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7/10/2023 4:52 pm  #21

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

Gwmayhem - I think the operative word used was "realistic". When you have 9 of 12 scholarships players being new to the team and several with no real college resume (either freshmen or no extended amount of playing time), this year more than almost any in recent memory makes a "realistic" floor and ceiling damn near impossible to project. 


7/21/2023 4:05 pm  #22

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

I thought about starting a new thread for this post before realizing that so much of this topic ultimately points to our floor and ceiling that I put it here.  Besides, I think this is the perfect type of off-season thread as long as you don't get caught up with semantics.  (As in, if the question was posed as What is GW's Floor and Ceiling this upcoming season, as opposed to "Realistic" floor and ceiling, the meaning of the question really would not have changed and yet you'd eliminate responses like "how do I know what's realistic with so many new players?")

Anyway, this post is intended to comment on the most efficient ways to become a more competitive program once again.  From a recruiting perspective, Chris Caputo is taking some plays from the historic GW playbooks that have worked well in the past.  While recruiting locally is important, it stands to reason that the combination of two more prominent area programs plus a number of national powers who set their sights on recruiting the DMV, makes it very difficult to attract the top area talent to attend GW with any consistency.   There is also the underrated knack of finding guys like Zeke Armwood, Tyler Cavanaugh and James Bishop IV who were simply unhappy with their roles at former schools.  Of course these opportunities must continue to be researched in the portal.  That said, there are essentially two formulas that have somewhat uniquely served GW well in the past and which CC and staff are effectively utilizing:

1) Foreign born players.  From recruiting Yinka, Yegor, and Sasha from other countries to attracting, Nemanja, Patricio, and KevLar at US prep schools, there is something about the nation's capital that has always held appeal to international students.  Plus, there are certain stipulations involving foreign born players accepting NIL money (I admittedly need to learn more about this) that the international pipeline may never have been as essential to GW than it is right now.  With Benny, Keegan, Zamoku, and Babatunde (Stretch) all in the fold (though I would feel better if Stretch was officially added to the roster), it appears that we are again back to showcasing a number of international flags at home games after MoJo produced very little international talent and Jamion underwent a flirtation but nothing more with a certain New Zealander.

2) Players coming off of injuries.  The international player storyline has been mentioned ad nauseum but this second point is in my mind, a well kept secret.  Like other midmajors I am sure, GW is forced to roll the dice quite a lot when it comes to taking chances on players coming off serious injuries.  There have been Colonial players like Maureece Rice and Mo Creek who by and large may never have worn a GW uniform had they never been injured prior to arriving.  Nothing is guaranteed and certainly not everyone is a huge success.  In Patrick Steeves, for example, we saw the semblance of a former player who returned to the court but still could not quite lick the injury bug.  Last season's pleasant surprise, Maximus Edwards, has helped create hope for a new crop of players to thrive...Darren Buchanan, Benny Schroeder, Garrett Johnson...all players who may never have become available to GW if not for their health histories.


7/26/2023 9:44 am  #23

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling


7/26/2023 11:33 am  #24

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

He also tweeted a predicted starting lineup that will surprise all of us:

Garrett Johnson

(Speaking for myself, Johnson is a surprise. If he’s starter level that’s a huge bonus.  I’ve been expecting Hutchison, Autry, or Buchanan as the 5th starter with those other 4).


7/26/2023 12:02 pm  #25

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

Agree that Johnson over Buchanan is the only surprise.  Maybe because of three point shooting as the only other one in that group is Max.


7/26/2023 12:48 pm  #26

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

I too was surprised that Garrett was mentioned in the starting lineup (I thought he may be a deeper option at least right out of the gate) but it made sense after I thought about it more. Like BM mentioned, there isn't much three point shooting in the starting lineup on paper. CC expressed his frustration multiple times last year that neither the 4 nor 5 position could really stretch the floor, and a Buchanan-Akingbola lineup will just be more of the same on that front. One of the freshman guards could also crack the lineup, but that might force Benny into more of a frontcourt role for longer stretches than he probably should play (although he can certainly play spot minutes at the 4).

