GW struggling to find identity on offense

The men’s basketball team has faced a formidable opponent in every game this season: the basket. The Colonials (2-5) exited the Verizon Center Sunday night after their fourth straight loss, a record at least partially, if not largely, due to their inability to put the ball in the net.

“That’s our issue right now,” head coach Karl Hobbs said after his team’s 64-57 loss to Navy. “We’re really struggling shooting the basketball.”

Through seven games, the Colonials have struggled to find their offensive identity this season. GW has shot over 40 percent from the floor just once this season, in a 79-59 win over Marist Nov. 17. Against Hampton Nov. 23, GW lost by 10 and shot just 28.8 percent from the floor. It was the lowest shooting percentage for GW since its game Feb. 13, 2008, against Saint Louis, when the team shot 26.9 percent.

“I’m a little mystified myself,” Hobbs admitted Sunday, reflecting on his team’s struggles. “If you come in and watch us practice, we shoot the ball, we chart our shooting.”

GW was able to score with some consistency in the first half against the Midshipmen Sunday, shooting 40 percent in the first half. The bottom fell out for the Colonials in the second half, when they shot just over 24 percent in the second half, making it GW’s worst offensive half of basketball this season.

Some of the team’s troubles can likely be attributed to the loss of preseason All-Atlantic 10 Third Team guard Lasan Kromah. Kromah was the Colonials’ leading returning scorer from last season, averaging 11.8 points and shooting 45.9 percent from the field during his freshman season. Kromah sprained his left foot Oct. 30, and his injury will likely keep him sidelined for the rest of the season.

“I think some of the other guys just haven’t made that adjustment of playing without Lasan,” Hobbs said. “Because now, all of a sudden they go into the season and all of a sudden everyone’s role has shifted a little bit and everyone’s being asked to do something that we didn’t plan on.”

Among the players adjusting to the pressure is junior guard Tony Taylor. After starting the season strong with 18 points against Boston University and 23 points in the GW win over Marist, Taylor’s production has trailed off with just five points against UNC-Wilmington Nov. 29 and eight against Navy.

Statistics aside, GW’s offensive problems are simple as far as Hobbs is concerned. Fixing them, he said, might not be quite as easy.

“We just didn’t make enough shots,” he said. “The area that we have to improve in is that we have to find somebody that can score, that can get that ball in the basket.” u

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