Men's Basketball Hosts Bowie State in Saturday Exhibition

Nov. 3, 2016

George Washington (0-0) vs. Bowie State (0-0) | Exhibition
Date, Time Saturday, November 5 | 3:00 p.m. ET
Location Charles E. Smith Center | Washington, DC
Coverage RaiseHigh Live | AM 1050, TuneIn 
Additional Information Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Prospectus | Tickets

TIPPING OFF: The GW men's basketball team plays host to Bowie State on Saturday at 3 p.m. in a tune-up ahead of the regular season opener on Friday, Nov. 11.

The Colonials enter the 2016-17 season with a pair of returning starters in graduate student forward Tyler Cavanaugh and junior guard Yuta Watanabe, and five total letterwinners from last season's NIT championship team. GW also welcomes seven newcomers along with redshirt junior Jaren Sina, who sat out a year ago after transferring from Seton Hall, and will have to replace three starters in swingman Patricio Garino, forward Kevin Larsen and guard Joe McDonald, who were all lost to graduation.

POTY CANDIDATE: In Cavanaugh, GW has an Atlantic 10 Player of the Year candidate who is coming off a dominant close to the 2015-16 season. The graduate student led the Colonials to the Postseason NIT Championship by averaging 19.4 points and 9.0 rebounds while shooting .500 from 3-point range (11-22) in five games to earn the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award. For the season, he averaged 16.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, shot .417 from long distance, and recorded 11 double-doubles.

SCORING LOST: The Colonials have to replace 60 percent of their scoring from last season with Garino (14.1 ppg), Larsen (12.3 ppg), McDonald (8.8 ppg) and Alex Mitola (5.3 ppg) representing the majority of scoring lost. Garino was also the team's top 3-point shooter (.430), Larsen the top rebounder (8.3 rpg) and McDonald the leader in assists (110). Those three combined to start 383 games in their careers.

NEW EXPERIENCE: Though GW loses the aforementioned experience, it gains two key players in junior guard Jaren Sina, who is eligible after sitting out last season following his transfer from Seton Hall, and graduate student forward Patrick Steeves, who can play right away after graduating and transferring from Harvard. Sina was a Big East All-Rookie Team selection and started 42 games for Seton Hall, while Steeves averaged 9.1 points off the bench for Harvard last season, shooting .458 from 3-point range. Steeves has two years of eligibility at GW after being limited to one playing year at Harvard due to injuries.

JUNIOR JUMP: Watanabe will look to have a breakout junior season after being a full-time starter as a sophomore, when he averaged 8.4 points and 4.0 rebounds while leading the team with 40 blocks. The native of Kagawa, Japan, starred for the Colonials in their foreign tour of his home country in August, as GW went 4-0 with three wins over the Japanese National Team and one over the Ryukyu Golden Kings of the country's pro basketball league. Watanabe averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, while shooting .513 from the floor and .462 from 3-point range.

ALSO RETURNING: Beyond Cavanaugh and Watanabe, the Colonials return three more letterwinners in redshirt senior guard Matt Hart and the sophomore tandem of guard Jordan Roland and forward Collin Goss. Of the three, Hart saw the most playing time last year with 8.8 minutes per game, and the long-range specialist connected on .421 of his 3-point attempts to go along with a .885 clip at the free throw line.

NEW FACES: Eight players are set to appear in their first game as Colonials. In addition to transfers Steeves and Sina, six prep players join the program in guards Jair Bolden (Brooklyn, NY/Westtown School (PA)), Adam Mitola (Florham Park, NJ/Gill St. Bernard's) and Justin Williams (Glen Burnie, MD/Annapolis Area Christian); forwards Kevin Marfo (Bergenfield, NJ/Worcester Academy (MA)) and Arnaldo Toro (Hormigueros, Puerto Rico/St. Benedict's Prep); and center Collin Smith (Jacksonville, FL/The Bolles School). Bolden, Smith and Toro all helped lead their teams to state championships as seniors. Additionally, Toro's St. Benedict's Prep squad finished with a 35-2 record, an appearance in the Dick's High School Nationals quarterfinals and a No. 12 final ranking in the USA Today Sports Super 25.