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GWU Campus News

Crime log
by The GW Hatchet
Nov 21, 2016
“Destroying/Defacing Structures
Potomac House
11/07/2016 - Unknown time
Open case
A male student reported finding graffiti on his front door to his residence hall room. The matter is still under investigation.
-Open case.
Lewd and Obscene Acts/Sex Offense
Off Campus
11/07/2016 - 10:00 p.m.
Case closed
A female student reported to the University Police Department that a man approached her and exposed himself outside her apartment building on the 900 block of 25th Street NW.
-Off campus incident.
Potomac House
11/08/2016 - Multiple Dates
Case closed
A male student reported to UPD that he was contacted by an unidentified individual via Skype who demanded money in exchange for not releasing material on the internet.
- Referred to Metropolitan Police Department.
Destruction of Property/Vandalism
Health and Wellness Center
11/11/2016 - Unknown time
Case closed
A Health and Wellness Center staff member reported seeing graffiti on the main garage door.
- No suspects or witnesses.
Unlawful Possession of Alcohol/Possession of Drugs
Munson Hall
11/11/2016 - 11:05 a.m. to 1:10 p.m.
Case closed
GW Housing staff conducted an administrative search and found marijuana-related paraphernalia and alcohol. The items were disposed of on scene.
- Referred to the Division of Student Affairs.
Disorderly Conduct/ Intoxication/Liquor Law Violation
Public Property on Campus (1900 Block of F Street NW)
11/12/2016 8:05 to 8:45 p.m.
Case closed
UPD responded to a report of a highly intoxicated student who was belligerent and combative at the scene. EMeRG transported the student to GW Hospital .
- Referred to DSA.
Destruction of Property/Vandalism/Theft
Public Property on Campus (22nd and I streets)
11/14/2016 -10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Open case
A female student reported to UPD that her bicycle was stolen from a bike rack outside the Science and Engineering Hall. The student also reported that the person had cut the cable lock to the bicycle.
- Open case.
Mitchell Hall
11/14/2016 - Unknown time
Open case
UPD responded to a report of a vandalization of a poster board that was shared by residence hall residents.
- Open case.
- Compiled by James Levinson.”

Squash programs eager to prove themselves among nation's best
by The GW Hatchet
Nov 21, 2016
“Media Credit: Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor
Freshman Jamie Oakley hits the ball in men's squash's game against Georgetown on Nov. 9. Oakley swept his opponent in GW's 8–1 win.
Men’s and women’s squash opened the 2016–2017 season on Nov. 9 as two of GW’s highest nationally ranked teams. Both squads will look to prove their dominance this winter and earn a chance to compete nationally at the end of the year.
Men's and women’s squash both have high expectations for the season, entering the season as No. 11 and No. 13 in the U.S., respectively.
In 2015–2016, the men (1–2) made their first ever appearance in the Hoehn Cup (B Division) of the College Squash Association National Championship. Although the team graduated two top contributing seniors Reid Breck and James Reiss, they plan for their new freshmen to take on major roles.
“We have a strong core of returners, including three seniors and three very talented freshmen, including one who is playing the No. 1 for us, Jamie Oakley from New Zealand,” head coach Wendy Lawrence said. “With this set of players, my goal is to climb into the top eight in the nation to gain a spot in the A Division at CSA Nationals.”
Lawrence, who helms both programs, was recently named to Squash Magazine’s Top 50 – a list that recognizes the most influential people in each state for their leadership in the sport of squash.
During her nine-year tenure as head coach, Lawrence has pushed her players to train hard for the season, emphasizing the importance of offseason individual work for the benefit of the team.
“Everyone on the team worked really hard individually over the summer wherever they were,” junior captain Oisin Logan said. “There was a group of us in D.C. over the summer, and we trained together almost every day. We got to hold each other accountable for playing even when it wasn't mandatory.”
Logan is joined by seniors Andres de Frutos and Nicolas Valderrama, who as a pair have compiled 62 individual victories and 31 team wins as Colonials. A trio of juniors in Billy Berner, John Bassett and Omar Mussehl, as well as sophomore Moudy Abdel-Maksoud, round out the lineup.
“We are a stronger team in the four through seven positions on the ladder, which is where we were weak last year,” Lawrence said. “We are also stronger at the top, so I believe we can beat several teams who are not as deep.”
