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The GW Hatchet

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Three alumni join Board of Trustees
By Hannah Marr, News Editor • June 21, 2024

Men’s basketball needs overtime to beat UDC

GW Hatchet Video: Predicting the Season

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We took a chance to chat with students, staff members, area businesses and alumni about their predictions for how well the Colonials will do this season. By and large, everyone thinks the team will repeat the successes from recent years.

Karl Hobbs told reporters this game wasn’t the Super Bowl. But it certainly didn’t look like a preseason game against a Division II opponent.

The University of the District of Columbia turned out to be a formidable opponent for a GW team with one senior. And though the Colonials came out on top 74-71, it took 45 minutes and a lot of catching up to do so.

“For me, there are certain things that I look for that I anticipated that we would do well, and we didn’t do those things,” Hobbs said of the game played in front of an announced crowd of 3,072 at Smith Center. “(We had trouble) rebounding the basketball; we didn’t start the game out playing with energy. Those are the two things that got us off to such a bad start. It was catch-up the rest of the way.”

With the exception of a jumpshot by junior Rob Diggs to start the game with a 2-0 lead, the Colonials did not lead until eight minutes into the second half. The score went back and forth for most of the remainder of the game, with it knotted at 64 at the end of regulation. It was only in overtime when the Colonials finally looked like the better team.

Hobbs said at GW’s media day earlier in the week that he expected there to be some growing pains and that it would take some time for his new players – including four freshmen and a transfer – to get acclimated to the team’s style. The game against UDC showed just that, as the Colonials never seemed to find a rhythm.

“Our guys have to get to know each other,” Hobbs said. “This is unusual for a GW team, not sharing the game. We weren’t patient enough. There wasn’t trust in each other. Those are the things I’m most concerned about. We’re going to be a work in progress throughout the year.”

And yet it was one of the new guys that stood out. Junior Wynton Witherspoon, a transfer from Virginia Tech, looked strong in his 39 minutes. He had a team-high 20 points and nine rebounds. The guard-forward also hit two free throws with 12.5 seconds remaining to tie the game.

“He’s going to play with that kind of energy all year,” Hobbs said.

Junior Noel Wilmore, who saw limited minutes and was disappointing in his first two seasons, also showed that he might finally be ready for the spotlight. Nine of his 12 points were from behind the arc, including one with 29 seconds remaining that put the Colonials within two when the game looked all but lost.

Senior Maureece (Reece) Rice shot 2-for-13 from the floor. His 11 points are somewhat misleading, as six came down the stretch on freethrows. But Hobbs said that Rice cannot be singled out because “too many guys didn’t play well.”

UDC had three players in double figures, led by senior Frank Peterson with 22 points. They also had a strong fan base that, at times, sounded noisier than the Colonials’ home crowd.

“They played with a great deal of energy,” Hobbs said. “They came in and played with a lot of confidence. If they play with that kind of energy, bring that kind of commitment, they’re going to have a good year.”

Diggs, meanwhile, said he is not so sure he can say the same about his team.

The Maryland native said, “The main thing I learned tonight is that if we don’t come together as a team and play as one it’s going to be a rough season.”

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