Q&A: Italy Recap with GW Men's Basketball Coach Mike Lonergan

Aug. 28, 2012 followed up with men's basketball head coach Mike Lonergan after his program's 11-day tour of Italy. - Describe your thoughts on the overall experience, what the tour will do for the team this season, and what it will do for the student-athletes in their futures?

ML: The trip to Italy was a great experience for our players. Learning about the culture and history of Italy was exciting and educational. Our players spent a lot of quality time with their new teammates and coaches and the team chemistry we built should be very good as we start the school year. I am so glad we had a foreign tour this summer since we have six newcomers joining our program. The timing was perfect for this trip! - What were the biggest on-court positives you took away from the five games?

ML: Our six newcomers - junior transfer Isaiah Armwood and five freshmen - were able to play in game situations which helped us gain some valuable experience before the official start of practice on October 15th. All of our newcomers played well in Italy and have a chance to be in our rotation this season. - Which players impressed the most or had the biggest impact?

ML: Isaiah Armwood plays extremely hard, which is contagious. We need him to bring his competitive spirit every day. He is a terrific rebounder and a high-energy player. Freshman Joe McDonald did a terrific job as our starting point guard in Italy and freshman Patricio Garino was one of our leading scorers and played well. - What do you see as the biggest areas for improvement?



ML: Our youth and inexperience are our biggest weaknesses and that is why the trip to Italy was so important for us. The 10 practices should give us a nice head start for the upcoming season. - What was your player rotation philosophy during the tour?

ML: We started three freshmen throughout the trip and those guys were all deserving of their starting spots. We played all 12 healthy players and 10 players averaged double figure minutes. The gyms were over 90 degrees so we rotated players throughout all the games. - What do you think can be gained from playing these games with international rules?

ML: The wider lane was hard to get used to and the three-point line being farther away caused some of our guys to step out of bounds at times trying to line up behind the line for shots in the corners. The physical play over there should help toughen up our young guys.

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