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Nearly 150 Colonials fans received insider information into the 2011-12 men's basketball season just by picking up their phones at the first-ever Colonials Fan Forum Aug. 3.

Aug. 3, 2011

Watch Wednesday's Colonials Fan Forum conference call with Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero, men's basketball head coach Mike Lonergan, and men's basketball guards Tony Taylor and Lasan Kromah.

Nearly 150 Colonials fans received insider information into the 2011-12 men's basketball season just by picking up their phones at the first-ever Colonials Fan Forum Aug. 3.

"The forum was a chance for people to get to talk to our guys and see who they are and what they represent," said Nero. "As a program, it's important we communicate with as many people as we can. As Coach Lonergan and I are new to GW, this was also a great opportunity for us to speak directly with fans."

During the 30-minute call, Nero, Lonergan and the players fielded a number of questions about GW basketball, including inquiries about the Colonials' schedule, roster, style of play and postseason aspirations. Fans also answered poll questions about season predictions and upcoming games.

Callers also were the first to learn about some exciting matchups this season, including away matchups against the Harvard Crimson, Kansas State Wildcats and Syracuse Orange, home games against the James Madison Dukes, UAB Blazers and Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds, and a BB&T Classic game against 2011 NCAA Final Four participant VCU Rams. In November, the Colonials will also travel for the CBE Classic, which features high-profile opponents such as the Georgia Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers and Cal Golden Bears.

Although the Colonials will face a formidable schedule this season, Lonergan told fans that the challenge will ultimately benefit the squad.

"Our schedule has definitely been upgraded and we're excited about that," he said. "I've always believed that the tougher the schedule is, the better our players are at the end of the season when our conference tournament rolls around."

Nero said the GW women's basketball team has also taken on a more challenging schedule this season, and told callers that this attitude is one that many coaches and student-athletes share at GW.

"In all of our sports, I know everyone wants to play tough schedules and challenge themselves against the best, because that's the only way they're going to get better," he said. "We'll do the best that we can to get as aggressive as we can, because that's how we get better and that's where GW belongs."

Kromah, a junior, is returning to the court after sitting out last season with a foot injury. He told the fans that he's been putting in a lot of effort in both the weight room and rehab and is already playing pickup games with his teammates.

"I'm really excited for the season coming up and to be coming back from injury," he said. "Everything's looking really positive."

When the discussion turned to building GW spirit on campus, Lonergan spoke about the importance of filling seats for home games.

"We really need to get an enthusiastic fan base back into the Smith Center," said Lonergan. "We're going to rely on our faculty, staff, alumni, students and local residents to come to games and support these guys."

Taylor, who led the Colonials last year in points, assists and steals, told callers that the team feeds off the noise and excitement of fans during games.

"Anytime we have a big crowd and the fans are energetic and cheering us on, it gives us an extra boost," said Taylor. "That's what we need every game."

Nero said the support of the GW community is especially important as GW Athletics strives to raise its profile "team-by-team."

"I really hope over the next few years you'll support all our teams - not just men's and women's basketball, but all 450 student-athletes that represent this great university," he said. "It will take time, but we promise we will deliver to you a program that every GW fan and alumnus will be proud of."

Colonials men's and women's basketball tickets are now on sale to the general public, with special discounts available to young alumni, GW staff and faculty. To purchase tickets, call 202.994.7325 or email GWpromos@gwu.edu. For more information, visit http://www.GWsports.com/tickets.

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