Gametime: 7:00 PM Saturday November 16, 2013
Where: Draddy Gymnasium, Riverdale, NY
Series History: George Washington Leads 3-2 Over Manhattan. GW won last year's contest 67-55.
Records: George Washington (2-0) Manhattan (2-0)
1. Points a'Plenty
Scoring was supposed to be down in college basketball this year with the new hand check fouls, but Manhattan almost eclipsed the 100 point threshold with their win over LaSalle last Saturday. George Washington is coming off of a 108 point explosion against Maine in their previous game. George Beamon has returned from injury in a big way for the Jaspers, averaging 26 points a game. The Colonials are lead by grad student Maurice Cheek who is averaging 18 points a game on an impressive 79% field goal percentage. Look for Beamon and three point specialist Shane Richards to shoot the lights out on Saturday night. The Jaspers are shooting a collective 56.4% from behind the three point arc this season.
2. Block Party
Two time MAAC defensive player of the year Rhamel Brown is the enforcer that gives Jaspers opponents nightmares. The senior forward has averaged over 7 rebounds and 4 blocks a game this season. Brown seems to relish a block or a board more than scoring. Colonials forward Isaiah Armwood had 9 boards and 3 blocks against Maine and is averaging a double-double in points and rebounds this season. These are two top notch players in the post and guards of each team should be wary of them when they drive into the paint.
3. Master of Threes
The Jaspers 2012-13 MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year Shane Richards has a.667 field goal percentage. That would be impressive from the floor, but from behind the three point line is insane. Richards has been deadly from outside and his shooting is one of the reasons the Jaspers are never out of a game. He is averaging 16 ppg. and needs very little space on the floor to light up the scoreboard. The Colonials can counter with grad student Maurice Creek, who hit 5 for 9 three pointers in their last game against Maine. Creek enrolled in GW after graduating from Indiana, so he's no stranger to a high level of play.
4. Those Who Don't Study History
In last year's contest at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, George Washington forward Isaiah Armwood scored a career high 23 points against the Jaspers en route to a victory for the Colonials. GW was much more effective drawing fouls and had a +12 differential from the free throw line over the Jaspers. The key factor for the Colonials win was shutting down the Jaspers best player, George Beamon, to only 9 points which was 10 below his season average. Both Armwood and Beamon return this year, and if GW can repeat their defensive performance from last season, they will win. The Jaspers are a much improved team from last year and have Maryland transfer Ashton Pankey to give Brown some interior support from the bench. Manhattan has already beat an Atlantic 10 opponent this season in LaSalle, and would be 3-0 for the first time under Coach Steve Masillo.
If this game is anywhere as near as entertaining as Manhattan's first two contests, get a ticket and go if you're in the New York City area Saturday night. It will be very high quality basketball in a very intimate atmosphere in Draddy Gymnasium.