The team took down Georgetown 8–1 in its season-opener earlier this month but was swept at No. 6 Penn and defeated by No. 12 Princeton 8-1 over the weekend.
The women’s team (2–2) graduated four seniors, including four-time All-American and the program’s all-time wins leader Anna Gabriela Porras, but welcomes five new freshmen.
“We worked hard to find a great, talented group of freshmen who we felt would inject energy and enthusiasm,” Lawrence said. “They really solidify the middle core of our lineup.”
Two of the freshmen, Engy El Mandouh and Samira Baird, competed in the U.S. Squash Intercollegiate Doubles Championship in October and finished second overall. Freshman Emma Tryon led the lineup with a win at the No. 1 spot during last Sunday’s match against Johns Hopkins.
Two seasons ago, the women's team appeared in the Howe Cup for the first time in program history. Last year, the Colonials were unable to repeat that performance, mainly due to injury of three top players. To remain healthy this season, the team has focused on strength and conditioning more than they have in the past, senior captain Breanne Flynn said.
“Since we've been back at GW at the start of fall, we have been doing a lot of conditioning on the squash court and matched that with building our strength in the weight room,” Flynn said. “It was a grueling two months, but at the end of it we are stronger, fitter and eager to face our opponents.”
The strong lineup begins with Flynn, who is coming off of an All-American season and a victory at the B Division D Draw Championship. Joining Flynn is junior duo Mary Jo Mahfood and Abby Shonrock. With her 18 career wins at GW, Shonrock had a run in the B Division C Draw at the CSA National Individual Championships this past spring.
“This year we are all eager to improve and prove to other teams that we are a force to be reckoned with,” said Flynn.
The squad jumped to a 2–0 record with sweeps of Georgetown and Johns Hopkins to open the year but, along with the men, dropped contests at No. 2 Penn and No. 4 Princeton.
Both teams return to action at Virginia on Dec. 2.”

Observations from men's basketball's debut victory
by The GW Hatchet
Nov 14, 2016
“Media Credit: Dan Rich | Photo Editor
Junior guard Yuta Watanabe goes up for a shot against Maryland Eastern Shore on Friday. Watanabe scored 18 points and recorded a game-high two blocks in GW's 75–71 win.
Updated: Nov. 13, 2016 at 11:02 p.m.
Men’s basketball opened the 2016-2017 campaign on Friday with a 75–71 win at home over Maryland Eastern Shore.
Despite giving up a double-digit second half lead down the stretch, GW pulled out the four-point victory behind exceptional free throw shooting – going 29-for-34 from the stripe – and strong performances from veteran returning starters graduate student Tyler Cavanaugh and junior Yuta Watanabe.
While it’s still too early to make any definitive predictions about the year, here are a few observations from the new-look Colonials' debut victory:
1. Watanabe is playing confidently.
As one of just two returners from GW’s NIT championship roster this year, Watanabe will have to play a bigger role offensively. Based on Friday’s season-opener, the 6-foot-9-inch guard certainly looks capable of producing.
In his first season as a regular starter in 2015–2016, Watanabe averaged just 8.4 points and four rebounds. Against UMES, Watanabe was the early offensive spark for GW, hitting two three-pointers and putting up 10 points in the game’s first six minutes. He finished the contest with 18 and scored 19 in an exhibition against Bowie State, while adding six rebounds and a game-high two blocks.
Watanabe also looked confident on the Smith Center floor, taking the ball to the rim several times and doing a solid job drawing fouls. He went a clutch 10-for-12 at the line, which helped the Colonials close out the win down the stretch.
Opponents will only get tougher from here on out, but expect Watanabe to continue to be one of the most impactful players on the court.
2. Turnovers may pose issues early on in the season.
The most glaring blemish on the stat sheet Friday was for turnovers.
Last season, the Colonials averaged 11 giveaways per game, and across 38 total contests committed 15 or more on just five occasions. Nineteen turnovers in a 90–50 victory over La Salle on Feb. 21 was a season-high. Against the Hawks, however, GW gave up 20.
Cavanaugh and redshirt junior point guard Jaren Sina each had a four, a game-high, as the offense occasionally looked out of sync and rushed passes, especially when confronted with a pesky UMES press. Cavanaugh called his and his team’s ball control “shaky” at times but thinks improvement will come if the team keeps trusting the system.
