George Washington (10-13/ 4-6 A-10) vs Rhode Island (17-5/9-1 A-10) When: Saturday, February 8th at Noon.
Where: Charles E.Smith Center in Washington D.C.
TV: CBS Sports Network / Radio: TuneIn
George Washington - 67.6 - points per game 69.4 - points against 42.7 - Field goal % Rhode Island - 74.7- points per game 68.5 - points against 43.4 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
Fatts Russell: the Atlantic 10 leading scorer has elevated his game and Rhode Island this season. 5'10 junior point guard is averaging 20.2 points, 4.6 assist, 3.6 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game which puts Russell second in the A-10 currently. Russell impacts the game in a myriad of way's, which mean's George Washington guards will have to emphasis a strong defensive effort if they are to be in a position to win today's contest.
Cyril Langevine: is a man inside and if you're not up to the task as an opponent, he has no problem dominating you. 6'8 senior is averaging 10.1 points, a team high 10.1 rebounds (third in the A-10) and close to two blocks per game on 48 percent shooting from the field. The high motor forward can defend bigs and switch out and defend guards effectively as well. GW will have to be efficient with their execution due to Langevine's ability to cover so much ground defensively. Turnovers, sloppy picks, bad shots play into Rhode Islands hands, a team who loves to utilize their speed by getting out on the fast break for easy baskets. Keeping Langevine off of the boards and having sound execution will limit those fast break opportunities.
Local Flavor: will be heavy in this game from Rhode Island side and all are key contributors for the Rams. 6'8 Sophomore forward Jermaine Harris (Rock Creek Christian), 6'7 redshirt sophomore Antwan Walker (Hargrave Military Academy), standout 6'3 senior Jeff Dowtin (St John's College) and 6'7 freshman wing Mekhi Long (Bishop McNamara) are all local products who play big roles in Rhode Island's success. Harris is averaging 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds on the season while Walker adds 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds to the equation. Dowtin, who has been on a terror averaging 17.6 points and 3 assist on 49.2 percent shooting from the field over the last three games, comes in averaging 14.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assist and 1.6 steals per contest and high flying freshman Long, has tons of potential despite learning the ropes playing behind All Conference caliber guards.
Colonials Standout Freshman Trio: of Jameer Nelson Jr, Jamison Battle and Chase Paar will have to step up and play at a level beyond their experience for George Washington to be in a position to pull off an upset over Rhode Island. Nelson Jr must be his dynamic self scoring the ball, finding others and getting timely steals but be more efficient all around shooting AND taking care of the ball. Battle, who has already emerged as one of the Atlantic 10's best three point shooters, must elevate his defensive impact and look to finish inside if Rhode Island successfully run's him off the three point line. Lastly, Chase Paar, which seems like he gets better and better every time I see him in person has to make his presence felt in the paint if the Colonials are to have any chance. It's a big test with Langevine, Harris and Walker there I know, yet, Paar is capable of a double double every game. His defense will be pivotal for GW, especially on the perimeter defending Rhode Island's guards on switches and out of pick and roll sets. If these three play up to their full capabilities, they will make life very tough for Rhode Island and be in a prime position for a big upset win.