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11/02/2022 7:34 pm  #1

GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

The season kicks off at The Smith vs Virginia St.

Predictions?   Virginia St info?

Lets start the CC era with a W!


11/03/2022 7:11 am  #2

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

GW's Brendan Adams (ankle) and Hunter Dean (lower body) should both be available for Monday's opener against Virginia State, per Chris Caputo.

Adams averaged 8.2 PPG last season.

Dean averaged 4.5 PPG and 5.9 RPG last season.


11/03/2022 7:24 am  #3

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

I supose that would make the starting lineup Bishop, Adams, Dean, Lindo and Edwards, with Clark, Brown, Harris and Samuels the key subs, with a smattering of playing time for Harvey. and Nixon.


11/03/2022 12:40 pm  #4

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

I have a really hard time caring about this game - it feels like it should be an exhibition, since it's not vs. a D-1 team.  To me, the season really starts next Friday.


11/03/2022 12:49 pm  #5

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

The Ross-Man! wrote:

I have a really hard time caring about this game - it feels like it should be an exhibition, since it's not vs. a D-1 team.  To me, the season really starts next Friday.

I feel the same way.  I am sure it has occurred in the past, but off the top of my head  I can not recall our ever having played a non D-1 school during the regular season.  


11/03/2022 1:18 pm  #6

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

Not worth rushing along Adams or Dean for this game certainly.
Let some others get their feet wet, anyway, which is what these games are for.
If we need Adams and Dean, or anyone else to beat a D2 team, then we have a bigger problem
this year.
However, we are assembling a winning group toward 2023 and beyond, that players will want to be
a part of.


11/03/2022 1:37 pm  #7

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

Virginia State plays in the same CIAA conference as Bowie State coached by former GW assistant Darrell Brooks. Anyone thinking this game is a gimmee against the Little Sisters of the Poor misses the boat about building the season and getting the pieces in place. They're not the strongest team in that conference but then I don't think coaches have us projected as one either. Gee, we're not Duke or the Dukes. Can only imagine how South Carolina fans feel about coming to D.C. to play GW other than as an opportunity to recruit the DMV.


11/03/2022 2:03 pm  #8

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

   Having seen Sunday, nothing is a gimme, perhaps even a good HS team.
However, while in no way is the very winning, positive recruiting, forward-looking coach responsible for our current plight, in a normal world we shouldn't have to worry about missing two players against a D2 team.
   And while we all are beaten down enough that no one raises great objection this year, we probably should strive to play all our regular season games against D1 teams in the future. Especially to remain relevant, since we are moving with excellent recruits toward being a potential powerhouse, especially if more sign up.
  It's really okay to say this game isn't the greatest idea in general or test for the A-10, even in a more blunt way.


11/03/2022 2:24 pm  #9

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

GW lost to Division II Florida Tech during Kuester's final year.


11/03/2022 2:58 pm  #10

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

We should not be playing this game.  It is wrong and all we are doing by agreeing to play it is to exacerbate something that is already incorrect.  It's not the first time GW has made this mistake though I believe it is the first time with this particular school.  Not a fan of playing D2 schools but this isn't the problem at all.  

Virginia is legally designated as a commonwealth.  Call it a state all you like but it's a commonwealth.  One would think that we would know how to abide by this given our annual matchups with Virginia Commonwealth University.  As heinous as some of their fans can be, this makes sense and feels right.  But Virginia State?  Not buying it for a minute. 

Even Pennsylvania knew to shorten it to Penn State to try and throw people off the scent.

Last edited by Gwmayhem (11/03/2022 2:59 pm)


11/03/2022 3:11 pm  #11

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

I think we will win this game. However, can we all stipulate that win or lose, one game as early in his tenure as possible is not a referendum on CC? The overreaction in both directions here will likely be amazing. Dude will proclaim him GW's Greatest Coach of all-time and LSF among others will decide that he can't coach and we will be in the market for a new coach in 2-3 years. 

