Plenty of questions surround the men’s basketball team as it enters this season with a roster boasting six freshmen and two players working their way back from injury. At Thursday evening’s Colonials Home Court Advantage Tour, fans had their first chance to see the team in action, watching the players practice and having the opportunity to meet and speak with them at a private reception.
The event, which was free for members of the program’s two donor clubs and $40 for others, began with a half-hour session of drills before head coach Karl Hobbs took the microphone to speak to those in attendance.
Hobbs discussed the team’s “terrific chemistry,” calling it “the type of chemistry we haven’t had in a couple years.” The Colonials finished 13th in the 14-team Atlantic 10 the past two years.
“They have great personalities and you will see those personalities shine when they play,” he said.
Hobbs took time to showcase such personalities, having each of the five freshmen present take the microphone to briefly introduce themselves. Dwayne Smith, a Toronto native, drew laughs when he told the crowd that he likes to play basketball and Lasan Kromah called himself “the shooter.”
The sixth newcomer, injured center Daymon Warren, came late to the event from class.
One attendee asked about the health of redshirt junior Travis King, who missed the 2007-08 season with a knee injury and worked his way back last year, and redshirt sophomore Jabari Edwards, who has been plagued by injuries during his two years in Foggy Bottom.
“I’m 100 percent, ready to go,” King told the crowd. Edwards said he is “healthy this year,” and looked the part during drills.
Hobbs seemed to relish his role as emcee while interviewing the players, joking about how Edwards’ mother helps him discipline her son and prompting senior standout Damian Hollis to share the meaning of a new tattoo on his leg.n b
The ninth-year head coach also pointed out his daughter, Rashauna, a senior on George Mason’s women’s basketball team, in the stands. George Mason’s men’s team will travel to Smith Center to play GW Dec. 2 with the Colonials’ women’s team visiting the Patriots Dec. 22.
“Her and I, we’ve got one rule. When we play here, she’s gotta sit on the GW side,” Hobbs said. “When GW goes over there… ” The crowd began to laugh as Hobbs trailed off.
“We’re still negotiating,” he added.
Following practice, guests were treated to samples of potential AD’s Club food selections from Sodexo – complete with feedback forms – and given the opportunity to walk through Smith Center and see the renovations firsthand.
Afterward, a post-tour reception was held in the new AD’s Club, where Hobbs again addressed the crowd. Speaking rather candidly, he shared a humorous anecdote about his appearance on ESPN’s “Cold Pizza” in 2005 and said he has a renewed energy entering this season.
The Colonials will host West Georgia in an exhibition game Saturday at 1 p.m.