More than his lack of experience, I was questioning whether Garrett's defense would translate early on but based on Rothstein's report I guess it has. While not really practicing, he was exposed to a very disciplined style of play at Princeton. There's no questioning Johnson's shooting ability - he's a strong player on that end.

I'm really excited to see all the lineup combinations next year because the versatility is like night and day from last year. You could make the case that we can go 10 deep, with Jacoi, Trey, Christian, Darren, and Antoine all coming off the bench based on the above lineup. Keegan gets minutes as a backup 5 when we need more height (although you could say he's probably more of a 4). Unfortunately that puts Zam at the very end of the bench. I hope he gets some minutes during OOC play but I figure he's probably a part-time player in year 1.

Going back to the earlier point, I think CC will want shooting at either the 4 or 5 most of the time. Antoine can easily sub in for Garrett off the bench for shooting. There may be reasons to even play Darren and Keegan together so the shooting remains intact, although there will definitely be a time and place for Darren and Babatunde to play together and crash the glass against bigger teams. Alternatively, Darren could play the 5 and CC could put a more guard-oriented/shooting lineup around him and play a bit more small. The possibilities are endless.

It will also be interesting to see what happens when conference play rolls around and the rotation gets cut. I still feel that one of the freshman guards will be on the outside looking in by that point. Trey and Christian seem better able to shoot off the ball which will help. Jacoi is too good of a passer to be excluded. Regardless, I don't see CC sticking with 10 guys by then.


7/26/2023 2:11 pm  #27

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

One nice change from last season is that hopefully our starters will be playing closer to 30 minutes per game rather than 40.   I must have drunk the Kool-Aid, but this appears to be a very deep and talented team, albeit very young and inexperienced.  Seems like so many talented additions to a tearm returning a first team all conference who led the conference in scoring along with the conference rookie of the year,   This may another one of those teams that others would want to play in November and December rather than later in the season.


7/26/2023 3:10 pm  #28

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

Don't want to put too much faith in Rothstein's predictions given that he's only spent a few hours with this team.  Nevertheless, his words do give us something to go on so with that said:

1) Am really glad that he was this bullish on Schroeder.  The reports from U20 Europe were less than inspiring.  Sounds like he has the chance to be on offense what Mr. Garino was on defense.

2) Yes, Garrett Johnson is the surprise of the day.  When considering that he is on a Kenner roster but has yet to play (to my knowledge), I began to wonder whether health issues were resurfacing.  The fact that Jon has him in his projected starting lineup says to me that he must look pretty healthy out there.  Remember, this is someone who has not played competitive basketball in 2 1/2 years.  That's an exceptionally long layoff.

3) While I realize that we can only start 5, the two players I was expecting in the starting lineup were Darren and Jacoi.  I'd suspect both to see 20+ minutes per game off the bench.  The more I think about it, the more I like Jacoi, Trey and Christian all coming off the bench together, at least to start the season.  Am anticipating each to contribute without any feeling like an odd man out.


7/26/2023 4:22 pm  #29

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

Agree that having a full roster is eagerly anticipated, especially after last years skeleton crew. Not sure how Rothstein can name the starters if CC doesn’t even know who they are. There are over 100 days until the season begins and this squad is just coming to town.  There’s conditioning, coaching, and team chemistry yet to happen.
While Rothstein is visiting a zillion schools, his guess is just that, a guess.
Glad he broke the ice and got it going.


7/28/2023 7:36 am  #30

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

Rothstein A-10 rankings.  GW at #7 seems fair.  Here he has Antoine Smith starting ahead of Johnson and Buchanan.


7/28/2023 9:52 am  #31

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

Last year at this time, I would have been thrilled at a middle of the pack prediction for GW.  This year, although I understand the reasoning, it is a bit of a disappointment.   The biggest prediction jumps seem to be St. Joes and the Bonnies.  I found it interesting that with so many "key newcomers" listed on each team, Noel Brown was not one of them.  Also found it interesting that Joe Basimile was not projected as a starter for VCU.  


7/28/2023 10:42 am  #32

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

So many moving parts on every team.  Gonna be fun watching our progress as the season goes on. There are always surprises both good and bad. I think we could be in top 5 in A10.  Joe Bam is no surprise not starting. He doesn’t fit any role and 4 schools in 4 years proves that. 
The movement of transfers from 1 team to another within A10 is fascinating. And the best name goes to Rhode Island’s Always Wright!!


