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George Washington University

GWU Campus News
Sean Hurd: Watanabe's dependability off the bench is big benefit for Lonergan
by The GW Hatchet

Dec 11, 2014
“For a men’s basketball team that has lacked consistent performance, freshman Yuta Watanabe has been a source of certainty through his first eight contests.
Twenty seconds into the team’s game against Charlotte in the BB&T Classic on Sunday, senior forward John Kopriva was whistled for a foul. Another 20 seconds later, in the same 49ers opening possession, Kopriva was tagged again, sending him to the bench in disbelief.
Not even a minute had passed in the matchup, fans were still filing into their seats, and head coach Mike Lonergan found himself at a huge disadvantage. He was forced to sit Kopriva for the next 13 minutes of the first half, potentially compromising an already shallow Colonials frontcourt.
In addition to an immediate depth setback, the GW frontcourt had a 6-foot-11, 270-pound problem on its hands in the form of Charlotte center Mike Thorne Jr., who was averaging nearly a double-double at 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds entering Sunday’s game. GW also had to contend with forward Willie Clayton, who Lonergan pegged as a “monster rebounder” and was coming off a season-high 17-point performance against Davidson on Wednesday.
“[John] getting two fouls in the first 30 seconds was really scary against that front line,” Lonergan said after the game.
Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Sean Hurd
Enter Watanabe.
The freshman, who played 15 minutes of the opening half, significantly contributed to limiting the Charlotte frontcourt, using his lanky 6-foot-8 frame to hold the 49ers in the paint and trap them on the baseline. By the end of the half, Thorne and Clayton combined for just six points and seven boards – a stat that, without Watanabe’s support, could have been much worse.
Like he’s done for much of this early season, Watanabe provided high-energy hustle plays for GW. And while he isn’t particularly vocal on the floor, his emotional reactions on big plays fire up his teammates.
With GW down 10-12 and 12:29 to play in the first half, Watanabe rejected Charlotte guard Torin Dorn at the rim, erasing what seemed like an easy fast break dunk. Then as 49er guard Terrence Williams secured a rebound and attempted the put-back lay-in, Watanabe was there to block a second shot. Charlotte would eventually turn the ball over in the same possession.
“He doesn’t have a lot of power, but when he chased the guy down and blocked his shot – I mean, I love watching him play,” Lonergan said.
Averaging 20.6 minutes per game, Watanabe has commanded the sixth man spot on the roster and has helped ease depth worries for GW. He’s consistently demonstrated the ability to get to the rim (although he still needs some work finishing at the rim), get out on the break and score inside – and, consequently, has emerged as a deep threat for a team in need of 3-point shooting.
On Sunday, Lonergan called Watanabe the best shooter on the team. The freshman is indeed leading the team in a handful of statistical categories, including being tied for first in 3-point field goals made, and he has the highest 3-point percentage on the team among players who have taken at least 14 attempts.
Watanabe’s composure for a freshman is rare, and if it weren’t for his skinny stature, it’d be easy to forget he’s still just in his first year at the collegiate level. He is serving as a benefit to Lonergan on the floor as a Colonial who can contribute off the bench and play consistently without getting visibly flustered when in a pinch.
On Sunday, Lonergan referenced GW’s earlier matchup against Virginia, where Watanabe finished second on the team in scoring with 10 points (3-9 shooting) and a team-high five rebounds. Watanabe played a season-high 28 minutes in the 59-42 loss to the Cavaliers.
“In the Virginia game, in the second half, I think he was probably the only guy who kept his composure,” Lonergan said. “Yuta just plays like he is older and more mature.”
Yuta’s size has made him a “tweener” in terms of how Lonergan has used him in the early season, but Lonergan has repeatedly said that Watanabe will need to get stronger: The fourth-year GW head coach wants to use him primarily as a power forward.
“He’s definitely going to be a fan favorite for us, and his best days are ahead of him,” Lonergan said.
Sean Hurd, a junior majoring in exercise science, is The Hatchet’s sports columnist.”