This year will require patience and a longer view. CC is not coaching either the team he wants or the team JC would have had if he was not let go. There are likely 1-2 players on this current roster that will be a long term part of the rebuild as they call it. This year all we can hope for is the best year possible for guys like Bishop, Adams and Lindo who likely won't be here next year but have paid their dues and deserve some success.


11/03/2022 3:41 pm  #12

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

That's funny.   and half true, unfortunately.

I think the same thing I've written here for almost a decade now:
Players win, coaches recruit the players.   College basketball is mostly about recruiting.   Coaching helps, somewhat,  at the margins.   

To that extend the Caputo era, will be like any other GW era, largely about recruiting.   

Off to a great start on that front it seems.    We're not going to see most of those guys for 12 months, just enjoy the season for what it is

save the big conclusions for 2-3 years from now, at minimum, enjoy the ride

     Thread Starter

11/03/2022 4:42 pm  #13

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

GWRising wrote:

I think we will win this game. However, can we all stipulate that win or lose, one game as early in his tenure as possible is not a referendum on CC? The overreaction in both directions here will likely be amazing.

NO. NEGATIVE. NOT GOING TO STIPULATE TO THAT! Fact is, as of right now, Caputo is WINLESS as GW´s head coach (exhibition games do not count, that is why they are "exhibitions"). John Keuster did not even have a single winless season, much less a winless career. So the heat is on to win Monday. Also, I am available to be the crank at your family´s Thanksgiving dinner if LSF is double scheduled...
As for the Commonwealth of Virginia hosting Virginia State University, it should be noted that the school was founded well before Brown vs Board of Education and reflects Virginia´s sad history of separating its equality and denying its own citizens full participation in said Commonwealth. In 1930, its name was changed to "Virginia State College for Negroes", in case you had any doubts. Apparently Norfolk St was a branch campus for a while before becoming its own university (a nice bit of trivia you could bring up to amaze/bore people with at your aforementioned Thanksgiving dinner).

Last edited by GW Alum Abroad (11/03/2022 4:55 pm)


11/03/2022 9:23 pm  #14

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

Virginia State Trojans

Date/Time: Monday November 7th @ 7:00 PM at The Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, DC.
Record Last Year: 10-16, 6-10 in CIAA (T-5th in Northern Division)
Preseason Rank: 214th/299th (Massey) - 5th/12th in CIAA

Offensive Rebounds Per Game - 32nd/299th
Total Rebounds Per Game - 87th/299th

Scoring Offense - 202nd/299th
Turnovers - T-206th/299th
Win-Loss Percentage - T-210th/299th
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 214th/299th
3-PT Field Goals Per Game - 214th/299th
Scoring Margin - 222nd/299th
Field Goal Percentage - 225th/299th
3-PT Field Goals Made - T-232nd/299th
3-PT Field Goal Attempts - 235th/299th
Personal Fouls Per Game - 246th/299th
Turnover Margin - 247th/299th
Free Throw Percentage - 253rd/299th
Steals Per Game - 253rd/299th
Turnovers Per Game - 255th/299th
Total Steals - T-269th/299th

Offensive Efficiency: 185th/299th (Massey)
Defensive Efficiency: 209th/299th (Massey)

Key Returning Players:
Francis "B.J." Fitzgerald (Graduate Student; Danville, VA) 17 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1 spg; 46% FG, 31% 3-PT, 81% FT
Terrence Hunter-Whitfield (Senior; Chesterfield, VA) 13.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 spg; 42% FG, 35% 3-PT, 76% FT
Dajour Rucker (RS Sophomore; Virginia Beach, VA) 6 ppg, 3.4 rpg; 50% FG, 53% 3-PT, 50% FT
Daryl Mackey Jr. (RS Sophomore; Alexandria, VA) 5.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg; 44% FG, 28% 3-PT, 54% FT
D'Angelo Lake (Junior; Cleveland, OH) 5.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg; 39% FG, 50% 3-PT, 85% FT

