Posts tagged with “maurice creek”

George Washington Tournament Sleeper

Monday, 17 March, 2014

George Washington Tournament Sleeper


Of the smaller mid major conferences that see a team advance in the round of 68 it typically ends up being a surprise team. The elite in the conference falter early while a mid-tier team from the conference excels. It’s strange how that works out but has proven to be the case time and time again. I myself was quite shocked to see the extreme love for the A-10 by the committee. But it does have some solid teams.

With the weakness of several conferences this year it was expected to see a conference or two get more bids and that is exactly what happened for the Atlantic 10. People know the VCU’s and UMass’s of the conference. I do not expect either of those teams to make it past the first round and if they do not beyond the next round.

A team that I do expect to make some noise is George Washington. Now they did not particularly finish the A-10 season or conference tournament strong but they did have a relative strong season in-conference.

They have the balance from all roster positions that represent a quality tournament team. Heady guard play with Maurice Creek the former Indiana Hoosier and newly returned from injury guard Kethan Savage. He did not play much against VCU but looked recovered from a leg injury sustained mid-season. George Washington also gets steady play from Argentinian, Patricio Garino. He is the glue of the team. When he is performing well the team can typically sustain leads.

A role player is always key and George Washington also has that with sharpshooter Nimanja Mikic. His minutes are used for one thing and that is spreading the floor and knocking down three pointers.

Where the main difference lies with George Washington is their interior. They have a solid foundation with former Villanova big man in Isiah Armwood who is paired with Kevin Larsen. These two are going to have an advantage right off the bat against a Memphis team that lacks size.

If George Washington wants to play spoiler they will have to correct two issues that VCU has torched them with. One is their inability to knock down free throws. In the second matchup against VCU they only shot above 60 percent on free throws. In the second half of their conference tournament semifinal loss to VCU they missed eight straight crucial free throws during a dry spell of made baskets. The other area VCU killed them in was turnovers but that has been the case for a lot of teams that have faced VCU.

The NCAA tournament has always been about matchups and I believe George Washington is setup nicely to get to the sweet 16 if they play to their strengths. Team basketball, limit their turnovers, and play sound defense. To start the tournament they have a great matchup against Memphis. A team that has an 8th seed solely based on two wins against Louisville. If it were not for those two wins they likely would have been a borderline tournament team or an 11th/12th seed.

I expect GW to get past Memphis and the next matchup would be likely against Virginia. A strong team but one that George Washington can surprise and upset in the round of 32. The ACC has shown all year that their top teams are susceptible on any given night; Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, and Virginia. The reason why is because all can go through their offensive funks and rely heavily offensively on a couple of players. A strong all around team like George Washington can knock off Virginia.

Look for GW to play spoiler this NCAA tournament.