Yuta Watanabe got the Senior Night he deserved with the best performance of his career
Despite decidedly different backgrounds, GW's seniors have found common ground through basketball
Yuta Watanabe stepped up with a career-high 29 points to deliver GW an 80-69 win over La Salle
GW won its ninth straight over the Patriots with an 80-68 victory on Wednesday
Colonials look to display the defensive prowess that limited opponents to 62.2 ppg in December
2018 Senior Day
George Washington v Davidson
George Washington v Miami
Photos from George Washington men's basketball vs. Miami - Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017
Photos from Georgia Washington men's basketball vs. Florida State - Tuesday Nov. 14, 2017
Maurice Joseph enters his second season at the helm of the George Washington men's basketball program in 2017-18.
"I am honored and grateful for the faith that Patrick Nero and the university has placed in me to continue to lead this program onward," said Joseph. "There is a proud tradition at GW driven by decades of successful student-athletes both on and off the court, and it is a privilege to be tasked with the responsibility of mentoring our team moving forward."
Joseph served at the helm of a program that won 20 games in 2016-17 and qualified for postseason play with a roster that included eight newcomers.
"Maurice has demonstrated that he is the right individual to lead our men's basketball program," stated Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero. "Our student-athletes respond well to his energy, passion and vision. I want to congratulate Maurice on this hard-earned opportunity. We're confident that he will continue to recruit and retain the next generation of men's basketball student-athletes and help their talents shine."
The youngest Head Coach in a Top 10 RPI conference, and the second youngest in all of Division I, Joseph engineered a 10-8 conference record in the Atlantic 10 in 2016-17 that included five consecutive wins to finish the regular season. After being picked to finish eighth by conference coaches, the Colonials finished sixth in 2016-17 with a win over regular season champion Dayton in the regular season finale. In all, three GW freshmen combined to make 50 starts on the year.
An elite shooter in his playing days at Michigan State and Vermont, Joseph was instrumental in the Colonials being the most accurate three-point shooting team in the Atlantic 10 this season.
Joseph, who played under Hall of Fame Coach Tom Izzo at Michigan State before transferring to Vermont where he served as a two-year captain, has been on the GW staff for six seasons, the last four of which saw the program advance to one NCAA Tournament, two NIT berths, and a CBI appearance, including the 2016 NIT Championship.
Joseph has played a key role in the development of GW's perimeter players, notably Olympian and current NBA player Patricio Garino who earned All-Atlantic 10 honors in 2015-16 after averaging career bests in scoring (14.1 ppg) and three-point shooting (.430), leading the league in the latter category during the regular season.
"It brings me great excitement and pride to hear that Maurice Joseph will lead the George Washington program," Izzo said. "He entered Michigan State as an intelligent player with great people skills, and would quickly develop the discipline and toughness that will serve him well in his new role. There's not a doubt in my mind that he is incredibly well suited to lead the Colonials. I've loved watching him grow as a coach and I know his journey has positioned him for success. He understands how to tackle the adversity that comes with the coaching profession. Perhaps most importantly, he is great at building and maintaining relationships with players, administration, alumni and media. That's why I'm looking forward to watching the next step in his bright young coaching career."
A native of Montreal, Quebec, Joseph began his collegiate playing career at Michigan State in 2005 where he helped the Spartans make two NCAA Tournament appearances. He transferred to the University of Vermont in 2007 and led the Catamounts to 24 wins in 2009 and 25 wins in 2010, including an America East Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. That season, Joseph was the team's second-leading scorer (13.9 ppg) while shooting a career-best .374 (77-206) from three-point range. He also ranked second in the America East in free throw percentage (.848) in 2009-10. Joseph also had a decorated prep career at Champlain-St. Lambert in Montreal, where as a senior in 2005, he was named Canada's National Player of the Year.
The older brother of former Syracuse standout and 2012 NBA draftee Kris Joseph, Maurice played professionally in Israel with Hapoel Afula, before dedicating himself to the coaching profession. Upon his arrival at GW, where he met his wife, Kristen, Joseph enrolled and earned a Master's degree in Education and Human Development. Maurice and Kristen reside in Arlington, Va.
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