobbs said Wednesday that Mensah-Bonsu’s play will be dictated by how the game is going.
Seeding is in the past
For Hobbs and his squad, Selection Sunday is in the past and it’s now time to move on to the games in the NCAA Tournament.
“It was never a story for me from the very beginning,” Hobbs said. “It became even less of an issue when I heard (Division I Basketball Committee Chairman Craig) Littlepage talk about what went on in the room. It gave me a great appreciation for how difficult their job is.
“I think he spoke and explained it all in a very good way. It wasn’t an issue for me personally. We’re a program that is trying to improve every year. Last year we were a 12 seed and this year we’re an eight seed. That’s improvement.”
Game Time: UNC-Wilmington
Outside of all of that is happening on the periphery of the game, the eighth-seeded Colonials are set to face UNC-Wilmington tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. Hobbs said he has serious concerns with the problems the team presents.
“They’re a very good basketball team,” Hobbs said Wednesday. “When you look at statistically what they’ve done consistently, which is not allow people to score more than 70 points against them . it tells you a little bit about how good they are.”
How good they are has gotten away from most of the country, as they have only played one out-of-conference game on national TV, a 54-51 loss to then-ranked 24th Wisconsin.
The Seahawks are led by a bolstered backcourt in John Goldsberry (11.2 points per game) and T.J. Carter (13.3 ppg).
“They have a couple of guys in the backcourt that can single handedly beat you,” Hobbs said of fourth-year coach Brad Brownell’s squad. “They have some very good, physical players on the inside.”