The GW men’s basketball team will face teams from the Big East, Mountain West, Pacific 10 and Atlantic Coast Conference during the upcoming season.
The Colonials, who made the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, have a schedule highlighted by games with Providence in Rhode Island, University of Southern California in Anaheim and Virginia Tech at the BB&T Classic.
A common criticism of last year’s schedule was that it was not challenging enough. Fans and critics say Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz and men’s coach Karl Hobbs need to schedule more challenging opponents to ensure tournament success and national respect. Kvancz, who served on the NCAA Tournament selection committee in the past, said he disagrees.
“You’re playing teams from leagues that are supposed to be rated really highly,” Kvancz said.
Coach Karl Hobbs’ squad, which was ranked in the top 25 of college basketball for the entirety of last season, will travel to Rhode Island to match up with Providence Nov. 26, a game that will be played in Washington next season. The Friars have made the NCAA Tournament twice in the past five years.
The Colonials’ lone ACC opponent will be Virginia Tech on Dec. 3 at the Verizon Center. GW loses its match up with Maryland.
At home, GW will face Dartmouth College (Nov. 14), Longwood University (Nov. 17) and University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Dec. 5).
On the road, the Colonials will travel to Boston University (Nov. 10) and Kennesaw State (Ga.) on Nov. 21.
The highlight of the men’s squad’s schedule is two trips to California in one month. On Dec. 9, GW will face University of Southern California at the Wooden Classic in Anaheim.
Dec. 28, the Colonials will return to California for the Cable Car Classic, a tournament Kvancz said he has tried to secure for many years. GW will face Air Force and either Santa Clara or Colgate in Santa Clara.
Marshall visits the Smith Center Jan. 6.
Out of the conference, GW’s strongest opponent may be Air Force, who finished last season 24-7. The Falcons are also the only out-of-conference opponent that qualified for last year’s NCAA Tournament.
After receiving an eight seed with a 27-2 record in a schedule that included one NCAA Tournament team, Kvancz said he was surprised with the lack of respect paid to the Colonials come tournament time. But if he had his way, he said he’d schedule the same games again.
“If I had to do it again, I’d have the same schedule as last year,” Kvancz said. “I had an opportunity to get into the Cable Car (Classic). Providence said they’d play us (and play in D.C. next year). I’m not going to say no to that.”
When scheduling games, Kvancz said he tries to give the Colonials as many opportunities to play at home. The GW fan community, anchored by GWHoops.com, an Internet message board dedicated to GW basketball, has chastised many of Kvancz’s scheduling efforts. Leaked portions of the schedule began showing up in early August and fans began their analysis.
“If you want to compare from last year to this year, it’s a bump,” said Steve Hadley, the Webmaster and domain owner of GWHoops.com. “It’s a good first try at a real schedule. It’s a shame if it’s the last try.”
Hadley said many of the board’s posters would like to see GW play teams such as George Mason, Howard and American instead of Kennesaw State, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Longwood University.
Hadley added that when Mike Jarvis and Tom Penders were coaching under former Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky, now at University of Pennsylvania, GW was able to schedule challenging games.
In the Atlantic 10, GW faces Charlotte, Richmond and Saint Joseph’s both home and on the road. Duquesne, Fordham, St. Bonaventure, Temple and Xavier all visit the Smith Center in conference play. The Colonials will travel to Dayton, La Salle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Saint Louis. The full A-10 schedule is not typically released until September.