Spring break didn’t last long for the GW men’s basketball team. A week after an Atlantic 10 tournament loss at Dayton seemed to end their season, the Colonials took the floor once more, this time hosting Virginia Commonwealth University March 16 in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament.
But that second life didn’t last long either; despite a pair of second-half rallies that cut double-digit deficits down to two points and a career-best 30 points from senior Damian Hollis, GW fell 79-73 to the visiting Rams to end the season.
The final score being as close as it was was due in large part to Hollis’ inspired farewell performance, with the senior scoring 14 of his points in the final 5:05 of play and adding a team-high eight rebounds in his last game as a Colonial.
“I think he has a very bright future,” head coach Karl Hobbs said of Hollis. “I think if he chooses to continue playing basketball, he’ll have an opportunity to do that. He’s too good of a player to not continue to play.”
With an eye now turned toward what lies ahead, Hollis said he is not done contributing to GW’s program.
“The remainder of the time that I’m here, I’m gonna be trying to give everything I’ve got to the guys that are returning. If they need help in any way, I’ll talk to them or anything like that,” Hollis said. “I’m just excited to see what the rest of the world’s like, to see what the life is after college basketball. But I had a great deal of fun playing college basketball. I met a lot of guys that’ll be friends forever.”
Some of those teammates who will be coming back next year made a strong impact in the loss to VCU as well, such as freshman Lasan Kromah (18 points, five rebounds, three steals) and sophomore Tony Taylor (eight points and a game-high eight assists). Hobbs said all of the Colonials coming back next fall should benefit from the postseason experience.
“We think this is gonna be a momentum booster for us because now they’ve tasted it a little bit,” Hobbs said. “It’ll motivate them to work out. It’ll motivate them to dream the dream. And the ultimate dream for our program is winning the Atlantic 10 tournament and playing in the NCAA tournament. That’s our goal and that’s what we’ll be shooting for next year.”