- The Washington Times - Friday, November 16, 2001

Karl Hobbs has the unenviable task of cleaning up the tarnished image of the George Washington basketball program. The Colonials' new coach, a career assistant at Connecticut, inherits a 14-18 team that found trouble on and off the court last season.

It will be up to Hobbs to restore integrity to a program that was party to three on-court brawls last season, saw its starting center arrested on sexual assault charges in an on-campus incident and endured a calling-card scandal that involved four former and current players.

GW's basketball blotter doesn't include star sophomore guard SirValiant Brown, who became academically ineligible at the end of last season, declared for the NBA Draft and wasn't selected.

"[The administration] is looking at me to come in and run a good program," Hobbs said. "I wasn't here last year. I can only control what happens this year and instill discipline on and off the court. We're going to bring in good kids and try to graduate all of our players."

On top of the dark cloud hanging over Foggy Bottom, Hobbs has very little talent with which to work. Mostly, he has Chris Monroe.

Monroe, who for the past two seasons played in Brown's shadow, is the only returning starter, the only returning player to average in double figures and the only returning player who averaged more than 20 minutes a game.

The 6-foot-3 Monroe, who was the Colonials' leading scorer last season at 18.7, earned third-team All-Atlantic 10 honors last season. Expect the Colonials' offense to go through Monroe.

"I guess you can say that," Monroe said.

The bullish Monroe drives to the basket with authority, can hit 3s, and can post up. In addition to leading the team in scoring, Monroe was the second-leading rebounder, averaging 6.1.

"Last year is still fresh in our minds, and we're determined to show what we've got," Monroe said.

What they've got is a load of inexperienced players who are expected to contribute right away. Freshmen point guard T.J. Thompson (Newport School) and a pair of 6-6 freshman forwards, Darrio Scott and Tamal Forchion, are likely to start.

"In order to have a successful season, we have to overachieve," Hobbs said. "It's a very daunting task. The way I measure success is that we play every game as hard as we can and we get better each game."


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