Homecoming: Junkanoo Jam brings Jonquel Jones back to the Bahamas
by The GW Hatchet

Dec 04, 2014
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer
Junior Jonquel Jones drives through defenders in a game earlier this season against Virginia Union.
Jonquel Jones has the pride of an island on her shoulders.
On Nov. 28 in Freeport, Bahamas, about 1,000 people rose to their feet in the St. George’s High School gym to welcome Jones back to her hometown.
Over Thanksgiving break, the women’s basketball team traveled over 958 miles to compete in the Junkanoo Jam, marking the first time that Freeport-native Jones has displayed her talent for her mother and grandmother in her GW uniform.
Fueled by the confidence and energy that usually comes with a home-court advantage – this time stemming from the support of an entire community – the Colonials won the Freeport Division title after knocking off N.C. State and Purdue, and Jones was named most valuable player.
“That was definitely a wonderful feeling to be back home, seeing everyone the moment I stepped out of customs and was able to come out to the main area. A lot of my family and friends and people that have watched me grow up were there to greet me, so it was a great moment,” Jones said.
During the tournament, Jones had two goals: to expose her teammates and coaches to her Bahamian culture, and to show off her collegiate skill to Freeport.
Even as she walked off the airplane to see gifts, flowers and a hoard of loved ones, Jones’ focus remained on her teammates and coaches. She said she wanted to show that the Bahamas is full of "people that love to welcome our visitors."
“She wanted it not to be about her because that’s her personality,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “I think even when we were going through customs, they had all her people there and all the flowers, the TV stations, but she wanted to wait for every one of her teammates to clear customs, so they could all go out together. That’s her unselfish nature, how she is both on and off the floor.”
U.S.-imported sports like soccer and basketball are the most popular spectator sports in the Bahamian Commonwealth, so Jones quickly rose to fame as a child when she excelled at both. Before pursuing a collegiate career in basketball in the States, Jones played soccer and ran track for Bahamian youth national teams. One of her former soccer coaches, Mary Knowles, cancelled her local league’s Saturday matches to cheer on her former player.
On Thanksgiving eve, Knowles hosted a feast complete with traditional Bahamian cuisine – like conch fritters, cracked conch and fried whole fish – in the garden around her house. Teammate Hannah Schaible described “dancing around with [Jones'] mom and niece and having a great time, interacting and connecting with her family,” and watching Jones’ great aunt churn out conch fritters.
With the traditional music of rhythmic drums and cowbells playing in the background, the night was a chance for the team to relax with a home-cooked meal, Schaible said, and learning more about their upperclassmen leader gave the Colonials even more motivation in the tournament.
“We wanted to win because that's the goal of sports, but we also wanted to win because there was this whole island behind JJ and behind our team,” Schaible said. “It wasn’t just GW winning, it was the whole Freeport community supporting us winning.”
Jones had the opportunity to address her hometown crowd, with the prime minister in attendance, at the tournament. Even with the prime minister and other prominent government officials there, Jones stole the show.
“I felt bad for the prime minister because he was still second fiddle to Jonquel," Tsipis said with a smile.
Jones was especially excited to show her teammates the beaches in the Bahamas. During the team's off-season trip to Europe, where they tested the waters on the beaches of England and France, Jones teased her teammates that they wouldn’t know a real beach until they visited the Bahamas. During some downtime last week, she got the chance to show the group the sand she used to play on as a child.
But what Jones said she will treasure most was the opportunity to play the game she loves in front of family and friends. Though her father was able to see the team play last year, her mother was never able to get time off of work.
“It was great to have them see me play, especially my grandparents,” Jones said. “My grandparents haven’t seen me play since I was playing at home in the Bahamas, so for them to be able to see me grow into the person I am now.”
For the time being, the taste of victory comes with hints of Jones’ great aunt’s conch fritters and the salty Freeport air.
After their success in the Bahamas, the Colonials return to action in the Smith Center on Saturday to host Fresno State at 2 p.m.”

