Preview: Men’s basketball at Davidson

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Sophomore forward Javier Langarica makes a drive to the basket during Sunday's game against Duquesne.

Who: Men’s basketball
Where: John M. Belk Arena, Davidson, N.C.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.

Men’s basketball kicks off a two-game road trip traveling to North Carolina to take on Davidson.

The Colonials (6-12, 2-3 A-10) are coming off a tough overtime home loss against Duquesne, where GW rallied back from an 18-point deficit and took a lead in the second half before Duquesne muscled its way back into the game and took the 91–85 victory in extra minutes.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats (13-5, 4-1 A-10) stormed to a 75–62 victory over Richmond in the game leading up to Wednesday’s matchup and have yet to lose at home this season.

The two programs met twice last season, with Davidson serving GW two of its worst losses on the season. The Colonials were held to a then-season-low 45 points against the Wildcats in the first meeting of the season, and were blown out the second time around at home.

Case for the Colonials:

Despite the loss against Duquesne, the Colonials kept pace with the high-scoring Dukes. GW’s 85-point performance was the team’s highest scoring game this season and five Colonials stepped up to produce double-digit points against a high-scoring offense. Davidson’s defense holds opponents to an average of 66.6 points per game, so the Colonials will need to continue pushing the pace on offense to stay competitive with the Wildcats.

Sophomore guard Javier Langarica picked up another career game against Duquesne, recording 19 points and 10 rebounds, while redshirt junior guard Armel Potter picked up 14 points and dished out five assists off the bench for GW. The reintroduction of Potter into the lineup provides the Colonials with a deeper backcourt and that versatility should help the Colonials put up consistent points Wednesday.

The Wildcats average 72.4 points per game and are effective at getting their feet in the paint, picking up an average 25.6 points inside the key in conference play. If the Colonials make it difficult for Davidson to drive the rim, they could hold a Wildcat squad that brings a dynamic offense.

The Colonials are improving under the offensive glass, averaging 10.4 offensive rebounds per contest against Atlantic 10 competition compared to their 9.0 offensive rebounds per game average on the season. If GW continues to follow its shots, the Colonials could gain extra possessions that will be key for GW.

Case for the Wildcats:

Davidson brings an offense that can score effectively from all areas of the floor. The Wildcats shoot 44.4 percent from the field and 33.4 percent from beyond the arc, marks that are both good for fifth in the A-10. The Wildcats have four players with double-digit shooting on the season, making their offense a tough unit to guard against.

Sophomore guard Kellan Grady – Davidson’s current leading scorer – led the Wildcats in both games against the Colonials last season and looks to be a challenge against for GW. Grady missed the team’s final four nonconference contests due to a knee injury but is averaging 15.8 points in A-10 play and 18.1 points in the season overall.

The Colonials allow opponents to make an average of 8.1 three-point shots per game, which may propel Davidson redshirt freshman guard Luke Frampton onto the scoreboard throughout the evening. Frampton got hot from the three-point line in the Wildcats’ win over Richmond and drained eight shots from beyond the arc. Frampton – who leads the conference in total made three-point shots with 55 to his name – had a career-best shooting night against Richmond that may be hard to replicate, but the guard has been consistent from the perimeter all season.

Beyond their standout offense, the Wildcats take care of the ball well and average 11.5 giveaways per contest, the third-lowest turnover rate in the conference. Davidson should be able to take advantage of longer possessions that result in points for the Wildcats.

Bottom line:

The Colonials will have their work cut out for them Wednesday against Davidson. With the Wildcats effective from all areas of the floor, Davidson will provide a difficult defensive challenge for GW.

Davidson holds a 9-0 record at home this season and GW has not taken a win against Davidson since 2016, so its unlikely the Colonials will come away with a win. GW showed flashes of high-level play against the Dukes but will need to step up for all 40 minutes of the game against the Wildcats to stay in the game.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.