Key Losses:
Antwan Miles II (Left Team; Hampton, VA) 10.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.1 apg; 45% FG, 29% 3-PT, 53% FT
Jonathan Norfleet (Transferred; Virginia Beach, VA) 9 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 2.9 apg; 40% FG, 19% 3-PT, 73% FT
Michael Melvin (Graduated; Fayetteville, NC) 8.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1 spg; 35% FG, 41% 3-PT, 71% FT
Jordan Hernandez (Transferred; Richmond, VA) 5.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1 spg; 42% FG, 50% 3-PT, 64% FT
Cle'von Greene (Transferred; Yorktown, VA) 5 ppg, 2 rpg; 36% FG, 23% 3-PT, 100% FT

With D1 athletics getting all the college sport attention around the country, there are so many coaches out there in the non-D1 ranks that never get the flowers they deserve. When head coach Lonnie Blow Jr. took over at Virginia State, the Spartans were coming off four consecutive losing campaigns where they won a combined 34 games.

Blow had already made a name for himself at St. Augustine's University in NC, where he compiled an impressive 62-27 record over three years. VSU is fortunate Blow opted to return home to Virginia in order to be closer to his family. The rest is history, as VSU finished over .500 in his first year and haven't really looked back since. There's reason to believe that the 10-16 record the Trojans had last year is an anomaly - taking out the past year and Blow's first year, VSU has won roughly 77% of their games since the coaching change was made in 2013, which included a 27 win season during the 2018-19 season, the best mark in school history. Regardless of level, Blow's resume is highly impressive. He has simply won everywhere he's been - from the time he coached at the high school level (Granby HS won the state championship) to the time he was an assistant at the D1 level with stops at Hampton, Norfolk State, and Old Dominion (he won a conference championship with the Pirates and Monarchs) to his tenure as a D2 head coach (he is the first coach in CIAA conference history to win championships at multiple schools and has won coach of the year in the conference four times). Oh and he has accolades as a player as well - Blow is third on the all-time scoring list at Virginia Wesleyan and was inducted to the hall of fame at the school in 2009.

Virginia State does return their top two scorers from last season which is a great place to start as they look to get back to their winning ways. Francis 'B.J.' Fitzgerald and Terrence Hunter-Whitfield accounted for nearly half of the scoring and three pointers made for the Trojans last year. As upperclassmen, they also have great experience and will certainly occupy two of VSU's starting spots when healthy.

Fitzgerald, a Norfolk State transfer, scored in double figures in all but three games last year. At 6-6, he provides versatility in being able to guard multiple positions and is the most complete player on both sides of the roster. If he can improve his efficiency on threes a bit more, he can average over 20 ppg and be one of the best players in D2.

Hunter-Whitfield, who hails from Chesterfield (JoeBam's hometown) is by far the best rebounder on the team despite standing at just 6-5. This might sound very similar to the WCSU game in that there will always be several players on the court who are sacrificing their bodies to pull down a rebound - especially on the offensive end. If there is a challenge on Monday, it will be keeping VSU off the offensive boards. If we don't concede more than 10, I think that will be a big success. Coach Blow has taken a page out of the ODU playbook from his time as an assistant to preach getting on the boards on both ends and playing with physicality. I'd expect VSU to definitely finish better than 209th defensively in D2. If the Trojans are to get back to winning the way they are used to, they will likely need to win because of their defense rather than their offense. As you can see in the "weaknesses" section above, they don't shoot the ball particularly well and don't prefer to shoot threes (like WCSU again) outside of their two main guys.