Foundation launches to remember junior, teach low-income students basketball skills
by The GW Hatchet

Dec 04, 2014
“Media Credit: Courtesy of William Gwathmey's family
In honor of William Gwathmey, a student who died earlier this year, members of his family and fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi have started a foundation to teach basketball to low-income students.
William Gwathmey’s friends described him as a competitive athlete who beat them almost every time in basketball games. But his friends also said he was a “true sportsman” who never rubbed in his wins and always finished games with a high five.
To remember the junior, who died earlier this semester, Gwathmey’s family and four members of his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, started a foundation to teach basketball skills to low-income students in D.C. More than 160 people have already signed up to play in a charity basketball tournament organized by the foundation this weekend.
In two weeks, the William Gaines Gwathmey Foundation's GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $1,600 toward a $6,000 goal, which will be used to buy basketball equipment for elementary and middle schools.
“If Willie knew we were doing this, he would smile and say it’s only right that we’re doing it through basketball,” junior Louis Ruggiero said. “It’s time we remember him with a smile, not a frown.”
Volunteers will aim to teach children basic skills as well as the importance of sportsmanship, friendship, family and schoolwork during biweekly visits.
“Those were the things that were most important to Will,” said Ruggiero, who met Gwathmey during freshmen orientation. “We wanted to do it for Will, we wanted to it for us and we wanted to do it for the kids.”
In September, Gwathmey was pronounced dead at GW Hospital after he was found unconscious in an off-campus apartment. The D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not yet released a cause of death.
Founders have also reached out to Gwathmey’s high school, Collegiate School in New York City, for support. Gwathmey was very involved with his high school's basketball team and spent time during breaks from college helping the coaches and younger players, Ruggiero said.
The foundation will also look to connect with local nonprofits like the United Way of the National Capital Area or the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington. In the future, children in the program could come to events on campus to show donors how their money has helped, junior Cory Silverstein said.
“I wanted to remember him for all of the positive aspects of his life that he imparted on us every day,” Silverstein said. "I felt like this was a way for us to get closer to him.””

