GW Men's Hoops Aims for 1994 Repeat this Saturday at #3 Syracuse
Dec. 9, 2011
Lonergan moved back home to take George Washington job and tonight he makes another type of homecoming at Carrier Dome (12/10/11)
WHO: George Washington Men's Basketball (4-4)
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - George Washington men's basketball will face its most difficult test of the 2011-12 season when it travels to the Carrier Dome in upstate New York to face nationally ranked #3/3 Syracuse on Saturday at 7 p.m. The contest is set to be televised by Time Warner Cable Sports, and will air in the D.C. metro market on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and in the New York City market on SNY. Saturday's game is the fourth straight to be televised in the D.C. metro region, and the fifth of a currently scheduled 13 televised games this season.
Click here to view SNY's channel listings.
Click here to view Time Warner Cable Sports channel listings.
The game marks GW's second against a nationally ranked opponent this season after visiting then #24 California on Nov. 13. The third-ranked Orange are the highest-rated opponent for the Colonials since an 83-60 loss at the #2/1 UCLA Bruins in November 2007.
Saturday's meeting is the ninth all-time between the two programs in a series that dates back to the 1966-67 season. The Colonials lost the first seven meetings, but defeated the then Orangemen, 111-104, in the 1994 Preseason NIT inside Manley Fieldhouse while the Carrier Dome underwent renovations. GW's only game played in the Carrier Dome came in 1986, an 82-69 loss to host SU.
The game between GW and Syracuse features a brotherly storyline between the Colonials' bench and Orange frontcourt. Maurice Joseph is in his first season as assistant director of basketball operations on head coach Mike Lonergan's staff after playing for Lonergan for two seasons at Vermont. Maurice is the older brother, by three years, of Syracuse's senior leading scorer Kris Joseph.
The siblings grew up in Montreal, Quebec, and squared off on the court in college when the Lonergan-coached Catamounts faced the Orange in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, a 79-56 victory for top-seeded Syracuse. Kris Joseph also attended the same high school as Lonergan - Archbishop Carroll in Washington, D.C. "It has been great watching Kris develop and mature into the player he is today," says the elder Joseph. "I know the time he has put into getting better, so I am very proud of him. As for the game, he is just another talented player who we will have to contain in order to be successful against a very good team."
The last time GW played, and beat, Syracuse in November 1994:
GW has dropped its last three games after a three-game win streak gave it a 4-1 overall mark through five games. The Colonials' recent three-game skid has come against Kansas State, VCU and Loyola (Md.), which currently boast a combined 17-5 record. Of the four teams GW has lost to so far this season, their combined record is 24-7 (California - 7-2; Kansas State - 5-1; VCU - 5-3; Loyola (Md.) - 7-1). The combined opponents' record from GW's four victories is 13-26 (UMES - 2-8; Detroit - 5-6; Austin Peay - 1-9; Bowling Green - 5-3).
In its most recent outing on Wednesday, junior David Pellom netted a career-high 19 points, but GW didn't have an answer for Loyola (Md.)'s Dylon Cormier and Erik Etherly, who combined for 38 points and 24 rebounds, as the Colonials fell to the Greyhounds, 65-55, in Charles E. Smith Center.
Pellom made 8-of-9 field goals, highlighted by four dunks, en route to his career-best 19. GW's senior leading scorer Tony Taylor, who was presented with the game ball from when he scored his 1,000th career point prior to tip-off, tallied game-highs of six assists and three steals, but was limited to just six points and fouled out with 3:46 left.
Syracuse (9-0) has opened the season with nine straight wins for the fourth consecutive year. The Orange started last season by winning its first 18 games, which marked the second-best start in school history. SU was one win away from equaling the program's best start of 19-0 in 1999-2000.
The Orange have played 19 players so far this season and rely heavily on a 10-player rotation, highlighted by Naismith and Wooden Award candidate Kris Joseph's 14.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Brandon Triche and Dion Waiters round out SU's double-digit scorers at 11.4 and 11.1 points per game, respectively.
Syracuse is ranked first in the nation in steals per game in the latest NCAA statistics released earlier this week. The Orange is averaging 12.5 steals per contest. In addition, SU ranks second in the country in turnover margin, trailing only Ohio State.
Three players scored in double figures to lead Syracuse to its ninth straight victory with a 62-56 win against Marshall on Tuesday, Dec. 6 in the Carrier Dome. SU never trailed and took its largest lead of the game at 44-28 with 10:44 remaining. Marshall hit five of its final six three-point attempts and narrowed SU's lead to eight with 1:05 to play. SU converted four of its final six free throws to secure the victory. Dion Waiters led the Orange with 15 points. Kris Joseph recorded 11, and Scoop Jardine added 10.
With 865 victories in 35-plus seasons, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim currently ranks fifth all-time in men's college basketball's Division I coaching victories list.