Interim head coach Maurice Joseph said he wasn’t worried about Sina’s debut performance, and film work will be key in getting him more in tune with his offense.
“Learning where guys want the ball, learning about how we need to attack press breaks – we’re going to see pressure all year,” Joseph said after the game. “We’ve got to be ready for it. Just getting better in the film room – that’s something we’re going to spend a lot of time on. [Sina] is a talented player. He has a great feel for the game. He’ll be fine. I’m not worried about Jaren at all.”
3. Defense looked strong in spurts.
In the first half, the Colonials' defense held UMES to 25 percent shooting and looked energetic on the floor. There was even a 10-minute stint where GW conceded just one field goal to the Hawks.
As the game trailed on, however, the defense lost steam. UMES shot 45 percent from the floor in the second half, and the Colonials couldn't stop them from mounting a 16-point comeback.
GW also does not seem to have a lockdown perimeter defender to look to when its having problems with an opposing player. UMES senior forward Bakari Copeland scored 21 points on Friday – with 14 coming in the second half – and was finding open shots regularly. Neither Cavanaugh nor Watanabe could contain Copeland in their attempt to guard him.
“We’ve got to be able to stop guys 1-on-1, and it’s going to be by committee so no blame to Tyler or Yuta or anybody else,” Joseph said. “We’ve got to guard. We've got to have more pride in our team defense. We've got to take pride in putting teams away when we have the lead. We’ve got to take pride in finishing the job. Today we were shaky, and we've just got to get better from it.”
In his first college game, freshman center Collin Smith did not record any rejections, but he posed a constant threat at the rim and altered several shots in the paint. His shot-blocking ability is not something GW could count on last year with Cavanaugh and Larsen in the frontcourt.
4. Strong freshman frontcourt depth will be crucial
It is very possible that Joseph will count on nine or 10 players to take on serious minutes throughout year. While the Colonials usually played seven or eight deep last year and often looked for 30 or more minutes from their starters, the extra substitutions could give returners like Cavanaugh and Watanabe crucial rest.
Especially for Cavanaugh, the young frontcourt rotation, which includes Smith, freshman Arnaldo Toro and freshman forward Kevin Marfo, is refreshing after a 2015–2016 season where the Colonials were forced to play small when their star was on the bench.
Smith will likely continue to start at center, picking up seven points and six boards in 27 minutes against UMES. Toro made his only shot from the field and looked composed, knocking down both of his free throws in the game.
Marfo picked up early fouls and Toro committed three turnovers, but their physical presences will be important as the season progresses.”

Law school features faculty media work on new website
by The GW Hatchet
Nov 14, 2016
“Media Credit: Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor
John Banzhaf, a professor of public interest law, said faculty have more of an impact by being quoted in articles or writing op-eds than by writing scholarly articles.
GW Law School wants to show how much recognition faculty get in newspapers or on TV.
A new law school website, called “For the Record,” highlights law faculty who are quoted in the media, complete scholarship or hold leadership roles outside of their positions in the school. As law schools compete to recruit a from a dwindling pool of applicants, faculty and experts said finding new ways to highlight faculty expertise can bring the school prestige and attention.
Law school officials declined to comment on when and why the website was created, why it is important to track and highlight numbers like this, how faculty are encouraged to speak to media outlets, create scholarly work or hold leadership roles in organizations and how this level of faculty exposure can improve a law school’s reputation.
The law school has been consistently ranked as a top-tier program and is currently tied for the 25th ranking by U.S. News and World Report.
Neil H. Buchanan, an economist and law professor, is among those faculty members listed on the site and is frequently interviewed by members of the media. Buchanan writes his own blog, Dorf on Law, as well as for a legal website called The Verdict, on which he mainly focuses on economic policy and politics.
Buchanan said interacting with the media improves the law school’s national reputation and professors' interactions with faculty from other schools because they recognize GW law professors who are regularly featured in the news.
“In terms of the most sort of bottom line concerns about a law school’s reputation, scholarly assessments of the school’s reputation play a big part in ranking systems,” Buchanan said. “When I engage with the media I’m doing it because I think I have something to offer, but it’s absolutely undeniable that when I do that it ends up putting GW Law’s name out there.”
