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The Hatchet's 2014 Holiday Gift Guide
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 24, 2014
“Struggling with what to get your friends or significant other for the holidays? We’ve broken down the people in your life – the athlete, artist, chef, techie – to guide you toward the best gift at every price level. No last-minute gift cards or generic scarves needed.
Gifts for the health nut
Riley Londres | Hatchet Reporter
Media Credit: Photo by flickr user Raúl González used under a CC BY 2.0 license.
Here are gifts for the friend or family member who loves 8 a.m. jogs or blocks out time in his or her planner to go to Soul Cycle.
PDO Sporteer Classic Armband for iPhone 6
$24.99, CitySports
With the recent introduction of the iPhone 6, chances are your loved one is in need of a new armband to keep his or her tunes in place while working out. This armband is simple with a moisture barrier to keep devices dry and a pocket to hold keys, credit cards and cash, so you won’t need to shove them in your shoes or strategically stick them in your sports bra. It comes in two different sizes: small/medium and medium/large.
CitySports, 1111 19th St. NW
Women’s UA Storm Brave The Run Gloves
Men’s UA ColdGear Infrared Storm Strive Run Gloves
$34.99, Under Armour Brand House
The cold weather hit us fast and early this year, and it seems like it’s here to stay. But don’t let the chill cause you or a friend to forgo your favorite activities, like running or biking outdoors. Under Armour Brand House’s gloves for men and women are warm, repel water and have touch-screen fingertips, so the cold is no longer an excuse to skip a run. Plus, snowball fights and ice skating can remain on the winter to-do list.
Fitbit Tracker
$59.95 to $249.95, CitySports
Fitbit is a new product that is rapidly gaining popularity: Just clip or wear this device on your wrist to keep track of daily activity. It can calculate how many steps you’ve taken, number of calories burned and distance traveled, and even monitors how well you slept by recording your hours snoozing and movements made while asleep. All of these specs are then uploaded to your computer or iPhone, letting you know where you stand in your fitness goals. Each Fitbit comes in a different color that can be swapped out. This is an ideal gift for anyone who is looking to accomplish a fitness goal or simply wants to keep track of regular workouts.
CitySports, 1111 19th St. NW
NikeID
$115 to $200, Niketown
Shoes can be the most important part of an outfit, for both men and women, and sometimes finding the perfect pair of shoes to give to someone seems impossible. NikeID shoes let you, or your loved one, customize the exact pair of shoes he or she wants, from casual to athletic, either in stores or online.
Niketown , 3040 M St. NW
Gifts for the aspiring chef
Rachael Paul | Hatchet Reporter
Media Credit: Photo by flicker user Nicole Abalde used under a CC BY-ND 2.0 liscence.
Got a friend obsessed with the kitchen? You know who I mean – the one who insists on spicing up ramen with fresh veggies, raves about the latest deal at Trader Joe’s and dedicates an hour to grocery shopping every week. Give them the gift of cuisine.
Spices and tea
$3 to $25, The Spice and Tea Exchange
The Spice and Tea Exchange is a goldmine when shopping for the novice chef who wants to liven up plates like a pro. Every inch of this store is filled with shelves of jars containing delectable blends of hand-mixed meat rubs, exotic loose-leaf teas and specialty salts. Spices are sold individually in one-to-four-ounce bags or two-to-three-ounce grinders, with prices varying by item. If you’re having a rough time choosing one item over another, you can purchase a combination of three one-ounce bags for about $14. If you are completely overwhelmed and don't mind paying a little extra ($30 to $50), The Spice and Tea Exchange offers pre-assembled holiday gift arrangements.
The Spice and Tea Exchange , 1069 Wisconsin Ave. NW and 320 King St., Alexandria, Va., Suite 112
Cooking class
$45 to $50, Hill's Kitchen
Kitchenware supply store Hill's Kitchen offers cooking 101 classes like "Basic Knife Skills" ($50), which covers everything from techniques to storage. Others teach how to make dishes like Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake and Hawaiian Pineapple with Sabionne and Chocolate Drizzle ($45) or Bruschetta and Salmon Mousse hors d'oeuvres ($50). A newly added vegetarian index is featured on the store’s website to specify which classes are vegetarian, vegetarian friendly or not vegetarian.
Hill's Kitchen , 713 D St. SE
Foodie Dice
$24, Foodie Dice
Similar to an author, a chef will experience "cook's block" at some point in his or her career. For inspiration, Foodie Dice has cooking methods, grain selections, herb choices, vegetable components and bonus ingredients engraved on wooden cubes. Simply roll the dice and challenge yourself to whatever meal fate decides – the perfect gift for an aspiring chef who doesn't know where to begin or who’s looking for a fun way to create new dishes.
Gifts for the visual artist
Mariya Tikhonova | Hatchet Reporter
Media Credit: Photo by flickr user Michelle Tribe used under a CC BY 2.0 license.
From studio time to DIY projects, we’ve got your shopping list for artsy, paint-loving and aesthetically-oriented friends and family.
Poppies Flower Kit
$18, Paper Source
Artistic pragmatists will enjoy this small, decorative novelty. Kits come with pre-cut flower shapes, floral wire and floral tape to make 12 brightly colored poppies. Assembly is quick and simple, and the final product is adorable, making it the perfect gift for a friend who loves flowers but can’t keep them alive. They can be used as decorations to liven up a dull space or as dainty additions to art projects.
Paper Source , 3019 M St. NW
Jamming Paint + Drink Package
$33 to $42 per lesson, Artjamz D.C.
Practice makes perfect – aspiring artists will only appreciate and benefit from a chance to work on their trade. Those painters 21 or older can swap out the traditional studio session for one with drinks at ArtJamz. Each lesson is an hour and a half long and comes with your choice of a beer, a glass of wine, a cocktail or a non-alcoholic beverage. Prices begin at $33 and increase with canvas size. Sessions are centered on famous artists or type of alcohol (e.g. a Banksy session or a Pinot Noir session). They offer an array of other lessons, catering to all ages, skill levels and alcohol preferences. You can even bring a date for a “Paint and Sip Night.”
Artjamz D.C., 1742 Connecticut Ave. NW.
Let’s Travel Coloring Mural
$48, Anthropologie
Anthropologie has no shortage of beautiful decorative pieces for any home. One such piece is the "Let’s Travel Coloring Mural." This 36-by-60-inch canvas is a large map of the world, with continent borders lightly sketched in black over a broad expanse of white. From there, it can be filled in, drawn or painted on and doodled all over. Let your artsy friend go crazy painting the world in a unique light, documenting travels or planning future trips.
Anthropologie, 3222 M St. NW
“Contemporary Street Arts in Europe: Aesthetics and Politics” by Susan C. Haedicke
$83.95, Barnes & Noble
For the artsy and informed, “Contemporary Street Art in Europe” is a good off-the-beaten-path gift. Artists and political junkies alike can enjoy exploring European politics through the world of street theatre and street art. Visuals in this book are accompanied by passages that describe social and political changes in Europe, and the implications of street art and street theatre in those countries. Plus, Barnes & Noble has a handy marketplace where you can buy a used copy of the book for $52.89.
