BOSTON – Senior Damian Hollis began last season slowly, a fact that head coach Karl Hobbs said last week put the team “behind the eight ball” and in an early hole from which it was difficult to escape once Hollis got on track later in the season.
Hobbs emphasized the importance of a fast start for his veteran forward prior to this season, but two games later Hollis is off to what Hobbs described Tuesday as “another slow start.” After foul trouble limited him to eight points in 10 minutes in GW’s win at UNC-Wilmington Sunday, Hollis appeared to struggle with finding a rhythm in Tuesday’s 69-59 win at BU.
Though he made seven of eight free throws to help the Colonials preserve their lead, Hollis connected on just two of nine shots from the field while leading the team in turnovers with five.
“The funny thing is, when you look at the stat sheet, he’s got 11 points and I’m ready to have a meeting with the guy tomorrow,” Hobbs said after Tuesday’s win. “He’s really gotta play with a little better poise. We’re depending on those young guys a little too much and they’re just not ready for that type of load.”
Such demands may be difficult for the team’s freshman class to fulfill in the long run, but through two games they’ve displayed an early adeptness that has helped compensate for Hollis’ relative struggles. While the senior spent long spells on the bench Sunday, freshman forward David Pellom scored 11 points in his place, with classmates Tim Johnson and Lasan Kromah helping pick up the scoring slack with 11 and eight points, respectively.
Tuesday, Kromah led GW with 17 points to again ease the burden on Hollis during his off night. Twelve Colonials played in all, representing all of the team’s healthy scholarship players, with 10 of them scoring and 11 registering double-digit minutes.
“Karl Hobbs did a phenomenal job,” first-year BU head coach Patrick Chambers said. “They played 12 guys. I don’t even know how I would manage that.”
“They’re gonna be a great team,” he added. “They’re gonna be a great team in the A-10.”