GW Men's Hoops Welcomes D-II #8 Bowie State for Sunday Exhibition
Lonergan Era Begins in Earnest as Colonials Take to Court in Preseason Tune-Up
Nov. 5, 2011
WHO: GW Men's Basketball and New Head Coach Mike Lonergan
WASHINGTON - The much anticipated debut of the 2011-12 George Washington men's basketball team and new head coach Mike Lonergan happens this Sunday when the Colonials host NCAA Division II nationally ranked Bowie State to Charles E. Smith Center for a preseason exhibition at 6 p.m.
Preseason First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection Tony Taylor and fellow captains Jabari Edwards and Aaron Ware will lead the Colonials as they tip-off the 2011-12 campaign on the court while new head coach Mike Lonergan ushers in a new era of GW Basketball from the sideline. Lonergan, a Bowie, Md., native, will walk the Smith Center sidelines for the first time after returning to his roots following six seasons as head coach at Vermont. Entering his 19th season as a head coach, Lonergan owns an overall record of 377-156, with 15 winning seasons and 13 NCAA Tournament victories, including a NCAA Division III National Championship at his alma mater Catholic University in 2001.
While Lonergan and his coaching staff are new, Colonials' backers will recognize a slew of returning talent for GW when the team takes the floor on Sunday evening, as four starters and 10 letterwinners return to a team that won 17 games and tied for fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference last season.
A Second Team All-Atlantic 10 selection as a junior, Taylor returns as GW's leader in scoring, assists and steals. He and junior teammate Lasan Kromah, who missed all of last season with a foot injury, are expected to form one of the Atlantic 10's best backcourt duos in 2011-12. Kromah's provided scoring punch (11.8 ppg as a freshman) and marksmanship (team-high 48 three-pointers) during his A-10 All Rookie Team season in 2009-10.
Freshmen John Kopriva and Jonathan Davis are set to take the floor for the first time as student-athletes at GW. They'll look to last year's freshman sensation Nemanja Mikic for help, as Mikic led GW and the Atlantic 10 with 75 made three-pointers during the 2010-11 season. His NCAA Division I freshman best 43.6 percent success rate from behind the arc last season will help clear room in the paint for Edwards. Juniors David Pellom and Bryan Bynes and sophomore Dan Guest also figure to see considerable time against the Bulldogs on Sunday, as Lonergan gets his first look at his squad at the newly renovated Smith Center.
Bowie State, meanwhile, will prove to be a worthy exhibition foe for the Colonials as it makes the short trip to Foggy Bottom ranked eighth in the NCAA Division II preseason national poll. The Bulldogs reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season and won the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) North Division crown with an 11-1 mark, while finishing a CIAA best 16-2 in the conference and 23-6 overall.
Head coach Darrell Brooks, a former GW assistant, has four returning seniors on his squad, headlined by 7-foot center Travis Hyman, who caught the eye of NBA scouts with a CIAA-high 104 blocks last season. Hyman also checked in with 15.2 points per outing and claimed CIAA Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2010-11.