Barnes & Noble, 555 12th St. NW
Gifts for the outdoorsy friend
Everly Jazi | Hatchet Staff Writer
Media Credit: Photo by flickr user Daniel Rodriguez used under a CC BY 2.0 license.
You may have never seen the columns at the National Arboretum or gone hiking in Rock Creek Park, but your outdoorsy friends are sure to have explored the abundant natural beauties of the D.C. area. Help them find their niche amid the bustling city streets with these gifts for the nature lover.
“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed
$9.62, Barnes & Noble
You've probably seen the trailer for the upcoming film, “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon or heard about the book from Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. “Wild” is the memoir of a boundary-pushing woman determined to make meaning of hard times by backpacking through desert and snowy mountains on the Pacific Crest Trail. Author Cheryl Strayed’s honest, funny and tough story will make your nature-hungry friends book a ticket to the Mojave as soon as they read the last word. What better way to spend a backpacking trip than laughing at Strayed’s anecdotes while in a cozy tent, listening to the critters?
Go with the paperback edition so your friend can tear the book and discard finished pages while backpacking to decrease the weight he or she carries, just like Strayed did on her trip.
Barnes & Noble, 555 12th St. NW.
Hammock
$22.95, Byer Traveller Lite Hammock at REI
If you are lucky, on a spring day in University Yard you'll see someone reading a textbook in a hammock. Your friends are always saying they wish they could do the same when it’s warm and sunny. Make that wish come true with a quality hammock. While they wait for spring, your friends can try it out in their dorms.
REI, 3509 Carlin Springs Road, Falls Church, Va.
DMV Camping Trip
About $150
It’s easy to pick your comforter over the Shenandoah woods or horseback riding in Patapsco Valley as the temperatures begin to drop. But if you have a best friend that constantly asks if you want to go hiking or sleeps in a 20-degree sleeping bag for fun, give the gift of nature. Plan your friend’s dream vacation within reach, and simplify the process by renting gear from GW TRAiLS.
DMV Parks:
Shenandoah National Park, Va.
Chesapeake Bay, D.C.
Patapsco Valley State Park, Md.
C&O Canal National Historic Park, D.C.
Prince William Forest Park, Va.
GW TRAiLS, Center for Student Engagement at the Marvin Center, Suite 505.
Gifts for the thrift shopper
Jeanine Marie | Hatchet Staff Writer
Media Credit: Photo by flickr user Orin Zebest used under a CC BY 2.0 license.
Thrift shopping is not as easy as adding presents to a virtual shopping cart, but don’t let the hours of dedicated searching or the idea of wrapping up something “old” turn you off. Knick knacks, cool gems and interesting finds are a fun way to get personal with your presents this year.
Smash! Records
At Smash! you’ll find the perfect gift for the alt rock oddball in your life. This store is a speciality shop with an extensive selection, so be prepared to sift through a diverse punk, indie and alt rock record collection and dig around for a few reasonably priced, vintage band tees. Smash! has been a staple in Adams Morgan since 1984, but they’ve made some of their vinyls available online. Check out the records , which average between $15 and $40, before you hit the shop.
2314 18th St. NW., second Floor, open seven days a week, hours vary.
Junction Vintage
Junction is vintage-lite: shoppers will not see the loose threads, sweat stains or inconsistent sizes they may expect at the average second-hand shop. Instead, you can expect racks of mostly 80s and 90s vintage organized by color and size, carefully curated by Shannan Fales.
Fales became the sole owner of the store in 2005, and has since doubled Junction’s selection without losing its sleek aesthetic. A vintage sweater or pair of jeans will set you back $20 to $50. Be sure to check out the shop’s large collection of authentic leather cowboy boots for the Western soul, which are about $100 a pair.
1510 U St. NW, closed Monday and Tuesday, hours vary.
Mom N’ Pop Antiques
The aisles of unique antiques at Mom N’ Pop ensure you’ll find an odd or an end for everyone on your list. The $1,350 King Tenor saxophone or the pink, 19th-century velvet sofa listed on the website may not be what you’re looking for, but in store, Mom N’ Pop has almost too much to wade through, with prices starting at just 50 cents. Colorful pottery, vintage desk lamps, record players and new, quirky items make the store worth the trek to Park View.
3534 Georgia Ave. NW., open Thursday through Monday, noon to 6 p.m.
Gifts for the significant other
Tatiana Cirisano | Contributing Culture Editor
Media Credit: Photo by flickr user Fe Ilya used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.
Holiday shopping for the significant other in your life can be stressful, especially when your relationship status isn’t black and white. But whether you’re high school sweethearts, just starting to get serious, long-distance lovers or just met on Tinder, we’ve got the gift for your you-know-who.
For the crush: Upgrade Dinner-And-A-Movie at Angelika
If you’re not quite in the gift-giving stage but still want to do something special for your crush, head to Angelika pop-up theatre at Union Market for a twist on the classic dinner-and-a-movie date. The indie film hub offers a selection of independent films ($11 per ticket, $8 matinee) that you can watch while noshing on shareable snacks named after films. Order up a “Tropic Thunder” (prosecco, Route 11 BBQ chips and pineapple cotton candy) or “Where the Wild Things Are” (Wild Thing Zinfandel, espresso chocolate chip cookies and a Chuau Chocolatier Firecracker bar), both $27.
For the new girlfriend or boyfriend: MIANSAI bracelet
Looking for the first piece of jewelry to gift your significant someone? Miami-based brand MIANSAI offers handmade accessories for guys and girls in a variety of customizable styles. Order one of the company’s popular wraparound bracelets, where you choose the hardware (hook or anchor closing), finish (silver plated, sterling silver, rose gold, gold plated, etc.) and strap (leather, rope or even shark skin). Prices range from $55 to $160, depending on customized options. Not only does the bracelet go with everything, but it looks great on guys and girls alike, so you can go ahead and buy a matching one for yourself, too.
For the long-term relationship: Take a mini-vacation
Instead of buying an item for your long-term love, offer a thoughtful experience instead. Sign up for a car2go ($84.99 per day maximum) or hop on a train from Union Station and take a break from Foggy Bottom with a day trip to a nearby destination. Charlottesville, Va. is just a two-and-a-half-hour drive away, and you can sip vintage wines at Barboursville Vineyards or tour the stunning house and gardens at Monticello.
For the long-distance relationship: Customized photobook
If you can’t visit your long-distance girlfriend or boyfriend this holiday season, don’t panic. With Mixbook , you can customize an entire photo album online to be delivered straight to your significant other’s doorstep. You choose the style, upload the photos and add your own captions to customize each page – you even get to choose the paper. Photobooks start at $19.99 for an 8.5-inch square book.