Buchanan said reporters often do not know the inner workings of tax policies or constitutional law, which makes law professionals integral to reporting on complex topics.
“Part of being in a university, public or private, our job is essentially to be informed in a way that we can assist the public in trying to understand issues that would otherwise be too easy to obscure for politicians who would prefer to operate in the darkness and in ignorance,” Buchanan said.
Aside from writing scholarly articles or being interviewed in the media, several law faculty members hold leadership positions outside of the school. Twenty-two faculty members who have held leadership roles in the Association of American Law Schools, according to the school's new webpage.
Buchanan currently serves as the co-chair of the tax group within the professional Law and Society Association. The group is made up of “sociolegal” law professors and scholars, who seek to understand the law in social contexts.
“That’s something that I’m quite proud of and that has been very successful in terms of helping the University and the law school and doing it in a way that connects it to the other scholars at other universities, and ultimately to policymakers and to real people’s lives,” Buchanan said.
John Banzhaf, a professor of public interest law, said the impact of faculty engagement with articles and the media comes from quotations and op-eds that incite activism, not from law reviews or scholarly articles.
“If you ask many faculty members, ‘Show me a law review article that had a significant impact in changing law,’ they’ll look at you like you’re crazy," Banzhaf said.
Banzhaf teaches a course called legal activism, in which he said students learn how to be activist lawyers by choosing an issue and bringing about legal action. Banzhaf said that he teaches his students how to effectively use the media to make an impact for their cause.
“I see [the media] as as a tool and as a weapon,” Banzhaf said. “It’s not just writing an article for the sake of writing an article. It’s using it as a targeted tool and as a targeted weapon to achieve a particular results.”
Banzhaf said he did this himself several years ago when he wrote a three-page letter, which eventually led to a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission: For every three cigarette commercials aired, there must be room for one anti-smoking message. Banzhaf said he had originally planned to be a patent lawyer but changed his mind after seeing how his words made a difference.
“So I decided I’m not going to spend my life cranking out patents and litigating patents,” he said. I was going to use my legal skills to do something, to achieve something.”
James Greif, the director of communications for the Association of American Law Schools, said in an email that law professors’ expertise could influence which students choose to attend the school.
“Potential students who are researching which law school to attend might base their decision in part on something they see in the media,” Greif said. “If they like a particular professor’s take on a legal problem, it could be a factor in choosing a law school.””

Tips and tricks to help melt away post-election stress
by The GW Hatchet
Nov 14, 2016
“For some students, the U.S. presidential election cycle been going on since they arrived on campus. And even for those who have been students longer than that, the campaign season seemed endless. But now the election whirlwind is finally over: no more nights of studying interrupted by debates or pressure to keep up with constant poll analysis.
For many students, the results of the election have only caused more stress, so it’s especially important to find ways to take care of yourself and make it through the end of the semester in good mental and physical health. Here are some ways to help with political panic or exhaustion. From taking a hike to deleting your account, you should be feeling refreshed by the time Thanksgiving break rolls around.
Outdoor exercise:
If you have the time and a Zipcar account, take a walk through the winter wonderland of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens to distract yourself from post-election gloom.
The Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, located in Vienna, Va., are beautiful during the spring and summer months with their cobblestone walkways, sprawling green fields spotted with seasonal florals and – their main attraction – a Monet-esque island bridge that crosses a placid lake.
But during the winter, the park is dressed up for its annual Winter Walk of Lights. Everything from the trees lining the trails to the gazebos, the lake and the famed Fountain of Lights are decked out for an animated glowing display. Let this magical half-mile walk transport you away from the stresses of school, work and a particularly tense presidential election.
If you can’t get away from D.C.:
Georgetown and GW students share a neighborhood secret: Tucked away near the canals of Georgetown is a lookout that towers over the Potomac River. From its vantage point, you can see the lights of the Deloitte building across the Key Bridge or catch clips of music from the houseboats drifting by.
This lonely stone lookout is a fairly popular late-night destination for students. To get there, follow K Street until you get to the large parking lot past the kayak port, then turn right and climb up the small cement staircase.
The staircase is grubby, littered with cigarette butts and radiating the smell of urine. Don’t let this discourage you. Once you reach the top, you’ll see the lookout past a bent metal guardrail and, if you go at night, the low chatter of a few other students.
