The Washington Times - December 7, 2008, 10:26PM

It is a coach’s right to change his lineup.

Few, though, assert that right in quite the way George Washington coach Karl Hobbs did tonight at the BB&T Classic.


Into the starting five went Travis King and Hermann Opoku. Out went Rob Diggs and Wynton Witherspoon. It was a smaller group than had started the Colonials’ first three games, and maybe that was the rationale heading into a game against Maryland —- one the Colonials lost 76-53.

“We just felt we wanted to play guys who were working a little bit harder in practice,” Hobbs said.

That isn’t too specific, so it warranted a follow-up. Hobbs, clearly didn’t agree.

“I just felt like I wanted a change in the starting lineup,” Hobbs said. “I get those occasions where as the head coach I occasionally get the opportunity to change the starting lineup.”

But, as a reporter asked, was it a punishment?

“Once again, I’m the head coach and so I get those moments at times when I like to change my starting lineup. Next game, you’ll probably see another change in the starting lineup,” Hobbs said.

(After a 23-point bludgeoning, that might be wise.)

Hobbs was then again asked if someone —- Diggs and Witherspoon, presumably —- were being punished.

“Once again, I’m the head basketball coach at George Washington University and if you know my past you know I change my starting lineups a great deal,” Hobbs said. “Last year, I had probably the most changes in starting lineups in the country. This year, we could head in that same direction.”

(Well, he isn’t kidding here. Hobbs trotted out 14 starting lineups in last year’s 9-17 albatross, with none of them used more than five times. But now, back to the round-and-round action).

Oh, wait, the round-and-round action ended, at least temporarily. Later, Hobbs went back-and-forth about the Colonials’ upcoming practice schedule during exam week, which was just as comical in its unnecessary circuitousness.

In any case, I have no clue if there was any punishment. If there was some sort of a transgression, an appropriate disciplinary measure would have been leaving someone out there tonight for as long as possible.

Anyway, here’s what was established tonight:

* Hobbs is GW’s coach
* He can make changes to his lineup
* He’d probably be well-served making changes after falling behind by double-figures in the first 10 minutes and never getting any closer against Maryland

—- Patrick Stevens