Bonus: The website offers a holiday discount (up to 40 percent off) with the code HLDY14.
Gifts for the book lover
Jeanine Marie | Hatchet Staff Writer
Media Credit: File Photo by Olivia Harding | Hatchet Photographer
If you're looking for a gift for a bookworm, Upshur Street Books should be at the top of your list.
Tech gifts like hi-def headphones, fancy cameras or a premium Spotify subscription are reliable safeties. But hunting for the little literary things you won’t find at Staples is the best way to get personal with your presents this year.
Check out these local bookshops for notebooks, funny cards, stationery and books before you head back to your hometown:
Idle Time Books
Adams Morgan’s local fixture, Idle Time, advertises as a “current, used and out of print” bookshop, but the little store with a green facade holds much more.
The bookstore recently acquired copies of "The Evergreen Review." The counterculture mag's first edition in 1957 contained an essay by Jean-Paul Sartre and an interview with jazz legend Baby Dodds. The editions, which feature authors like Burroughs and artists like Dali, cost $15.
Gifts for the less literary folks in your life could include records, CDs or rare comic books.
Idle Time is also notorious for its greeting card selection at the front of the store. There are humorous birthday cards and inappropriate holiday greetings to scandalize your most politically correct relatives before they unwrap their gifts.
The yellowed newspaper clippings and “no cellphone” reminders hanging on the walls remind shoppers that Idle Time opened its doors in 1981, and it’s not going to change anytime soon.
On your way out, remember to snag a book from the sidewalk cart for just $1.
2467 18th St. NW, open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
Upshur Street Books
Since its opening Nov. 1, this fledgling bookshop has already made a name for the literary selection between its bright green walls.
For the writer on your list, there are handmade journals bound by local artists, as well as colorful Moleskine notebooks. Journals are about $15 each, but prices vary considerably.
Designs by local artists are featured on greeting cards sold for $3 to $5 near checkout. And for those with a little more time to dig around, Upshur has a collection of modern zines.
For little witch or wizard fans (OK, or yourself) head to the Hogwarts Library Collection, which includes “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “Quidditch Through the Ages” and “The Tales of Beedle the Bard.”
827 Upshur St. NW, closed Mondays, hours vary.
Second Story Books
When you walk into Second Story, the first thing you notice won’t be books. It will be a large, gold Buddha bust sitting on top of a bookshelf. On the walls, there are dozens of framed photographs and art.
The best part? It’s all for sale.
Your roommate will love Second Story’s vintage-aesthetic posters, which are stacked on top of a dozens of coffee table books just waiting to be wrapped. There’s an art and antiques gallery with gems like a Titanic poster for $100 and original black-and-white photographs of actors like Edward Everett Horton and Dorothy Gish.
For the holiday season, the store even has a small section of reasonably-priced vinyl records. It also offers book repairs and rebinding.
2000 P St. NW, open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.”

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Importance
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After a year of gigs, Bencoolen seniors make way for new band prospects
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 20, 2014
“Media Credit: Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer
Paul Gregg practices with his bandmates in Bencoolen. The band, which performed at this year's Fall Fest, has played gigs at local venues like the Black Cat and released an EP in August.
Paul Gregg walks down to the basement of Shenkman Hall, tapping into a room with a colorful sign that reads “Student Musicians Coalition.”
Gregg, the vocalist of student band Bencoolen, is meeting the rest of his bandmates to practice songs from “The Bencoolen EP” for a gig at the small Arlington alternative venue Iota Café.
Since their first show together last February, the alternative rock band has landed five sets at venues like the Black Cat and Rock & Roll Hotel. They've played songs from the new release for those crowds, including students at GW’s Fall Fest.
At Iota on Saturday, the band will headline an early show with hors d’oeuvres. The five guys are excited to play at the intimate coffeehouse that sees mostly East Coast-based bands in a small brick room, a contrast to the the dive bars and grungy clubs they now know well.
The band, whose name originates from a street in Singapore where Gregg bought his first guitar, started jamming together in early fall 2013.
When saxophonist Ian Braker and guitarist Teddy Scott decided to pursue music professionally, they approached their friend, Gregg, to start a band. Eventually, they added a drummer, Kevin Mathieu, and bassist Eric Burke.
Gregg sits at a table in the SMC room, surrounded by a handful of practice rooms. In one, a student band covers “Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, but the folksy strains are drained out by the rock-and-roll riffs of another group in an adjacent “soundproof” practice room.
Snares and guitar cases litter the floor and a bag of gummy bears sits on the table. On the wall is a Bencoolen poster with George Washington wearing a hula skirt, a lei and an ascot.
The rest of the band members trickle in slowly, and at about 9:30 p.m., they all pile into a practice room. While Gregg and Scott hook up amps and effects pedals, Mathieu kicks off his sneakers and starts playing the drum kit. Braker begins to jam along with Mathieu and Burke jumps in with a funk rhythm. The band picked up Mathieu after the former drummer left.
“I switched my drum lesson from Monday night to Tuesday night because I had switched into this class ... that this girl I had a big crush on was in,” Mathieu said.
By lucky coincidence, Bencoolen’s former drummer was in the class just before Mathieu and asked their professor about Mathieu’s talent. Eventually, he auditioned and got the spot. Even through the lineup changes, Gregg said the spirit of the band has remained the same, which is why the name stayed.
In the practice room, Scott, who helps book all of the band’s shows, tells the others when to meet to drive up to their show at Iota Café. Then he runs through the setlist. The guys spit out ideas about what would make their set “more metal.”
These may be the last bittersweet moments Bencoolen has to jam together: Braker, Burke and Scott are all graduating this year. Braker will work for the Navy, and Burke might move after graduation, leaving spots open for the band to hold auditions.
Scott took a job in D.C. for the next year and plans to remain in Bencoolen, which eased some stress for junior Gregg and sophomore Mathieu. Without Scott, Bencoolen might have ended.
“At least me, Paul and Kevin want to be professional musicians when we grow up, as much as a pipe dream as that is," Scott said. "So for us to get out there and get paid to play was something that needed to happen, and that was the whole purpose of Bencoolen."
When Bencoolen performed at Fall Fest, Gregg told the audience that the show would be the biggest the band would ever see. He was speaking for everyone, particularly the band members who will graduate and leave D.C.
But for Gregg, Scott and Mathieu, they said Bencoolen has to go on.
“At the core, if me and Paul are in a band together, it’s going to be Bencoolen,” Scott said.
The band released “The Bencoolen EP” in August, after recording the songs in May while preparing for a show at the Black Cat. Their sound engineer, GW alumnus Martin MacAlister, helped them on the album and offered up his home for the recording.
“We put them down on the track and he’d be like, ‘Wait a minute. Maybe you want to do this instead.’ And we’d try it out. The recording process made it sound better,” Gregg said.