Nearly champions, volleyball takes another leap forward
by The GW Hatchet

Dec 04, 2014
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Senior Kelsey Newman readies to receive a volley in a game earlier this season against Rhode Island.
When the wound of a championship loss heals, volleyball will be able to look back on an impressive year: the most wins since 2000 and the first trip to the Atlantic 10 title game since 2002.
The team finished second in the A-10 with a 22-8 record, closing the season with a 3-1 loss to league powerhouse Dayton in the championship game and resting on the bubble for the NCAA tournament with the No. 60 RPI in the nation.
They didn’t make it. When the field of 64 was announced at the selection show Sunday, the Colonials’ season officially came to an end. But in that season, the team took another leap forward following last year’s 16-14 Cinderella season with an electric chemistry that permeated every spike, dig and kill.
“I think in seasons past, we’ve really had to work on team chemistry early on. This year for some reason it was there the whole time,” senior outside hitter Kelsey Newman said. “We’ve just been so dialed in and focused.”
Athletes are often emotional on the court or the field, but this team was different. Members of the team shrieked after a big kill, slammed white-knuckled fists on the hardwood after a bad error and roared in each others faces in the huddle.
They were unabashedly themselves, sometimes to a fault: The team struggled with errors. The free-flinging group led the A-10 with 13.84 kills per set and 2.75 blocks per set, but was fourth in hitting percentage largely because of 594 errors during the season. The Colonials tallied 45 errors in a 3-1 loss to Saint Louis on Oct. 10 as their frenetic energy had players diving for the same balls and running into each other.
As the season went on, a strong home-court advantage emerged for the Colonials. GW’s home record ended at 11-3, but the team’s record on the road was 7-3, with a 4-2 mark on neutral courts.
Marquee wins, like five-set triumphs over Dayton and VCU, came at home. Tough losses, including a sweep to the same VCU team and a five setter at Duquesne, happened on the road.
Part of that strength at home, head coach Amanda Ault said, stemmed from the growing volleyball fan base in Foggy Bottom as the team progressed through the season to qualify for the A-10 tournament for the second year in a row. The Colonials drew 32 percent more fans to games, growing their total audience from 2,847 in 2013 to 3,753 this year. University President Steven Knapp, who has spoken about how much he likes the sport, was spotted at a game earlier in the fall.
“We know we need to have a product that pulls everybody there,” Ault said. “Having the home-court advantage is something that I think has been great for us and I want to see build in the future.”
The program’s future will have to overcome the loss of two top performers and a key source of the team’s energy in seniors Newman and middle hitter Landon Garvik.
Newman earned a spot on the All A-10 First Team along with sophomore middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu following the A-10 tournament, though Newman did not compete in the tournament after injuring herself in a game against Davidson on Nov. 8.
Still, Newman said she has no regrets and that her final year was also her best. Newman averaged 3.74 kills per set, tied for the team high with Osuchukwu. She earned a spot on the All A-10 Second Team after her junior year, ranked second on the team with 290 kills and 922 attacks and played in all but two of GW’s sets her sophomore year, and finished fifth on the team with 161 kills as a freshman.
“This is my favorite season. I told the girls thank you for everything, for working harder for me and giving me such a special senior year,” Newman said. “I am very lucky to have a season with these freshman. I’ve had so much fun.”
Freshmen like defensive specialist Christina Porada and outside hitter Aaliya Davidson emerged as role players who will make up for leaders like Newman in the future. Porada played 110 sets for the Colonials this season and tallied 2.16 digs per set, while Davidson posted 2.19 kills per set in 69 sets.
But GW’s offense, two years out from a 10-18 season, brought the team to the top tier of the A-10 and the brink of a national tournament. Ault said that mistakes and all, the team’s energy was a critical factor in becoming contenders and, despite its messy moments, she will remember this season especially well.
“I enjoy being around these guys. I think that says a lot. We all enjoy being together and being around one another. Team chemistry is so important,” Ault said. “When you have that, all the fun moments are that much better.””

Staff Editorial: Semester in Review: Recovering from blows to student morale
by The GW Hatchet

