4:24 p.m. Overall a positive start for GW, albeit against a vastly inferior opponent. Coach Hobbs mentioned communication as something GW must improve before the season-opener against Boston. He also singled out Wynton Witherspoon and Xavier Alexander as bright spots today.
Hobbs’ postgame audio will be up in a bit.
3:55 p.m. The walk-on crew nearly fails to score in three minutes, but Allbritton is found all alone under the basket for the Colonials’ 101st point. On their last possession, No. 15 for the Colonials sprints down the court and attempts a dunk that gets rejected by the rim. Except this time it’s Aaron Ware, not Cheyenne Moore.
Final score: GW 101, West Georgia 71.
3:49 p.m. On the floor for GW: Allbritton, Ware, and walk-ons Peter Laplante, Mike Conward, and Jeff Alston. Three minutes remaining.
3:45 p.m. Alexander completes a nifty three-point play. GW up 95-59.
3:40 p.m. Ware back on the floor, and he made an extremely quick drive to the basket with a one-handed layup. If he can do that a few times a game against better competition, he’ll be plenty useful. Taylor is still has hyped up as ever, but he’s taken a number of poor shot attempts in this half.
3:34 p.m. GW is quietly extending its lead into the high 30s on the strength of post play from Rob Diggs and Witherspoon. Aaron Ware just left the floor, but before he did he appeared to be playing a much more intense defense.
3:24 p.m. I’m starting to get tired of the number three. Wilmore hits two (one with a hand in his face) treys, and GW is up 75-40.
3:21 p.m. West Georgia just hit a two more threes and it appears the Colonials are having trouble contesting these attempts. It’s worth noting, though, that GW is having serious success in the same manner on the other end of the court. The Colonials are 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. Hollis has three of those baskets.
3:14 p.m. The break seems to have killed a little bit of the Colonials’ intensity. Some sloppy defense has left a couple open West Georgia players for threes. Taylor just had a nice drive and kick out to an open Hollis, who now has 13 points.
2:53 p.m. Halftime. GW 56. West Georgia 28. Raise your hand if you had that in your office pool.
Some freshmen observations from press row:
- Tony Taylor: No doubt he’s energetic. No doubt he seems like he could be really good. And a fan favorite. His stat line, though, is not impressive. 0-of-4 from the floor, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 4 turnovers in 15 minutes of play.
- Matt Allbritton: Hit his only shot attempt, but seems nervous on defense. He was completely out of place on the Wolves’ last possession and left his man wide open to take a three.
- Aaron Ware: 0-of-2 from the floor, and grabbed two rebounds and a steal. He seems noticeably smaller than the rest of the Colonials, and pretty cautious. Hard to expect much different in the first half of his first game at GW, though.
2:49 p.m. Matt Allbritton in. Hits his first opportunity from three, much to the joy of a number of fans in the student section.
2:45: p.m. We’ve seen all healthy scholarship players except freshman Matt Allbritton. We’re still seeing a lot of perimeter passing like last season, with one change. When GW puts the ball in the air, it goes in the hoop. Colonials 47, West Georgia 22.
2:37 p.m. Tony Taylor has had his freshmen moments so far today, but he’s also the most energetic guy out there. One on one against a West Georgia player, he crossed-over, head faked, crossed over again, made contact with the defender and the nailed a leaning floater off the glass. One problem: he was called for the charge in the process. Still, coach Hobbs has got to be happy with the energy he brings.
2:32 p.m. GW 36, West Georgia 15. The Colonials are shooting better than sixty percent from the floor.
2:26 p.m. Alexander just brought the crowd to its feet with a monster block of a West Georgia player who was running down the floor all alone. One half of the lower bleachers are full.
2:20 p.m. Damian Hollis has 7 points on a three-point swish and a pretty drive to the basket and one-handed layup. Spunky freshman point guard made a full court pass to Xavier Alexander, who made the basket and drew the foul. Alexander hits his third free throw of the game. 20-8 GW.
2:14 p.m. The first official’s timeout seems like a good point to note that there seems to have been a wardrobe update at the Smith Center. All five members of the coaching staff — as well as former player Dominic Green, who’s on the bench too — are dressed in matching buff longsleeve polo shirts. Maybe a metaphor for the often-discussed improved team chemistry?
2:11 p.m. GW up 10 to 3 with three minutes gone. Joseph Katuka entered the game a minute ago, already has six points, a rebound, and a block. The now 100ish students in the bleachers rewarded him with chants of “Joe! Joe! Joe!”
2:03 p.m. GW starters: Hermann Opoku, Damian Hollis, Wynton Witherspoon, Tony Taylor, and Xavier Alexander
Just a few minutes remain until tip off of the men’s basketball team’s preseason test against West Georgia. Sixty or so fans are sitting sparsely in the student section and the blue and yellow seats are dotted with paying customers as well.
Redshirt sophomore Jabari Edwards and junior Johnny Lee are not dressed for this afternoon’s contest as both are sidelined with injuries.
Head coach Karl Hobbs said at media day Thursday that he might experiment with lineups in today’s contest, so today might be a chance to see the Colonials’ three freshmen in extended action.