Social media:
In this strained political climate, logging onto Facebook this year has probably brought with it an increasing sense of dread. You never know which of your extended family members or former middle school classmates is going to post an essay of a status revealing opposite political views. While it’s important to be exposed to views other than your own, the constant barrage of opinions can be stressful.
If you’re scrolling through your feed and see a political status with which you vehemently disagree, just hover over that person’s name and click the unfriend button to feel the sense of relief wash over you.
If you can’t unfriend someone for whatever reason, you can always go to their page and “unfollow” them. Like the mute button on Twitter, “unfollowing” allows you to still view everything on their profiles without posts popping up on your newsfeed.
Of course, you could deactivate your social media accounts altogether. It may seem extreme, but you can trust that the people who you care about most will find other ways to connect with you. Send your high school friend you haven’t talked to in a while a text, or call your grandma up on the phone – they are guaranteed to appreciate that gesture more than a Facebook like. After all, you can always reactivate your account when you’re ready.
Mental health:
Take care of yourself and do little things that you know make you happy. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few suggestions.
Even though it’s a bit early, listen to Christmas music to get yourself into the holiday spirit. If you don't enjoy Christmas carols, any kind of music you typically enjoy can be uplifting.
Revamp your hygiene routine with a face mask or a bubble bath. Try Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment masks and treat yourself to a well-deserved spa day. If you’re not into the beauty routine, turn on relaxing music and ambient lighting, and snuggle up to your favorite Netflix show to calm down for the night.”

'Nice kid' seniors take on vocal leadership roles
by The GW Hatchet
Nov 07, 2016
“Media Credit: Dan Rich | Photo Editor
Women’s basketball head coach Jennifer Rizzotti let out a chuckle when she began to talk about the team’s three seniors, Caira Washington, Hannah Schaible and Shannon Cranshaw. The first-year coach lauded the three for their reputation as stand-up people but said they sometimes need to depart from their “gentleness” and take charge.
“I think all three of them struggle with the same thing,” Rizzotti said. “I think that they’re nice kids that don’t want to make anyone mad at them.”
The three seniors will look to be strong vocal leaders to help the Colonials come back from two consecutive first-round losses in the NCAA Tournament last season. And Rizzotti said they need grit to make a full comeback.
“They have to learn that when you’re a winner, and you’re a leader, you don’t always have to make everyone happy,” Rizzotti said. “Sometimes it’s going to take you being harsh and vocal to hold your teammates accountable.”
For a team that returns many of the same players but without former program icons Lauren Chase and Jonquel Jones, leadership is essential. Chase ran the offense last year from the point, while Jones was the take-charge figure in the locker room that other players rallied around.
This year, Washington, Schaible and Cranshaw will be the established and most experienced members of a 2016–2017 who return with playing experience.
The Colonials will count on Washington and Schaible to set the tone. The two players will propel GW's success on the floor this year, having been named to the preseason all-conference first and third teams, respectively.
Washington lurks as a premier force in the paint with Jones gone, as one of four players in program history with 1,000 points (1,219), 800 rebounds (856) and 100 blocked shots (102).
As the new face of the program, Washington said she hopes to be more vocal on the floor in her final season.
“[Basketball] is more than just being able to make a shot,” Washington said. “It’s also being able to talk to my teammates when we’re down – if we’re down five or whatever – and being able to step back up and get back in the game.”
And Schaible’s tenacity is evident in her ability to scrap and rebound with the bigs. With 542 career boards – including 6 rebounds per game last season – Schaible ranks an impressive 22nd all-time in program history.
She said she hopes to lead the team by example, as much as by her words. The senior wing player has become a staple of hustle – never hesitating to put her body on the line for loose balls.
With a self-proclaimed “eclectic” personality, Schaible said she hopes some of her goofiness can bring levity to the team when they face challenges. And her passion on the floor should give other players energy, she said.
“Being a senior and a captain, I think the underclassmen look to me for leadership,” Cranshaw said. “So that’s probably my biggest role right now, to keep everyone calm when we have adverse situations.”
Although Washington and Schaible may be making headlines in the preseason, Cranshaw has been a driving force in the locker room. The Colonials were picked to finish fourth in the A-10 this season after back-to-back conference championships, something that did not go unnoticed by the senior guard.