Dec 04, 2014
“This is the second in a two-part staff editorial reviewing GW’s fall semester and evaluating the state of campus morale. In this installment, the editorial board looks at student life.
Progress amid tragedy
Students can often draw excitement from GW's location, our sports teams or our professors’ impressive research and enthusiasm for teaching.
Over the past calendar year, we've certainly needed something from which to draw positivity, in the wake of what seems like one campus tragedy after another. In the fall semester alone, four GW students have died. When you look back to include all of 2014, that number grows to eight, including three suicides in West Hall last spring.
It’s not just about the high frequency – any number of incidents would be concerning. Rather, it’s what we've gone through again and again over the past year: learning we've lost a student and being unable to help but react with the thought, “Another one?” That moment is what we mean when we talk about blows to campus morale – the feeling of dismay we've grown too used to experiencing.
But ironically, and strangely, the fact that we’re all feeling this way at the same time has morphed us into an unconventional kind of campus community. Through tragedy, we've discovered ways to reach out to one another, whether in person or online, when we’re experiencing similar feelings of loss or helplessness. We've learned how to come together and lift the community’s spirits, if only in small ways.
Of course, it’s unfortunate that this sense of unity has grown out of loss. But in times of grief, we’ll take any silver lining we can find.
And what’s more, when we rally together, we see encouraging, tangible progress in campus mental health as a whole. The Student Association has plans for a peer-counseling hotline that we’re excited to see take shape, GW has prioritized privacy and patient comfort in designing the new centralized student health centers and Program Board and the Residence Hall Association kept the issue at the forefront of our minds by organizing an entire month’s worth of mental health awareness events.
We’re also heartened by the ongoing support for Emily Thompson, the junior who attempted suicide by jumping from her ninth-floor Shenkman Hall window earlier this semester. Not only were the walls of Shenkman adorned with caring messages for its residents the next day, but close to 600 people have donated to the GoFundMe campaign to help cover the cost of Thompson’s medical care.
It’s important to keep in mind that, although it sometimes may feel like the tide has turned against us permanently, a wave of progress continues to sweep campus. When we come together, we accomplish big things.
Turning around Greek life headlines
How do you solve a problem like Greek life? Ban it.
At least, that’s what several schools have resorted to in recent months, including Amherst, Middlebury and Colby colleges. And that’s the opinion taken by the editorial boards of some college newspapers, too.
“As a system, it amplifies students’ worst behavior. It facilitates binge drinking and sexual assault. It perpetuates unequal, gendered power dynamics and institutionalizes arbitrary exclusivity,” The Dartmouth’s editorial board wrote in October.
But for a variety of reasons, this editorial board has decided not to go that route. Not only are Greeks some of GW’s loudest and proudest, but the University has the opportunity to form a model Greek system – and it shouldn't pass that up.
GW Greek life has had its fair share of controversy. This past semester alone, we've seen one chapter suspended , another investigated for misconduct and one still recruiting new members despite losing recognition from the University. The presidents of two different fraternities – Tau Kappa Epsilon and Phi Sigma Kappa – have been replaced amid controversies in their organizations. A total of six chapters are facing penalties for hazing – the largest group to be publicly sanctioned for the violation in recent years.
But our Greek organizations are by no means wildly out of control like those of some other schools that have recently come under national scrutiny.
And besides, Greek life at GW affords a strong sense of pride to more than 30 percent of our students. On a campus where school spirit is often hard to come by, we’d hate to take that away from our peers. Members of Greek life also boast higher graduation rates and raise thousands of dollars for charity every year. At their best, GW’s chapters can contribute to a positive reputation for the University as a whole.
But that doesn’t mean we should stop pushing Greek chapters to be better. In fact, the system still needs a lot of work. The University has tried to make its disciplinary actions more transparent by posting an online list of sanctions brought against student organizations, but Greek leaders and this editorial board agree that such a half-hearted attempt simply doesn't cut it.
Greek life is only growing at GW, with the Interfraternity Council recently voting to add a 16th chapter. That means now is the perfect time for the University to exercise more control over the system before it reaches a point of no return that would necessitate more extreme solutions – like a permanent shut-down.
There are several options the University can consider. Taking advantage of teachable moments – like high-profile hazing incidents or allegations of sexual assault, for example – can send an important message to all Greeks.
But the University also has a trump card that some other schools don’t : It controls and funds on-campus Greek housing. This gives GW power that it rarely utilizes. After other options have been exhausted, the University can take away a chapter’s housing, which curtails its presence on campus.
Plus, as we've seen the University do in the past, it can stop recognizing a chapter altogether – another muscle it can flex, or at least threaten to use, more often than it previously has.
GW should throw around its weight more when it comes to housing and recognition, if only to warn Greek chapters that it’s serious about reform. So far, punishments from the University – like social probation, which prevents chapters from holding events with alcohol – haven’t done much. Greek leaders themselves have said that placing chapters on social probation only drives bad behavior underground and doesn't teach anyone a meaningful lesson.
Negative stories about Greek life are a hit to morale for all of us, including non-Greeks. GW is already a unique school: It’s about time we make our Greek life system the exception to its peers around the country. It can and should be the gold standard, but it’s up to the University to facilitate that happening.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Robin Jones Kerr and contributing opinions editor Sarah Blugis, based on discussions with managing director Justin Peligri, sports editor Nora Princiotti, design editor Sophie McTear, copy editor Rachel Smilan-Goldstein and senior designer Anna McGarrigle.”

