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Ben Krimmel: Stomach aches at the Smith Center – and not just because of Dollar Dog Night

Ben Krimmel, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

After GW beat my prediction and ousted VCU last month, I told myself I was done with the prediction-making business.

However, I can’t stop myself from playing the role of pregame fortuneteller again. I don’t have any of Nate Silver’s fancy formulas, but I’m still just as confident.

Photo used under the Wikimedia Commons license
Photo used under the Wikimedia Commons license

My bold prediction for Wednesday’s game against Duquesne: numerous cases of moderate to severe abdominal pain for the Colonial Army.

Yes, I’m calling for stomach aches to befall anywhere from 15 to 95 percent of those in attendance at the Smith Center. I can’t yet predict with certainty the source of the intestinal discomfort, but I have three prime suspects.

Suspect 1: The first home loss for the Colonials this season.

Head coach Mike Lonergan has made the Smith Center into a fortress, defeating opponents by an average of 18.5 points per game. The closest “nail-biter” was a 6-point win over Rutgers that was not as close as the final scoreline indicated.

At 2-5 in the Atlantic 10, Duquesne may not be a powerhouse. But victory on Wednesday is not a foregone conclusion, and a loss would mean the Colonials will have dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season.

The uncertain future over the health of guards Joe McDonald and Maurice Creek would compound concern following a defeat. (CSN Washington reported that McDonald and Creek are doubtful. For the sake of the Foggy Bottom faithful, I hope doubtful means something different than it did last Saturday when McDonald was listed as such on Friday despite never leaving the District for the game in Ohio.)

Guard Miguel Cartagena was one of their replacements last Saturday. The freshman acquitted himself nicely in the assist department, dishing out seven in Dayton, but struggled on defense in both man-to-man and atop the 1-3-1 zone.

Without McDonald and Savage, the shorthanded Colonials are lacking offensive organization. Even though he is not a natural point guard, expect Creek (if fit for action) to get much of the ball handling duties.

This season, Cartagena has struggled to create separation from his man when driving to the basket, and unlike Creek, the freshman can not make up for errantly thrown passes with made shots created off the dribble.

Suspect 2: Ovie Soko

Unlike most opposing players this year, Duquesne forward Ovie Soko could be a nightmare for GW. Soko is perhaps the second-most prolific scorer the Colonials have faced all season, only behind Creighton’s Doug McDermott.

And while McDermott was completely neutralized by forward Isaiah Armwood, Soko could cause problems for GW because of his ability to draw fouls.

Soko, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward, is attempting just under 10 free throws a game and is converting 71.2 percent of them. With an already short bench, foul trouble for Armwood or defensive standout Patricio Garino would be a major problem for the Colonials.

Suspect 3: Dollar Dog Night

In need of a raucous crowd, GW has turned to the trusted Dollar Dog Night promotion.

Earlier this year, inspired by the discounted tubular meat product, the Colonials subjugated Delaware State to a humiliating 44-point beatdown. The hot dogs, like the Hornets’ chances at victory, were gone by halftime.

Hopefully this time around there will be both more frankfurters and more than the 2,037 fans at Smith Center. The boost of a well-fed and lively crowd could help the undermanned Colonials.

In any event, there is only one prescription for relief on Wednesday evening: Pepto-Bismol.

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