Notes on Katuka and Taylor from Saturday’s men’s basketball game

There are two questions that those attending the GW men’s basketball game this weekend might have had after watching: Why didn’t junior center Joseph Katuka play at all, and how is sophomore guard Tony Taylor’s ankle?

The answer to the first question would seem to be a decision by head coach Karl Hobbs based on the problems caused by Duquesne forward Damian Saunders, who ended up with 27 points and 16 rebounds. Katuka had started 20 of GW’s 21 games this season entering Saturday.

“We just thought from a matchup standpoint, we didn’t think he was gonna be able to guard Saunders on the perimeter,” Hobbs said. “Saunders is really a four, he’s not really a center. Unfortunately [Duquesne] didn’t play their big guy much. We were gonna bring Joe in when they put their big guy in and we felt that if we ever got a 10-point lead and could play some zone, then we would’ve played Joe because then it would’ve been more of an advantage for us.”

The extent of Taylor’s injury is not completely known, but Hobbs did not seem terribly concerned after the game. While dribbling on the perimeter, Taylor fell to the ground with about seven minutes left in the game and GW trailing by five, prompting Hobbs to call a timeout. He was helped to his feet by the team’s training staff and treated on the bench and did not return to the floor over the final seven minutes.

“It looked like he twisted it. I haven’t gotten a medical report as of yet,” Hobbs said in Saturday’s press conference. “Obviously I was very concerned when he hit the floor, so concerned that I overreacted and called timeout when the [possession] arrow was really our ball. But my concern was obviously him going down, ankle, and immediate panic.”

We’ll post an update on Taylor as soon as we get one.

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