“I actually wrote the [A-10 preseason] rankings up on the board,” Cranshaw said. “Not that we need any more motivation to work hard but it kind of is fuel for us. The last two years that we won the A-10 we weren’t picked to do so in the preseason, so this year is no different.”
Cranshaw had a season of peaks and valleys last year, beginning the season as the starting two guard before being relegated to a bench role with the emergence of sophomore guard Brianna Cummings and former head coach Jonathan Tsipis’ preference for playing big.
Cranshaw said she has been encouraged by Rizzotti’s motion offense, which will have many moving parts and give players equal opportunities to score. Rather than being buried in the corner in Tsipis’ pick-and-roll style, Cranshaw should have more opportunities for open shots and drives to the rim.
“For me it’s never been about ‘Are you starting?’ or ‘Are you coming off the bench?’” Cranshaw said. “It’s just playing my role and embracing my role, knowing that whatever I do is important for our team’s success, whether I’m scoring or assisting or taking charges."”

Japan's hoops hero: Watanabe primed for breakout junior season
by The GW Hatchet
Nov 07, 2016
“Media Credit: Dan Rich | Photo Editor
In Japan, Yuta Watanabe has already achieved rockstar status.
The 6-foot-9-inch junior guard got a taste of the limelight when men’s basketball took its foreign tour of his home country in August.
Watanabe played in front of packed stadiums in four cities during the two-week trip. Outside venues, he signed autographs and took hundreds of selfies with young fans who wanted nothing more than a picture with “The Chosen One.”
“It was really fun,” Watanabe said with a modest grin when asked about his celebrity. “I usually can’t play basketball in front of Japanese fans, so that was very cool. I really enjoyed myself and so did the team.”
In 2013–2014, Watanabe averaged 13 points per game in his one season at St. Thomas More School in Connecticut, where he earned his melodramatic moniker from The Japan Times. The soft-spoken Kagawa native was recruited to play in Foggy Bottom the next year, becoming the first Japanese-born player to ever receive a Division I scholarship.
Now entering his third year at GW, under the direction of a new coach and surrounded by a markedly different supporting cast, the 22-year-old hopes to finally have his long-awaited breakout season.
And he’ll need to find success to help the Colonials, picked eighth in the 2016 Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll, get back to the Big Dance – a feat the program has come painfully close to achieving in Watanabe’s first two years but never accomplished.
“[Making the NCAA Tournament] is the most important goal,” Watanabe said. “I do feel more pressure [this year] – last year we had Patricio [Garino], Joe McDonald, Kevin Larsen who could lead us – but now I have to be a leader, both on and off the court. I have the experience, so I feel like I can handle it.”
As a freshman, Watanabe saw just 10 starts and averaged 7.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. He finished the year hot, however, scoring a career-high seven three-pointers against Massachusetts in GW’s regular-season finale.
Watanabe became a regular starter last season. Averaging 8.4 points and 4.0 rebounds, he finished the year as the Colonials’ fifth-highest scorer and led the team with 40 blocks. But plagued by inconsistency – especially down the stretch – the guard saw his offensive rating take a hit during his sophomore season.
Watanabe considers his shooting and defensive ability to be two of his biggest strengths but expects to be handling the ball a lot more this season than in years past. He said he’s been working on that aspect of his game all summer, as well as improving his passing and rebounding.
Watanabe's coaches and teammates are anticipating an exceptional junior campaign for the international phenom.
“I’m expecting Yuta to make a big jump,” interim head coach Maurice Joseph said. “I know he had a great summer in the weight room, strength and conditioning. He has taken a jump forward in his confidence, and he knows now that he is going to be able to step into a bigger role in terms of needing to produce for us, so I’m looking forward to seeing him embrace that challenge.”
All-Conference First Team pick Tyler Cavanaugh agrees with Joseph and said he knows Watanabe will be a key starter for the Colonials on both sides of the ball. The graduate student forward and the team were able to catch a glimpse of what might be in store for Watanabe’s third year in Foggy Bottom during their summer tour.
Across four exhibitions – three against the Japanese National Team, whom he played with in July at an Olympic qualifying tournament in Serbia, and one against the Ryukyu Golden Kings – Watanabe posted an impressive 14.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
The Colonials won all four games in Japan by an average margin of 18.3 points.
