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College basketball preview: George Washington Colonials
Coach: Mike Lonergan. Second season, 10-21; 387-177 overall
Last season: 10-21, lost in Atlantic 10 first round
Key player: F Isaiah Armwood. A Montrose Christian graduate, Armwood played two seasons at Villanova before transferring and sitting out last season. His production figures to increase from the move, and he provides the Colonials with both size and an energetic rebounder.
Biggest loss: G Tony Taylor. Freshman Joe McDonald takes over at the point for Taylor, who led the Colonials in points (13.1) and assists (4.3) a season ago.
Top newcomer: G/F Patricio Garino. The 6-foot-6 Argentine started throughout GW's tour of Italy in August and played in last year's under-19 world championships. Garino's sharp understanding of the game should make him a centerpiece of Lonergan's rebuilding efforts.
Best case: Not only do Lonergan's additions -- Armwood, Garino, McDonald and 6-foot-10 freshman Kevin Larsen among them -- immediately excel, veterans like Lasan Kromah and Dwayne Smith also enjoy solid years. If things break right, a .500 season is possible.
Worst case: The freshmen play like freshmen and the Colonials' returnees are just as erratic as they were a year ago. Stuck in the ultra-deep Atlantic 10, GW struggles to match last season's victory total and misses the conference tournament for the first time since 2009.
Dec. 8 vs. Kansas State. One of the Colonials' greatest tasks in revitalizing their program is providing attractive home games to fans. Facing the Wildcats in Foggy Bottom as part of a three-year series provides a high-profile game.
Jan. 16 vs. Temple. This could be the last meeting for some time between the long-time conference rivals. The Owls head to the Big East after this season.
Feb. 9 vs. Butler. The Colonials get the Bulldogs, one of two Atlantic 10 newcomers, at the Smith Center this season. GW visits the other addition, Virginia Commonwealth, a week later.
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About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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