Bencoolen had just finished finals and recorded for a week, all day every day, pausing only to play their set at the Backstage at the Black Cat. Now that the album’s out, Bencoolen wants to start working on a last event: putting on a GW Music Festival in the spring with some of the other 20 bands in SMC
“Once we kind of know all the talent at GW, we can kind of figure out some sort of bill, which would be really cool,” Gregg said.
As members of the SMC executive board, Bencoolen knows all of the student bands. Gregg hopes to get some of the serious talent to put on a concert, with students playing for students.
The band is also looking to extend their EP with five more songs to make it an LP, their first. With an album in tow, the band could tour to other cities and play larger venues, in the hopes of seeing Bencoolen rise in popularity.”

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Importance
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Order up: Classic burgers with a side of beer and patriotism
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 19, 2014
“Media Credit: Photo courtesy Citizen Burger Bar.
Citizen Burger Bar is planning to open a Clarendon location in December. The new burger joint features locally brewed beers and burgers made with beef from Virginia farms.
Few foods are considered more “American” than a good old-fashioned burger.
Citizen Burger Bar, the self-proclaimed “people’s burger bar,” isn’t just embracing its patriotic reputation: It’s crafted a menu around it.
The restaurant, which plans to open a Clarendon, Va. location in December, spotlights locally brewed beers and features burgers made from beef raised on nearby Virginia farms.
“If you’re going to eat meat, this is how you do it,” reads the menu at its Charlottesville, Va. location.
Owner Andy McClure called burger joints the "perfect combination of being hip and fun but still classic and approachable.” And he said combining the classic burger bar feel with a focus on local fare gives McClure’s restaurant an edge as more burger joints compete for customers.
“Citizen's is the type of place you go for a big juicy burger and high-quality beer,” McClure said.
From lagers to IPAs and wheat beers, the menu offers over 100 types, each with its own story, and often coming from local Virginia breweries.
The Devils Backbone Vienna Lager, a local crowd favorite and award winner, “is just one of those beers that goes so well with our burgers,” McClure said.
And McClure himself has gotten to know some of the brewmasters, taking pride in the breweries he chooses to feature on his menu.
Citizen’s burgers are made with local buns iron-stamped with a large “CB," local cheeses and grass-fed, grass-finished beef. This beef, coming from farms in Virginia, has a fresher flavor and is different from the typical ground beef you’d buy at a grocery store, McClure said.
“I always joke and say it might save the world some day,” he said.
In addition to the signature Citizen Burger, which is topped with a fried pickle, crowds at the Charlottesville location love the truffle fries, lobster club and shishito peppers (Japanese peppers paired with soy sauce and ranch dressing).
Citizen Burger Bar can also please the wine lover, featuring choices from Virginia wineries.
McClure hopes the Clarendon neighborhood will welcome the restaurant, whether customers include crowds of sports lovers coming for game day or families taking advantage of great options for children, like the mini burgers.
Though the D.C. area has been overrun by fast-casual burger places, like Shake Shack, Bobby’s Burger Palace and Five Guys, McClure said his full-service burger bar model makes Citizen stand out.
“The full service takes it to another level,” McClure said. “It’s not saying just come here for a burger. It’s saying come for an experience.””

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Importance
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Sean Hurd: Colonials can only go as far as their bench allows
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 18, 2014
“With all the hype surrounding the men's basketball team, it’s easy to join in the optimism for the Colonials, who are off to a 2-0 start after wins against Grambling State and Rutgers in their opening weekend.
But once the smoke clears and GW begins to match up against more formidable opponents, fans may be reminded of the team’s most glaring weakness from last year: bench production.
That single shortfall was the most significant obstacle to GW’s chance at competing with the nation’s elites last season, when the team finished 24-9, totaling its second-most wins in program history.
Of the Colonials’ 33 games last season, GW’s bench was outscored 24 times. For comparison’s sake, Saint Louis, which finished the season 27-7, had its bench outscored 15 times and VCU, which finished 26-9, had its bench outscored just eight times.
Can GW’s starters power through and compensate for lackluster bench performances this year? After all, they did it for the majority of last season: Out of the 24 times the Colonials bench was outscored, GW still emerged victorious 17 times.
Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Sean Hurd
But the pressure on GW’s starters to consistently produce every game is hefty for any collegiate starting five. And when a starter has an off night – a la Maurice Creek against Memphis (nine points on 2-13 shooting) in the second round of last year’s NCAA tournament – you start to cringe at the sight of the boxscore – which reveals the bench was outscored 25-3 by the Tigers.
Head coach Mike Lonergan, who has said on multiple occasions that he wishes his roster were deeper, can’t afford to play with a seven-man rotation like he did for most of last season. He added last night that he hopes to play 10-deep.
Junior guards Joe McDonald and Kethan Savage are both making full returns to the floor after rehabbing injuries sustained last season – McDonald to his left hip and Savage to his foot.
But despite both McDonald and Savage looking healthy to start the season, I can’t help but grimace every time McDonald hits the floor after a drive for fear of last season’s shaky replacements. Luckily, they’re a mere memory: Nemanja Mikic graduated in May and Paris Maragkos, Miguel Cartagena and Skyler White have transferred to other programs.
But this year’s bench features just two players with prior college experience: junior forward Ryan McCoy, who has been sidelined the last few weeks with a minor back injury, and sophomore guard Nick Griffin.
Lonergan needs Griffin to step in as the team’s best three-point shooter in the absence of Mikic and Creek. Griffin had a 48.8 three-point shooting percent last year – that needs to carry over into this season.
After a nice showing against Grambling State, where he totaled eight points in nine minutes (including two three-pointers), Griffin turned in a six-point effort in eight minutes against the Scarlet Knights.
He appeared hesitant at times, though, and with five minutes left in the first half, had a lay-up attempt blocked after a steal by Larsen at half court. Lonergan will be forced to trade a deep offensive threat for Griffin’s less proficient defensive presence.
McCoy’s production, though, is a question mark: He averaged nine minutes, 1.3 points and 1.0 rebounds per game through two seasons for the Jaspers, but we have yet to see him take the floor as a Colonial.
The rest of the bench is filled with five promising but still inexperienced freshmen, of whom Lonergan said he hopes two will emerge as impact players right away: freshmen guard Darian Bryant and forward Yuta Watanabe.
Watanabe has already begun to carve out his impact for the Colonials after just two games of the year. Undoubtedly, he still has work to do in the weight room, but he’ll likely become a threat at Lonergan’s disposal, displaying the ability to get to the rim and sink a three-point shot – he finished 3-5 from deep in GW’s opening contests. Watanabe will likely become Lonergan’s sixth man in due time.
Media Credit: Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer
Freshman Yuta Watanabe is already making an impact off the bench – he was the Colonials' second-highest scorer in their win over Rutgers on Sunday.
