GW Men's Hoops Opens Wooden Legacy vs. Miami (Fla.)
arv GW (4-0) vs. Miami (Fla.) (3-2) | Thursday, Nov. 28 | Titan Gym, Fullerton, Calif. | 2 p.m. ET
Nov. 25, 2013
WHO: GW Men's Basketball (4-0)
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - George Washington men's basketball puts its undefeated record to the test on Thanksgiving Day against Miami (Fla.) in the opening game of the 2013 DIRECTV Wooden Legacy at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym. The contest will be broadcast live on ESPNU and WatchESPN at 2 p.m. ET.
GW, which maintained its vote in the latest AP Top 25 poll on Monday, is off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 2009 and will be seeking its first 5-0 start since its banner 2005-06 season during which it opened with eight straight victories en route to NCAA Division I's best regular season record of 26-1.
The Colonials improved to 4-0 last Tuesday as six players reached double figures in scoring in a 94-50 victory over Delaware State at the Charles E. Smith Center. It marked GW's most one-sided win since a 94-49 rout of Dartmouth on Nov. 14, 2006, and was the first time six players reached double-digit scoring totals since a 2006 NCAA Tournament victory over UNC Wilmington.
Senior Isaiah Armwood led an all-around team effort with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals in 21 minutes. Freshman Nick Griffin buried all four of his three-point attempts en route to 14 points, while graduate student Maurice Creek made a trio of threes to finish with 11 points, along with sophomore Patricio Garino. Sophomore Kevin Larsen scored in double figures for the fifth straight game dating back to last season with 10 points, and classmate Paris Maragkos added a career-high 10 points off the bench.
GW, the Atlantic 10's highest scoring team at 89.5 points per game, shot a scorching 60 percent (35-58), aided by 25 assists, nine dunks and 10-of-17 shooting behind the arc, en route to their third game with 80-or-more points this season. The Colonials also owned sizable advantages in rebounding (41-24), points in the paint (44-18), fast-break points (16-4) and bench points (48-16).
George Washington and Miami (Fla.) are meeting for the third-ever time on the hardwood at the Wooden Legacy, with the Colonials bringing a 2-0 series advantage to Orange County, Calif. GW first defeated UM, 83-81, at its former Fort Myer home in Arlington, Va., in Feb. 1971 behind double-doubles from GW Athletic Hall of Famers Walt Szczerbiak (20p/10r) and Mike Battle (17p/10r) and a team-high 21 points from another AHOFer Ronnie Nunn. The Colonials then cruised to a 78-64 victory over the Hurricanes to win the 1991 Palm Beach Classic. Tournament MVP Dirkk Surles scored a then-career high 29 points, while All-Tourney selection Sonni Holland added 21 to help GW to a 7-2 start to the 1991-92 season.
While only two previous meetings link the GW and Miami programs, more connections can be made between the programs and their head coaches Mike Lonergan and Jim Larrañaga. GW posted a 3-1 mark against Larrañaga-coached George Mason teams from 1997-2011, while two prior meetings between Vermont's Lonergan and Mason's Larrañaga in 2007 and 2008 were decided by a total of eight points.
Defending ACC champion Miami (Fla.) is off to a 3-2 start, most recently dropping a 63-58 decision against UCF last Thursday. Rion Brown, the lone returning player to start a game on last season's 29-7 team that reached the NCAA Sweet 16, is averaging a team-best 13.0 points, followed by Donnavan Kirk's 12.8 points and team-leading 7.4 rebounds and Garrius Adams' 12.2 points.