GW’s men’s basketball team will begin its season Friday in Boston, the same place head coach Karl Hobbs began his coaching career almost 20 years ago.
The Colonials play Boston University at Agganis Arena in a return game for BU visiting the Smith Center last year, an affair that GW won 75-62.
The game marks the regular season debut of freshmen Travis King and Damian Hollis, as well as the return of senior Dokun Akingbade, who red-shirted last year.
Like GW, BU is in a rebuilding year, but unlike the Colonials, the Terriers are rebuilding after a 12-16 season. The team returns just two upperclassmen from last year’s roster and will rely heavily on their freshman class and five unproven sophomores.
One of those freshmen is guard Corey Lowe, a Boston-area native whom Hobbs said GW tried to recruit. Lowe ended up at BU after being denied admission to Providence, where he had originally signed. Hobbs compared the 6-foot-2 point guard to senior GW guard Carl Elliott, particularly in size. Lowe, like Elliott, will be forced to shoulder much of his team’s offensive load.
BU’s three-guard offense mirrors GW’s, but it plays at a considerably slower pace than the Colonials. While GW runs at every opportunity, BU works best in a half-court offense and defense, minimizing the opponent’s athleticism.
“It’s going to be a matter of who can press their will on the other team,” Hobbs said.
The match-up is favorable for GW, whose own guard-heavy offense is more experienced and explosive than the Terriers’. “It’s really important to get off on the right foot, especially with a young team because it sets the tone,” Hobbs said. “We have to start building confidence and you do that through winning.”
The game marks the first time GW has visited BU since 2002, Hobbs’ first year in Foggy Bottom. Hobbs spent six seasons (1987-1993) as an assistant coach at BU, where he worked mostly with the guards.
“My experience at BU was a great one,” said Hobbs, whose wife got a degree at BU. “I learned a lot about coaching and about basketball while I was there.”
GW has not lost to BU in 28 years and leads the all-time season series 13-1.