In the first half against Rutgers on Sunday, Watanabe was the team’s second-best scorer, and Lonergan rewarded him with 17 minutes of playing time. Watanabe’s maturity on the floor and confidence to take shots was no better demonstrated than with three minutes left in the first half, when he stole the ball in the paint from Rutgers’ Greg Lewis and then on the other end hit a three-point shot in transition off of an assist from McDonald.
Bryant’s main hurdle will come on the defensive end – he seems to be a step behind at times, and often allows players to get past him. Offensively, Bryant has shown the ability to run the floor and plays with a certain tenacity that with time, can develop into another formidable bench option for Lonergan.
The freshman class has little breathing room before stepping into a high-stakes game situation. And it’s unlikely, nor is it fair to expect, that the freshman kinks will be straightened out before their first major test.
GW’s much anticipated matchup against UVA is just five days away, and the Colonials will have to square up with the No. 9 Cavaliers in Charlottesville, relying heavily on the junior core to do most of the heavy lifting.
The Colonials' starters, health permitting, have the capability to take this team far, but if the starting five’s production goes uncomplemented like it did for most of last season, GW will struggle against the country’s better teams.
Sean Hurd, a junior majoring in exercise science, is a former Hatchet sports editor and The Hatchet’s sports columnist.”

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After recovering from third concussion, senior guard enters first season as a Colonial
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 18, 2014
“Media Credit: Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer
Senior Lauren Chase played her first minutes for GW in Friday's season opener. She transferred from UMBC after her sophomore year. Chase recently revealed that the injury that kept her on the bench all of last season was a concussion, which inspired her to study rehabilitation counseling with a concentration in traumatic brain injuries.
When Lauren Chase suffered her third concussion during practice in spring 2013, she thought she would bounce back quickly, as she had from her previous two.
But her mind misled her: Dizziness, sensitivity to light and headaches nearly every day put her in and out of doctors' offices. At first, a doctor told her she was suffering from migraines, but headache medicine failed to alleviate her pain. Eventually, a neurologist told her that the lingering symptoms were from the concussion and she should take a year off from basketball.
Chase played her first minutes of regular season competition since her sophomore year Friday in GW’s season opener, a little over a week after she revealed that the “personal medical condition” listed on the roster last year had been the concussion. She made the starting lineup, scoring 11 points and adding four rebounds and three assists in her 32 minutes on the court.
Chase spoke publicly about her injury for the first time at the launch of the Mind Matters Challenge, an NCAA and U.S. Department of Defense initiative aimed at promoting self-reporting, awareness of symptoms and research about treatment of concussions in at-risk populations such as student athletes.
“Now that it's out there, I definitely want to reach out,” Chase said. “I think that it's really good that I am speaking out and my story came out because it is a way for me to reach out and impact others in similar situations.”
She suffered her other two concussions during her freshman and sophomore years at UMBC, the first during her America East Conference Rookie of the Year season.
When the Bowie, Md. native transferred to GW as a junior last year, she knew she would have to sit out until December due to NCAA transfer rules. However, she did not learn she would have to sit out the entire season until the fall, leaving her with just a year to play unless she is granted an additional year of eligibility.
When the news came, Chase said she struggled at first to define her role with a new team when she couldn’t play on the court with them. Fellow transfer Jonquel Jones, also a former Riverdale Baptist High School star and Chase’s former roommate, said though “everyone was really sad,” the team found ways to let Chase know “her voice was important.”
“Regardless of whether she was on the court or not, we respected everything that she said,” Jones said. “She is a really strong person, so there was probably one time where I saw her get really down about it, but other than that, she has really been strong, and I haven’t seen it bring her or the team down in any way.”
Out of commission and barred from being a physical playmaker on the court, Chase still tried to develop her skills. Tsipis said Chase was a "sponge” – she participated in team huddles, watched other players’ film and went to every point guard meeting.
“I think she sees it from a coach’s perspective a lot more,” Tsipis said. “If you can’t be out there, you have to think how can you still positively effect, how can you make sure that the next time something happens, so you're ready and can be more successful.”
As the team surged through its best season since 2008, Chase cheered from the bench and dedicated her time to rehabilitating her injury. Tsipis said a recovery technique called vestibular therapy was particularly helpful. Exercises that made Chase's eyes follow lights or objects retrained her brain to process her movements and vision without feeling pain or dizziness.
But even as she improved, Chase said she struggled when her teammates were mired in nail-biting competition and she was not able to contribute on the floor. The Colonials knocked off two ranked opponents last year in the most successful season since 2008.
“I was very happy for them because as much as I wanted to be out there, I wanted to see the team succeed as well,” Chase said. “Of course, I had those nights where I was like, ‘Dang, I wish I were out there enjoying it with them.’”
Now that she is back on the court, Chase plans to use her experience to prepare for a career. Chase will graduate early and begin graduate work studying rehabilitation counseling with a concentration in traumatic brain injuries next semester. She will remain on the team.
At Friday’s regular season opener, Chase showed some signs of rust, shooting 2-12 from the field and committing six turnovers. But she did shoot a perfect 7-7 from the charity stripe.
In the team's exhibition win over Virginia Union, Chase tallied eight assists, six points and two steals. Playing in front of a home crowd, including her parents, Chase said she was just happy to get back on the court.
“It felt really good because I haven’t felt that since my sophomore year of college,” Chase said. “Being a senior now and just hearing my name called and having my family there to support me – it was overwhelming.””

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Once under the radar, perimeter play boosts women's basketball
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 14, 2014
“Media Credit: Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer
Sophomore guard Hannah Schaible led the Colonials with 15 points in their 99-45 exhibition win over Virginia Union (Division II).
The hallmark of the women’s basketball team was supposed to be a dominant inside game: feed all-conference post players and demolish the paint.
But in the exhibition match against Virginia Union (Division II) on Sunday, it was the Colonials' outside game that shone in their 99-45 win over the Panthers.
The posts were still effective – junior forward Jonquel Jones and and sophomore forward Caira Washington combined for 21 points and 16 rebounds – but that was to be expected as the duo picked up where they left off last season. On the wings and at the point, however, there were questions to be answered.
Sophomore guard Hannah Schaible was a significant contributor last year, averaging 7.2 points per game, but was more of a glue player than a star like Megan Nipe or Danni Jackson, who defined GW’s perimeter play before they graduated. Schaible lead the team in scoring just once last season – in a 20-point loss when no Colonial scored in double figures.
On Sunday, however, she racked up a team-high 15 points and was perfect from beyond the arc with a trio of three pointers in as many attempts.
“I need [Hannah] to be more offensive-minded. We know the attention that Jonquel, Caira and the other posts are going to command, and we’ve got to have kids that put themselves in positions to be aggressive offensively,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “I thought she was from the very start today.”
Tsipis said the rest of the team can “feed off” Schaible’s aggression and follow her lead to capitalize on greater outside space with defenders focusing their attention on the bigs inside, especially noting freshmen like Mia Farmer, who followed Schaible’s lead and also hit three three pointers.