“Most teams can go on foreign trips and don’t have many people in the stands, but we were fortunate enough to have people waiting for us when we were walking onto the bus after a game because of Yuta,” Cavanaugh said. “[The trip] was great for us. Just to be able to play in different arenas and play in front of three to five thousand people each night is great especially for the young guys to be able to go in a real game atmosphere with real officials and just continue to improve.”
Of course the trip also served as a way for the group, a team with seven newcomers, to build a rapport off the court.
Aside from playing exhibitions, the team took a Japanese sports globalization class, meeting with officials and executives of leading sports companies and visiting iconic attractions throughout the country.
Watanabe also got to share his culture with his teammates, which at times made for some funny moments, he said. At one dinner, the players were served tempura. Freshman forward Kevin Marfo – Watanabe’s 245-pound roommate on the trip – was sitting next to him. After they finished their plates, Marfo asked “That was the appetizer, right?” It was the entree.
“We’ve got lots of new guys, so the trip to Japan just made us even closer,” Watanabe said. “We got to know each other well and built a lot of good chemistry.”
A few weeks after returning home, it was announced former head coach Mike Lonergan – who accompanied the team in Japan – would be dismissed as head coach.
Watanabe was a veteran who felt compelled to step up during the time of adversity to help his team regroup and to be a source of support for younger players, he said.
“The freshmen were really confused in that situation because they don’t even know how college goes,” Watanabe said. “But Tyler, me – everybody was just confused, so I was sure the freshmen were having a hard time. So I was trying to talk to them as much as I could and stick together.”
As is the sense with the entire program, Watanabe thought the best way to move forward was to shift his and his teammates’ focus back to the court.
With arguably his most important, and potentially most successful, collegiate season on the horizon, he hasn’t had time to think about much else.
“I told [the freshmen] ‘We have to do what we have to do no matter what,’” Watanabe said. “Our goal doesn’t change.””

Spirited Colonial Army president embarks on final year leading student fans
by The GW Hatchet
Nov 07, 2016
“Media Credit: Dan Rich | Photo Editor
She has become one of the most recognizable faces of GW Athletics, but she doesn’t play for any team.
She’s Kate Bell, and to know her is to know the heart and soul of GW's school spirit.
Serving her second term as president of the Colonial Army, GW's fan section, Bell has a larger-than-life personality that is a force to be reckoned with at most sporting events – both at home and away.
This upcoming basketball season kicks off Bell’s last year with the Colonial Army, as the philosophy major will graduate in the spring. For Bell, it means she has one more opportunity to grow the Colonial Army's inclusive culture and to cheer on GW's two basketball teams alongside the army's 3,000 members.
“My main goal, my mission, for the past few years has been creating a space where students can escape from whatever they’ve got going on outside of the Smith Center,” Bell said.
And it seems that she can consider that mission accomplished. In her two years as president, nearly 1,500 students have joined the Colonial Army, and the home game attendance record has been broken six times over, Bell said.
The Bailey’s Crossroads, Va. native first joined the Colonial Army after she started attending games with hopes of finding friends as a freshman.
“I didn’t know where I would fit in, what groups of people I would really connect with,” Bell said. “In the first few weeks I had this sense of feeling a little bit lost.”
But eventually, Bell said she found her niche first on the "Street Team," a group of students who she described as “an outreach squad” for sporting events by putting up posters and advertising for games.
“I didn’t really apply to be a part of the Street Team,” Bell said. “The president and vice president at the time just kind of picked me out and said, ‘Hey, you know, you've got a lot of enthusiasm, is it something that you would be interested in?’ and it was an automatic ‘yes’ from me.”
She joined the group's executive board her sophomore year. Since then, Bell has continued to nurture the same atmosphere that made her feel at home as a freshman.
“If you want to come out and meet new people and feel welcomed, that’s what [the Colonial Army] is here for,” Bell said.
The presence and energy of the Colonial Army at both men’s and women’s basketball games has become a key factor in making the Smith Center “one of the toughest places to play in the Atlantic 10,” Bell said.
Last November, men’s basketball marched to one of its most stunning upsets in 20 years – taking down No. 6 Virginia 73–68 in front of a raucous home crowd.