Virginia State loses their third, fourth, and fifth options from last year so they will need their remaining returners and newcomers to step up as defenses focus on Fitzgerald and Whitfield. VSU returns a solid nucleus from last year, including former Marshall player Dajour Rucker, redshirt sophomore Daryl Mackey Jr., JUCO transfer D'Angelo Lake, true sophomore Caleb Butts, and former Eastern Michigan/Kansas State big man James Love III. Rucker and Lake did not appear in VSU's first game of the season.

Rucker was a part-time starter last year who showed potential as a three-level scorer. Mackey also started a number of games in his first year of CBB but will need to be much better shooting the ball since he plays more off the ball. Lake, an Ohio native, adds size and showed promise as an 85% FT shooter but wasn't able to replicate the same shooting efficiency from the floor. Butts prefers to operate driving to the hoop, as he incredibly shot 0 threes all of last year as a 6'4" forward. Of the "other returners" group, I could definitely see him breaking out in year 2. Love never really got much of an opportunity playing at the D1 level, and will likely be never more than a role player even at VSU but offers one thing every team looks for: size. Expect Love to start based off that alone, and it certainly doesn't hurt to have D1 experience and veteran leadership as a graduate student.

Like pretty much every coach around the country, Blow went to work in the transfer portal to replace 10 players leaving the roster from last year with multiple starting spots up for grabs and the other returners leaving a lot left to be desired. He did well by landing a number of guys with D1 experience. Stephan Morris comes from Blow's old stomping grounds at Old Dominion. He barely got off the bench there, but provides post scoring which VSU largely lacked with their returners. Zach Newkirk figures to be an immediate impact player having averaged over 4 ppg across three seasons at Central Connecticut State. Newkirk was never a really efficient guy for the Blue Devils (not many players there are), but should help in the ball handling department. Myles Baker (Central Connecticut State/Eastern Illinois) and Tyrek Williams (Troy) did not play in VSU's opener but give the Trojans more options. Baker in particular is intriguing as he averaged nearly double figures at the D1 level. When you can get a guy like that to go D2, that's a huge get. Tremere Brown is the final "headliner" coming over from Alabama A&M. Brown gives VSU another potential operator in the post along with Morris.

Other potential impact newcomers include Robert Smith, Stephon Roberts, Antonio Thomas, and Tim Montgomery. Smith is yet another "tweener" forward who is largely averse to shooting threes. Roberts adds real size down low at 6'10". Between Roberts and Love, we should be challenged a bit more down low from a size standpoint alone. With 4 assists in VSU's opener, Roberts might be a guy the Trojans can play through when on the floor. Thomas is a glue guy who does a little bit of everything from the wing. Finally, Montgomery figures to be VSU's backup at the point behind Newkirk this season.

Outside of defense, the other "swing factor" that will largely determine how Virginia State's season goes is their production from the point guard spot. While he didn't average double figures scoring, Michael Melvin is probably VSU's biggest loss, having graduated this offseason. Melvin was 16th in the country in assists per game and had a 1.7 assist to turnover ratio. The fact he is no longer around is concerning, given the team already struggled with turnovers with Melvin around. Between Newkirk, Montgomery, Fitzgerald, and Hunter-Whitfield, VSU will have to find an answer at the point. As mentioned above, Newkirk figures to be the favorite to start given his previous experience at CCSU, but he will still need the others to support him in that effort.

Out of curiosity, I looked at all the D1 teams Virginia State has played since 2009. The Trojans are 3-8 in that span. Two of those wins were over Norfolk State, and their win over Towson during the 2011-12 season is the worst Tiger team in history, with Skerry's group having gone 1-31:

  Year             Opponent              Margin
2009-10      George Mason       GMU by 18
2011-12           Towson               VSU by 7
2012-13       Old Dominion*       ODU by 44
2016-17            Duke*               Duke by 31
2016-17       Old Dominion*       ODU by 39
2016-17       Norfolk State*        VSU by 3
2017-18       Norfolk State*        VSU by 5
2018-19       Norfolk State         NSU by 7
2019-20            VCU                 VCU by 37
2021-22          Howard             Howard by 4
2021-22            VCU                 VCU by 19

* = exhibition game

Given the above results from last year, I wouldn't necessarily be surprised by a 2-3 possession victory. We ranked closer to Howard than VCU, and despite the game "counting" I still think we will be treating this as an exhibition - we will probably play everyone except maybe the walk-ons this time if the game remains close. The game will probably get closer if we take the starters out like in the exhibition game. The key should come as no surprise: defensive rebounding.