Freshmen were not the only new faces to suit up for GW: Senior guard Lauren Chase dished the ball around on the perimeter with a team-high eight assists in her first game as a Colonial after missing all of last season. Chase had to take a year-long break from basketball because of a third concussion, and though she showed some signs of rust with one-for-three shooting and three turnovers, she played unselfishly to help open up the floor.
GW outscored Virginia Union 42-18 in the paint and played fast, feasting on easy layups to win the edge in fast break points 26-12. But the guards did not play like they were just trying to help the inside players succeed, capitalizing on their own looks with confidence.
“The goal tonight was to play at a transition pace, to run the floor and to put the defense in mix-match situations and stretch it out,” Tsipis said. “There were times when they would have a good shot and they gave that up to get a great shot. I’m really proud because they didn’t hesitate from the three-point line.”
The pace might have helped players on the inside get easy buckets, but players on the perimeter profited defensively. Twenty of the Panthers’ 33 turnovers were caused by steals, with the Colonials switching defenses and pressing to put Virginia Union on its heels from all angles.
That versatility had players in all positions feeling capable of contributing in different ways. Guard Brianna Cummings pulled down eight rebounds, and even 6-foot-5 forward Kelli Prange felt comfortable launching a three pointer, though it didn’t fall.
Prange said she is taking the lead from her fellow post players.
“I have huge leaders to look up to in J.J. and Caira. I went to most of their games last year, and I was able to really learn from them by getting the fundamentals down first,” Prange said. “I just really need to keep crashing the boards, which is going to be a main focus going into season play.”
What she saw last season is still out there for GW, and though exhibition results always come with an asterisk, the 54-point win made it seem like there are some new factors for the Colonials as well.
Along with speed and mental toughness on the floor, Tsipis said the team will work on running a variety of defensive strategies to throw off the offensively-minded Florida Gulf Coast Team. GW will go on the road for its first regular season matchup against the Eagles on Friday at 7 p.m.”

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With sports journalism program far off, professor encourages game coverage
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 14, 2014
“Media Credit: Aly Kruse | Hatchet Staff Photographer
School of Media and Public Affairs professor Imani Cheers is offering sports journalism opportunities in her classes as more students, such as sophomore Sydney Levin-Epstein, express interest in the topic.
GW may not have a football team, but it’s not stopping students from reporting on the sidelines.
One professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs has begun integrating sports journalism into her classes as faculty have seen an increase in demand from students.
Giving students more opportunities to practice sports journalism within the school could help SMPA compete with other journalism programs that have strong sports reporting classes, such as Syracuse University and the University of Maryland.
Imani Cheers, an assistant professor in SMPA, said she would like GW to offer a degree in sports journalism, but for now, she's providing opportunities through her existing classes.
“I’m a huge sports fan and I’ve had experience as a sports journalist, so I’m looking forward to not only sharing some of my knowledge in the field with students, but to just offer them a wider variety of options,” she said.
Kim Gross, SMPA's associate director, said the only sports journalism courses taught at SMPA are those occasionally offered through its specialized reporting course, which focuses on journalism in certain fields such as business or medicine.
“At this time, we do not have any plan to start a sports journalism program or degree,” Gross said. “We also don't have specific plans for a permanent sports journalism class in the new curriculum.”
In the meantime, Cheers has offered aspiring SportsCenter hosts and Sports Illustrated writers the chance to cover games in the D.C. area for her classes.
“Here at SMPA, we really try to listen to the feedback that students give us about the program and about the department offerings,” Cheers said. “Over the years, students have expressed interest about sports journalism, and we’ve heard the cries. We’ve heard the feedback.”
Students in Cheers’ online journalism workshop course have gone to a D.C. United game, Washington Capitals game and Washington Wizards practice. Cheers had tried to bring a group of students to cover the World Cup in Brazil this summer, but two people short of her enrollment goal, the trip was canceled.
Ben Remaly, a sophomore majoring in journalism, wrote a piece about Derek Jeter in his introduction to news writing and reporting class last year, and filmed a D.C. United game for his digital media class with Cheers.
“I do not think a sports journalism class is necessary to be a sports journalist, but I think connecting students and teachers that have a common interest in covering sports and really working with students that can give specialized feedback could be helpful,” Remaly said.
Matthew Seedorff, a reporter and anchor for the K2 ABC news team in Wyoming, graduated from SMPA last spring and said he wished the school had less of an emphasis on political journalism.
“While I was a student, I was always very frustrated that SMPA did not offer a broader range of journalism courses, especially since our rival school Maryland has such an impressive sports journalism program,” Seedroff said.
George Solomon, the director of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at the University of Maryland, said his program tries to give students interested in covering sports a boost when looking to break into the industry.
“We think sports journalism is really important in the spectrum of media since it is a growing landscape,” Solomon said.
For schools that plan to launch sports journalism programs, Syracuse University's Newhouse Sports Media Center Director John Nicholson warned against letting the topic make courses less serious than their news counterparts.
“If you go to launch such courses, take them seriously. Make them a series of courses with serious intent,” Nicholson said. “There is a trend of a lot of young men and women who want to go into sports media, and it shouldn’t be just for amusement of students.””

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Depth propels women's basketball to exhibition win
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 10, 2014
“Women’s basketball shot the lights out in a 99-45 exhibition defeat of Virginia Union (Division II) at the Smith Center on Sunday.
The Colonials put on an offensive clinic, finishing with three players scoring in double figures and eight finishing with seven points or more.
Though the Panthers are a step down from the competition GW will face for most of the season, the Colonials' play was coordinated – with even freshmen seeing significant playing time – and they had the shot-machine humming throughout the game.
“Setting the tone early on that our team has grown this week since our closed scrimmage is great for today,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “But they know there’s still a lot of great things ahead of them and they’re excited.”
Sophomore Hannah Schaible led the Colonials with 15 points, and was 3-for-3 on three pointers. Junior Jonquel Jones and sophomore Caira Washington both had eight rebounds to lead the team, and Jones added 14 points.
The Colonials showed their ability to capture momentum and score in bunches. GW went on a 22-6 run in the first nine minutes of the second half. In the final eight minutes, the Colonials outscored the Panthers 18-2.
They kept momentum by shooting over 47 percent from the field and out-rebounding the Pathers 49-31. GW also won the turnover battle, giving the ball away 19 times to Virginia Union’s 33 and creating 33 points out of those extra chances to Virginia Union’s 14 points off turnovers.
Though the turnover margin came more from Virginia Union’s high number than GW’s low one, smooth playmaking enabled the Colonials to be the cleaner team and select good shots to bolster their high shooting percentage. There were glimpses of what could have been mistaken for midseason form in some of GW’s runs.
Media Credit: Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer
Sophomore Hannah Schaible led GW with 15 points in their 99-45 exhibition win over Division II Virginia Union on Sunday.
