GW's Larsen, Watanabe Sweep Atlantic 10 Hoops Weekly Awards
Diamond Head Classic MVP Larsen Named Player of the Week, Watanabe Earns Rookie Honors
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - GW men's basketball garnered both Atlantic 10 Conference weekly awards on Monday as junior Kevin Larsen was named Player of the Week and freshman Yuta Watanabe was tabbed Rookie of the Week.
The duo was part of a balanced effort that helped GW knock off Ohio (77-49), Colorado (53-50) and No. 11 Wichita State (60-54) to win last week's 2014 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, doing so with a record-setting defensive performance. The Colonials surrendered just 153 points in the tournament's three games, besting the previous mark of 156 set by 2009 champion USC.
The tournament title was GW's first in a decade since capturing the 2004 BB&T Classic, and the upset of the 11th-ranked Shockers marked the Colonials' second Top 20 victory in the past two seasons and their best since toppling No. 11/9 Michigan State in the 2004 BB&T Classic.
Larsen was voted the Most Valuable Player of the Diamond Head Classic after averaging 11.3 points on 48 percent shooting, a team-best 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 blocks in 34.3 minutes over the tournament's three games, highlighted by a 19-point, 15-rebound double-double in a quarterfinal rout of Ohio on Monday. He capped his Classic MVP performance with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal in Thursday's upset of Wichita State, scoring eight points in the second half including a punctuating three pointer with 2:50 remaining to clinch the victory over the Shockers.
In addition to the recognition from the conference, Larsen was also named the College Sports Madness A-10 Player of the Week and GWsports.com's Colonial of the Week.
Watanabe twice matched his career-high of 10 points en route to averaging 9.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in three games as GW captured the crown. Watanabe, the fourth Japanese-born student-athlete in Division I men's basketball history and the first to compete in Hawai'i, totaled 10 points and six rebounds in a semifinal victory over Colorado, then added 10 points, including two 3-pointers in a decisive 20-6 game-ending run, to help the Colonials come back to upset Wichita State in the title game.
It is the first time GW has swept both A-10 weekly awards since Nov. 24, 2001 when Chris Monroe and T.J. Thompson earned Co-Player and Rookie honors, respectively. Larsen's A-10 recognition is the second of his career after being named Rookie of the Week on Feb. 25, 2013.
GW (9-3) returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts VMI at the Charles E. Smith Center at 7 p.m.
Nolan Jr. Named A-10 Co-Rookie of the Week
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - After helping lead GW men's basketball to a pair of wins last week, Terry Nolan Jr. has been named Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Week, the...
Men's Basketball Dominates VCU
WASHINGTON -- In a series that hasn’t always been kind to GW, including a cruel twist of fate against VCU in last year’s match-up at the Smith...
Men's Basketball Hosts VCU on Saturday
TIPPING OFF: After winning two of its last three games, the GW men's basketball team returns home looking for a bit of revenge against its next two opponents...
Men's Basketball Cruises to 83-72 Road Win Over UMass
AMHERST, Mass. -- In search of its first road win of the season, the GW men's basketball team headed to Amherst, Mass., on Wednesday night and delivered a...
Men's Basketball Set for Wednesday Clash at UMass
TIPPING OFF: After splitting a pair of games last week, the Colonials head into the final third of the A-10 schedule starting with a trip to UMass on...
Men's Basketball Slips at George Mason
FAIRFAX, Va. -- In the second of two annual meetings between the nearby foes, this time in Fairfax, Va., the Patriots of George Mason finally got a win in...
Maurice Joseph took a glance at the box score in his hand and cracked a grin.
Of course, the GW head coach was pleased with Yuta Watanabe’s career-hig...
Men's Basketball Runs Away From La Salle, 80-69
WASHINGTON -- The GW men's basketball team closed a three-game homestand on Wednesday night on a high note with a thorough, 80-69, win against visiting La...