Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz knows home is not only where the heart is, but also the fans. So when he went to schedule this season’s men’s basketball schedule, he tried to schedule as many games as possible close to home.
But, as is often the case with GW’s schedule, things did not exactly go as planned. The team will play just five games in the District, plus a game against Longwood University in Farmville, Va., 165 miles away.
“I was not happy with the schedule last year,” Kvancz said in June about playing just five home games out of conference. “The more games at home in front of the students, the better. But since we can’t play them all at home I would like to get as many local teams at we can.”
A game with George Mason will have to wait until next year at the soonest, so if fans want to see other away games, they will likely need a plane ticket. The Colonials will open their season Nov. 14 at Boston University and later travel to Alabama to play Auburn University. They will also make a not-so-short trip to Hawaii to participate in the annual Rainbow Classic in late December, playing Sacramento State in California Dec. 23 on their way to the Aloha State.
Home opponents include Binghamton University Nov. 19, UMBC Nov. 26 and American Dec. 17, as well as Harvard University at an undetermined date. GW will also renew its rivalry with Maryland at the BB&T Classic held at the Verizon Center Dec. 6.
Missing from the out-of-conference schedule, once again, is a return game against Providence College. After GW played at the Friars in 2006 as part of a home-and-home series, Providence decided to push the return games to the upcoming season, forcing Kvancz to scramble last summer to find a replacement game for 2007-2008. Finding teams willing to travel to the Smith Center is always difficult, but finding a team at the last minute that is willing to play at GW and has a matching open date is next to impossible.
Then last March, when Providence replaced head coach Tim Welsh, the deal with GW was suddenly off – and Kvancz had little recourse. Filing a formal complaint with either the NCAA or the government would likely result in a lengthy and fruitless dispute. All Kvancz could do was try to find a replacement.
“Most people have an integrity factor,” Kvancz said. “(Providence) didn’t have a reputation for doing that type of thing and if (Welsh) was still the coach, I think we would have played.”
The Colonials will also play all 13 Atlantic 10 teams at least once, including home-and-home match-ups against Charlotte, La Salle and Richmond.