“As the season goes on, we’re going to want to get better at it,” Schiable said. “But we did a good job moving the ball today.”
Tsipis was also able to give the freshmen significant minutes during the second half, including stretches with five freshmen on the floor. Kelli Prange led the freshman with 11 points and added six rebounds. GW also got a rookie boost from the outside in Mia Farmer, who was 3-for-8 on three pointers to tie with Schiable for the team lead.
Prange called her classmates “very versatile” after the game, and Tsipis also said he was pleased with the different styles of defense the team was able to use to put pressure on the Panthers. In particular, GW used a successful full-court press to create many of Virginia Union’s turnovers.
“You can see players like Hannah and Lauren Chase who both have a military, no-holds-barred attitude that they’re going to go after every lose ball,” Tsipis said. “We’re going to need to change defenses and be aggressive.”
Senior Lauren Chase started for the Colonials on Sunday, after missing all of last season due to NCAA transfer rules and then a personal medical condition, which she revealed last week to have been a concussion. She scored six points and added a team-high eight assists, which Tsipis said was good for her both on a personal and team level.
“You can see how she can find people on the post or by kicking it out for threes,” Tsipis said. “She puts our kids in really good positions to be successful.”
Tsipis added that he was happy with the depth of the team in the exhibition game, especially in the rebounding department, and he expects the bench to play a significant role this season.
The team will open the season officially on Nov. 14 on the road against Florida Gulf Coast.”

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Offseason training zeroes in on injuries, skinny freshman class
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 05, 2014
“Media Credit: Anna McGarrigle | Senior Designer
Updated: Nov. 4, 2014 at 1:11 p.m.
Of the 33 games that men’s basketball played last season, only 12 featured the team active and at full strength.
While GW wasn’t necessarily plagued by injuries, crucial injuries to key players at different points in the season in some ways handicapped head coach Mike Lonergan, who was forced to play just six to seven players deep for most of the season.
If there’s one advantage the team has this year that it didn’t have last year, it’s a deeper, healthier roster. But to get there, strength and conditioning coach Matt Johnson was tasked during the offseason with ensuring returning players were in shape and putting muscle on what Lonergan has called the “skinniest” rookie class he’s ever had.
Johnson has a three-pronged philosophy: assessment, training and nutrition, with his top priority to create “technically proficient athletes.”
“The biggest thing for any athlete is that the focus really has to be on performance, and the work that we do in the weight room really translating to play,” said Johnson, who is in his second year at GW. “It’s not just about lifting, there’s also a focus on nutrition, a focus on assessment, and really trying to get a great look beneath the surface at what’s going on with the athlete.”
Better than a Band-Aid
Workouts were heavily based on rehabilitation and preventative exercises for returning players like juniors Kethan Savage, Patricio Garino and Joe McDonald, who were each injured and missed games at some point last year.
McDonald, who averaged 8.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists, had surgery on his left hip during the offseason after playing most of the year injured.
“Coming off the surgery a lot of [my workouts] had to do with just getting stability, you know just getting my balance right. Once I finally got that down, I started working on jumping and landing,” McDonald said. “And now it’s more just doing everything at a very fast pace.”
Since he was listed as 184 pounds in July, McDonald, who appears to have markedly enlarged his shoulders and arms since last season, is now listed as 10 pounds heavier.
McDonald, junior Kevin Larsen and sophomore Nick Griffin all put on weight in the offseason.
Garino, who was selected to the Preseason All-Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team last month, played in just four of the opening 11 games of last season after fracturing a finger during practice.
“Personally I wanted to stay healthy, so with [Matt] Johnson, I did a lot of flexibility workouts and prevention for injuries,” Garino said. “Last year we all went through a lot of minutes on the court ... so we worked on a lot of endurance, and we are still working on endurance in the weight room and on the court.”
Garino said he has a “love-hate” relationship with an endurance exercise in which Johnson has players run on an incline at different speeds for 20- to 30-second intervals.
Bulking up new talent
Weight has also been a focus this offseason, particularly for a lanky batch of newcomers.
Lonergan knows his rookie class needs to get stronger to compete at a high level in the Atlantic 10, with freshmen Yuta Watanabe and Anthony Swan both coming in taller than 6-foot-6 and lighter than 200 pounds. But the fourth-year head coach is not too concerned just yet.
“We try to put weight on [the freshmen], but we want to make it good weight,” Lonergan said. “Matt Johnson really thinks out of the box and is not just like a typical strength coach. I’m confident it will happen, it will definitely take time, especially for Anthony [Swan] and Matt Cimino ... I wish it would happen overnight."
They donned boxing gloves and weighted down vests for circuits or enhanced body weight exercises like inverted rows. But Johnson also said he went back to basics with the freshmen to build the type of physical foundation that can keep up with seasoned college players.
“They’re elite-level athletes, but a lot of them haven’t really been in a full spectrum strength and conditioning program," Johnson said. "So a lot of the stuff we focus on is the basics. You know, how to grab the bar, how to get under a squat or pull-up, and a lot of technique-based things."
The freshman who made the most notable changes this offseason was 6-foot-4 guard Darian Bryant. In the offseason, one of Lonergan’s top priorities was to have Bryant in shape and physically ready. He said Bryant could use the time to harden up and streamline his body in the same way Kevin Larsen had previously done in the offseason.
After being listed at 200 pounds in July, Bryant is now at 220 pounds and, though he didn’t lose weight the way Larsen did, has gained muscle. And Lonergan has said Bryant, along with Watanabe, is one of the most game-ready freshmen.
Lonergan has said how impressed he is with the physical changes players have undergone under Johnson, and Garino said that he himself is a model for how that change can take place.
“Well in [the freshmen] I see myself my freshman year because I think I was as skinny as them or even more skinny, but I’m not worried, that doesn’t mean they’re soft or anything,” Garino said. “Coach Johnson has put weight on them, they’re making them more flexible, more balanced, and everything is going to [translate] directly to the court, and I think they’re going to be fine.”
After the planks, curls and circuits of the offseason, Johnson is proud of how the players have responded to their training regimen and said he is hopeful the team can take some of the lessons from the weight room onto the court.
“[The team] is ready. I’m really proud of what these guys collectively did,” Johnson said. “I’m a big believer in every session trying to bring them out of their comfort zone at least 1 percent, and if we’re doing that, we’re getting better.””

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Fan Guide: GW basketball 101
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 03, 2014
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Cameron Lancaster | Assistant News Editor
Haven't been a fan of GW basketball? Here is everything you need to know about Foggy Bottom hoops.
Two guys walk into McFadden's.
The first one starts up a conversation about the men's basketball team's first game of the season, which will be Nov. 14 against Grambling State in the Smith Center.
"We'll beat them easy. They went 5-24 last season. GW went 24-9, and A-10 coaches think we'll finish second in the conference this year," he says.
The second guy stops and says, “Wow, you must really know your stuff.” He’s impressed, and buys the first guy a beer.