Earlier in the offseason, I was touting Hunter/Noel as X-factors for the team this season (and they still may be), but the X-factor this season might actually be Ricky. We know what we are going to get from James. He could be more efficient but he has done as well as he can given his supporting cast. Brendan Adams is who he is at this point. He provides leadership, takes care of the ball, and I credit him for reducing his three point rate which helped his efficiency. BA is better served as a fourth option than a top 3 option imo. Hopefully Max can be a go-to guy right away. Relying on him to be the #2 guy on a nightly basis feels unfair given he's essentially a freshman. This is where Ricky needs to step up. From his time at GW, I never truly got the sense he can be a true #2 guy but he certainly has the talent to do so. He may not have been 100% healthy last year, but hopefully he is this year. He is a great three point shooter and I'm fine with him taking threes, but he cannot be operating exclusively from the perimeter. He has to attack the basket and get to the line otherwise we won't be getting enough out of him. Hopefully, others can help him out on the boards this year (Max showed real promise in the exhibition game in that department) because we actually need Ricky's offense this season to be remotely successful. He will also need to stay on the floor to do so, and certainly play closer to 30 minutes per game than 15. He tends to use his hands at times when guarding and takes risks which is fine at times but he needs to improve his decision-making when to do so. Sometimes the ticky-tack fouls are unavoidable, but he needs to be less aggressive if he hits 2 fouls (and especially 3).

Predicted Score: GW 83, Virginia State 63. 93% chance to win (Massey).


11/03/2022 9:37 pm  #15

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

The Ross-Man! wrote:

I have a really hard time caring about this game - it feels like it should be an exhibition, since it's not vs. a D-1 team.  To me, the season really starts next Friday.

I feel the same way.  I’ll be there Monday, but other than individual stats, it’s really just an exhibition game.


11/03/2022 9:44 pm  #16

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

Great preview, DMV!   Going above and beyond to build a great scouting report of a D2 team.  And I love the covidrncr of predicting us to beat them by more than VCU did last year.


11/03/2022 10:15 pm  #17

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

Free Quebec wrote:

Great preview, DMV!   Going above and beyond to build a great scouting report of a D2 team.  And I love the covidrncr of predicting us to beat them by more than VCU did last year.

I'll second that! Bravo indeed DMV

     Thread Starter

11/04/2022 11:44 am  #18

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

Really amazing preview by DMV, giving a lot of insight into a D2 team. Ending with a great comparison against D1 teams, only a few at our normal level.
The most interesting point to me was the revealing info about the Virginia State coach. How come he's never had a D1 head coaching opportunity, if I read this correctly? It's always a head scratcher who makes it--or not.
There are a lot of fine coaches out there who never move up to seemingly deserved higher levels. Some are happy where they are, but it seems like others never have gotten the opportunity.


11/04/2022 3:50 pm  #19

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

I haven't even read it yet, though I definitely will, but wanted to thank DMVpiranha for this and all future previews.  By far the most enjoyable aspect of this board.  Now if we could only usher in the return of Herve's game recaps, we'd really be onto something.

I'd also point out that both praise and criticism will likely be warranted this season (and in every season), and there's really nothing wrong with expressing either on a message board as long as the criticism is constructive.  Constructive criticism should not be construed as an indictment of CC or his coaching abilities.  


11/07/2022 7:07 am  #20

Re: GW vs Virginia St Game Thread

Thanks for the game summary.  Above and beyond the call ona D2.
Happy new season all


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