“The UVA coach came out with a statement kind of talking a little bit about the game and one of the things he said was, ‘I didn’t think we expected it to be so loud.’ And that for me was just this moment of gratification and just being thankful,” Bell said. “It was a surreal moment for me, and I would say arguably the highlight of my GW career.”
And with the tumultuous events of the preseason finally settling for the men’s team, Bell said she knows the squad needs extra support this season.
“We have our sights set on being a constant source of support,” Bell said. “We acknowledge that this is going to be a building year for both our men and our women, so we really just want to keep doing what we always do, and that’s show up.”
It's clear Bell is a beloved figure in GW's athletics culture, and after four years as the heartbeat of GW’s cheering section, Bell said the student athletes she has cheered for have become her friends, too.
“It was cool when I made that transition around sophomore year from cheering for these strangers I didn’t know that well to actually cheering for my friends,” Bell said. “It makes it a lot more meaningful to me knowing that they really feel the support on a deeper level.”
Bell said her final year as a Colonial Army member gives her “one last year getting to do what [she loves]" and reminds her of the bonds she has formed through the group over the past four years.
“It’s a really cool feeling to be a senior and be able to walk through campus and just see so many familiar faces," Bell said.”

Rizzotti brings Rio coaching experience to Foggy Bottom
by The GW Hatchet
Nov 07, 2016
“Media Credit: Dan Rich | Photo Editor
After helping lead the United States women’s basketball team to a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, first-year women’s basketball head coach Jennifer Rizzotti has some extra experience that could lead the Colonials to a third consecutive Atlantic 10 conference title.
Rizzotti’s extensive experience with USA women’s basketball includes coaching the U.S. Under-18 National Team to a gold medal at the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and the U19 National Team to a gold medal at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship.
After joining Geno Auriemma’s staff in Rio in August, Rizzotti helped the team knock off Spain for a 101–72 victory in the gold medal game for their sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal.
Despite her gold-medal summer, she remains hungry to succeed in her first season in Foggy Bottom. For Rizzotti, coaching student athletes is a unique challenge and one that she approaches differently from coaching Olympic athletes.
“It’s completely two different worlds,” she said. “Coaching college kids is a lot different. They’re not quite adults yet. This isn’t their job. They’re holding themselves to a high level of accountability as a student. In some ways it can be rewarding to be coaching women at the peak of their career, but you’re not as connected. Whereas these guys, you’re helping them become young professional women, and that’s a different investment.”
Rizzotti was the starting point guard on the UConn Huskies’ first national championship team in 1995, which finished 35–0 under Auriemma. This past summer, Auriemma – who is also the coach of the United States women’s basketball team – asked Rizzotti to join his staff along with Doug Bruno, Cheryl Reeve and Dawn Staley.
Rizzotti said her main lesson from playing and coaching under Coach Auriemma is to always expect the highest level of play from each and every player.
“At UConn...the standard is so high... kids go there because they want to be great – they want to be pushed to their limit – and he [Geno] doesn’t let them perform below their best, and that’s what I’m trying to instill in these guys,” Rizzotti said. “I’m going to really push [the players] this year to help them be able to compete all the time with that standard because that’s what’s really going to make them great – what you do individually every day and how you make the people around you better.”
During her 17-year tenure as women’s basketball head coach at the University of Hartford, Rizzotti had the opportunity to learn, experiment and mature as a coach. Inheriting a GW roster with plenty of turnover, she is well-positioned to hit the ground running with her new team. She has coached 36 players who have won all-conference awards, as well as ten different 1,000-point scorers.
“I was able to grow up [at Hartford] as a coach, and I had plenty of time to make mistakes and plenty of time to figure out how to do things right,” Rizzotti said. “What I did learn was that not every team can be coached the same way, and not every system is going to work for every team that I coach. Not every motivational technique is going to work the same for every player that I coach.”
As for her goals for the year, Rizzotti isn’t just concerned with awards or trophies. She is focused on helping her seniors leave a legacy, maturing as leaders and upholding the standard of success that the back-to-back conference championships have created around the women’s basketball program.
“I think people have expectations of our program. I put a lot of pressure on making sure that Caira and Hannah and Shannon leave here the same way the seniors have left here the last few years,” Rizzotti said. “That’s my mentality: What are we going to do over the course of the next five months to let them finish on top? I have to motivate them to be their best.””

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