So there you have it, knowing some facts about GW basketball means you get free beer.
Jokes aside, with hoops fever spreading across campus, students may want to know what all the fuss is about. Think of this as a cheat sheet for what you missed last season, who’s who on the team and what to expect this year. Use it if you want to carry on a conversation about GW basketball at the bar or anywhere else.
The players
Men’s team
The “Core Four”
The junior quartet of Patricio Garino, Kethan Savage, Joe McDonald and Kevin Larsen.
1. Kevin Larsen: The Muscle
Coming off a sophomore season in which he was voted the most improved player in the conference, Larsen will be the one to watch around the basket skying for rebounds or throwing down a two-handed dunk.
2. Joe McDonald: The Facilitator
The third-year point guard is returning healthy after undergoing left-hip surgery. Look for McDonald to drive to the basket from beyond the three-point line or find the open player on the court for an open shot.
3. Patricio Garino: The Slasher
The Mar del Plata, Argentina native is the team's strongest defensive presence and has the ability to get to the free throw line. The guard-forward totaled 41 steals and averaged 12.1 points per game last season.
4. Kethan Savage: The Comeback Kid
Savage returns to the Colonials' lineup after a broken foot kept him off the court for the last two months of the season. Savage is predicted to be one of the top scorers in the nation.
Plus: He’s big in Japan
Freshman Yuta Watanabe should attract international attention to the men’s basketball team. Watanabe is a 6-foot-8 forward from Kagawa, Japan. He’s the first Japanese-born player to earn a Division I men’s basketball scholarship and is just the third to place in Division I college basketball. The Japan Times has named Watanabe his hometown’s “chosen one.”
Women’s team
Jonquel Jones
A 6-foot-4 forward from Freeport, Bahamas, Jones transferred to GW after playing one season at Clemson. She will be able to play a full season with the Colonials after transfer rules forced her to sit out the first 11 games of the season. Look for Jones to score all over the floor, from the three-point line to right next to the rim.
Caira Washington
A native of Brandywine, Md., Washington solidified herself as the team’s inside threat and finished the season with 314 rebounds and 381 total points. Washington was last season’s conference Rookie of the Year and was selected to the All-Conference Second Team.
(The coaches within the Atlantic 10 determine the All-Conference teams. The top five players who are considered the best in the league will be named to the first team, the next best five players to the second team and the following five players on the third team.)
Lauren Chase
The 5-foot-5 guard will make her first appearance after a medical condition kept her off the floor last season. Chase, who transferred to GW in 2013 from UMBC, is a strong passer who also has the ability to score.
Key chatting questions
Men’s team
What happened last year?
The Colonials won their most games in a season since 2005-06, posting an overall record of 24-9. GW took its first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2007-08, earning a No. 9 seed. The Colonials fell to Memphis in the second round of the NCAA tournament, also known as the Big Dance. The 64-team tournament is divided into four regions, with each containing seeds from No. 1 to No. 16. The men's team's No. 9 seeding last season was considered middle of the pack but solid.
Can the team live up to the hype?
After they were selected to finish 10th in the conference in last season’s preseason poll, the Colonials were picked to finish second in 2014-15. Coaches in the league believe GW has the right pieces to make a run at the A-10 championship.
Will the free-throw shooting woes subside?
Last season, the Colonials were the second-worst free throw shooting team in the conference, making just 65.2 percent of their foul shots. GW will be without its first- and fourth-best free throw shooters from last season in Maurice Creek and Isaiah Armwood, which means remaining players will need to improve.
Is the frontcourt strong enough in the absence of Armwood?
With the departure of Armwood, the team’s top rebounder and perennial shot blocker, GW will need multiple players to step up in his absence, especially Larsen and senior forward John Kopriva.
Women’s team
What happened last year?
The women won more than 20 games and earned their first post-season victory for the first time since 2007-08. The team was eliminated in the third round of the WNIT, falling to the University of South Florida 74-59. Four players earned conference honors.
How are the new players?
Joining the Colonials roster this season are five newcomers, who together make up arguably the best recruiting class in the A-10. Head coach Jonathan Tsipis’ second GW recruiting class includes guards Brianna Cummings, Camila Tapias and Mia Farmer, as well as forwards Kelli Prange and Jada Matthews.
Can the Colonials top the conference?
The Colonials rose three spots and were selected to finish second behind front-runner Dayton. Senior Chakecia Miller, Jones and Washington were each selected to the preseason All-Defensive team. Jones was also selected to the All-Conference first team, while Washington was chosen for the All-Conference second team.
Mark your calendars
Men’s team
GW vs. UVA
Nov. 21
GW will play on the road at the University of Virginia. Sure, it’s not a home game, but the non-conference matchup was a big get for the Colonials in terms of strength of schedule. Students can watch the game on ESPN3 – it's one of at least 14 nationwide broadcasts of the team, so set up on your couch with your roommates and watch GW try to hang with last year’s ACC champs.
BB&T Classic
Dec. 7
After defeating the University of Maryland last season thanks to late-game heroics from Creek, GW will return to the Verizon Center to take on former A-10 member Charlotte. Also featured in the Classic will be a matchup between Georgetown and Towson.
Diamond Head Classic
Dec. 22 to 25
The men’s basketball team will spend the holidays in Honolulu, Hawaii for the fifth annual Diamond Head Classic, a three-day invitational that features eight collegiate teams. The Colonials will open the tournament against Ohio University and then will play either Colorado or DePaul in the second round. Their final game could come against Nebraska, Loyola Marymount, Hawaii or Wichita State.
Women’s team
GW vs. UMD
Nov. 22
GW will host Maryland looking to rewrite (recent) history. Though GW had upset its last opponent fresh off a final-four run when it beat then-No. 10 California last November, the Colonials were toppled by the Terps just days later. Maryland was recently selected as preseason No. 1.
Junkanoo Jam
Nov. 28 to 29
Jonquel Jones is going home. The junior big for women’s basketball said she is excited to show the team the food and beaches that she knew growing up. GW will play in the Junkanoo Jam Tournament in Freeport, Bahamas over Thanksgiving break along with North Carolina State, Purdue and Texas Tech.
Tips for the casual fan
Admission
All games are free to undergraduate students.
Get to the game early
Last season, as the men’s basketball team started to generate some buzz on campus, students flocked to the Smith Center and eventually filled the entire arena to capacity. To avoid being turned away or having to watch the game from the Colonials Club, get a seat early.
Free food
During most weekend contests, the athletic department puts on a pre-game tailgate for fans to grab barbecue staples like hamburgers and hotdogs.
Beer (kind of)
Beer will now be served at the Smith Center in the Champions Club, men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan announced at the team’s annual Buff and Blue scrimmage last week. Fans can purchase beer 90 minutes before the game, but must drink it before returning to their seats. The Champions Club will also serve as a concession stand during the game.”

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