Sean Hurd: Larsen's slow start spells trouble for the Colonials
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 26, 2014
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor
Then-sophomore Kevin Larsen in the Colonials' loss to Memphis in the second round of the NCAA tournament last season.
Head coach Mike Lonergan and junior forward Kevin Larsen knew it was coming since the end of last season.
With the exit of one half of last year’s frontcourt tandem in Isaiah Armwood, opposing teams were inevitably going to double-team Larsen in the post whenever he touched the ball, forcing him to make plays as a passer and putting pressure on the teammates around him to become finishers.
Last Friday against UVA, the Cavaliers proved how debilitating a successful double-team could be to the Colonials’ production. Almost every time Larsen touched the ball in his 31 minutes of play, Virginia players magnetically swarmed, pressuring the GW big man and forcing him to turn over the ball after errant pass attempts sailed over the heads of teammates or were simply out of reach. (Larsen did connect with guard Patricio Garino in the lane on one occasion, but Garino was denied at the rim.)
Larsen must start playing like the player he claims to be and the big man the team needs him to be. Otherwise, as more proficient teams apply the double-team in the post, the Colonials will be forced to rely on its outside shooting and guard penetration to carry them. The Armwood safety blanket is gone.
Larsen, one of the team’s best passers, turned the ball over a game-high four times Friday, marking only his third game as a Colonial in which he has tallied four or more turnovers – the others include against Rutgers his freshman season, with four, and against VCU in last year’s A-10 tournament semifinal, when he totaled six. Of the five GW starters last season, Larsen committed the least turnovers while playing the second-most minutes.
Larsen currently leads the Colonials with eight turnovers on the season.
Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Sean Hurd
But beyond the turnovers, UVA shut down Larsen’s entire game. His stat line from the second half of Friday’s game: 0-1 from the field and one rebound.
If it wasn’t evident in the Colonials' first two games of the season, it was proved Friday night that the GW offense revolves around Larsen, and his struggles against the Cavaliers caused their offensive strategy to disintegrate.
His inability to produce offensively, coupled with low production from frontcourt mate John Kopriva, took away the Colonials’ low post threat for the game. GW became a one-dimensional team, taking ill-advised and contested shots in the second half that resulted in shooting 20 percent from the field.
Granted, Virginia has a noted defense (currently ranked fourth in the country in points allowed per game), and Lonergan called Larsen’s errors uncharacteristic.
But Larsen’s performance against the Cavaliers shouldn’t have surprised Colonials fans – in reality, his performances against top-ranked opponents over his career have been hit or miss.
Friday’s two-point (on three shot attempts), three-rebound performance was almost identical to his production in a loss to Kansas State in 2012 (two points, three shot attempts, two rebounds). Against Marquette last season, Larsen went scoreless while collecting six rebounds and totaling four assists. But Larsen has also had his fair share of strong performances, including a 14-point, six-rebound effort in a win over Creighton and a 22-point, seven-rebound night in a victory over VCU.
Overall, it’s been a sluggish start to the season for Larsen, who in each of the Colonials’ three games has taken a while to get into a rhythm in the early going. This time last season, Larsen was averaging 13 points and eight rebounds. Through three games this year, he has averaged eight points and seven rebounds despite playing slightly more minutes.
If Larsen continues to struggle with the double-team, Lonergan may want to consider another way to utilize his go-to big. Though Lonergan has said that he wants Larsen to operate more in the paint this season, the fourth-year head coach, who has previously relied on Larsen as a ball-handler, could consider using him at the top of the key – like he did at different points last season in the absence of junior guard Kethan Savage. This could give Larsen room to work and his teammates the ability to flash into a possibly more vacant lane for Larsen to find them.
Larsen will have a game to work out the kinks against a lesser Longwood team Wednesday night, but may run into another double-team defense against an undefeated Seton Hall team Nov. 29.
Sean Hurd, a junior majoring in exercise science, is The Hatchet’s sports columnist.”

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
$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.
$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.”

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.”

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.””

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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