7/28/2023 12:39 pm  #33

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

I don't care what he does on the court, but hope he transfers to us so we can chant
Always Wright! 
Especially when he would be called for a foul.


7/28/2023 4:54 pm  #34

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

Bamisile is not currently eligible to play for VCU next year. School is appealing his status seeking a waiver of the requirement for him to sit out a year as a consequence of his gazillion collegiate transfers. NCAA appears to be looking less favorably on such requests but who knows? Hard to project him as a starter when he may be seeing action exclusively on the scout team


7/31/2023 7:42 am  #35

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

Posted yesterday on a look at GW in The Winners, Losers, and Limbos of the 2023 Atlantic 10 OffseasonGeorge WashingtonThe “Revolutionaries” are in town to start the 2023-24 season, and with that comes significant change at Foggy Bottom. Chris Caputo proved he belonged by squeezing out a 16-16 season from what most saw as a motley crew. James Bishop led the conference in scoring again but by a wider margin on much-improved efficiency. Maximus Edwards won Rookie of the Year for the first time since Sirvaliant Brown did it in 2000. Brendan Adams closed his college career in style with a career-high 17.4 points per game, taking home the Most Improved Player, the first since Kevin Larsen in 2014. Although their postseason ended at the hands of Saint Joseph’s, there is a lot to like about the Revs’ coming into November.Edwards will unite with Bishop again for a dynamic backcourt to shake up opposing defenses, with Caputo handing more duties to Edwards as a sophomore. Following the departures of Hunter Dean and Noel Brown, Caputo took a flyer on Babatunde Akingbola from Auburn for a graduate year. He’s also included Antoine Smith Jr from Evansville who shot 36% from range last season, and Oklahoma leftover Benny Schroder. Caputo is also taking flyers on redshirt freshmen Garrett Johnson (Princeton) and Darren Buchanan Jr (Virginia Tech) to replace some of the lost wing depth. Four true freshmen join the Revs: three guards and a power forward for the upcoming year.One element stands out with almost all of the transfers: they either played sparingly or not played at all in the last year. Johnson and Buchanan didn’t even suit up for their previous teams, Schroder played six games for Porter Moser before suffering long COVID, Akingbola has played a combined 10 games the last two seasons, and Keegan Harvey is coming off a season where he logged eight games for GW last year. Caputo is taking gambles and banking on developing them. Besides Edwards, evidence that he can get productive seasons out of these new guys right away is unproven. With an eye on the future, all indications are that GW may be willing to expense this season for long-term continuity. Final Grade: B for the Revolutionaries.


7/31/2023 8:09 am  #36

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

Taking gambles is the very definition of attempting success with something that is unproven.  It's exactly what a program like this one should be doing until it has built enough continuity that it no longer needs to gamble so aggressively.  Convincing a player from a major program to "transfer down" is not without risk.  Maybe the player just isn't as talented as what was expected.  Maybe he's a head case or extremely difficult to coach.  Nevertheless, GW ought to show interest in players who at the very least, major programs saw enough interest in to offer.  At all programs big and small, players are promised the chance to play but as we know, only so many can play meaningful minutes.  Sometimes a player may have been injured or just not assimilating well during his freshman year.  And sometimes, a perfectly fine, healthy player is the 10th best on a team with a 9 man rotation.

What's really important is whether GW is taking calculated gambles and thus far, it definitely appears as if CC and staff are doing just that.  Buchanan was injured at VA Tech but has looked fine in Kenner.  Schroeder battled through an injury at Oklahoma but was well enough to represent his country in U20 play.  Johnson has not played competitively in over two years yet Jon Rothstein projects him to become a starter.  All good signs.


7/31/2023 10:42 am  #37

Re: Realistic Floor and Ceiling

All any program can do is work with their pipelines for talent, both coaching and players.  It’s a vicious cycle. Just look at West Virginia, Iona, St. Johns, VCU.  How can any of these players at these schools concentrate on developing both as athletes and students.  It’s a circus and very unfortunate.  Remember Tre Mitchell? Rising star at Umass? He’s been in coaching purgatory with Smart, Huggins and now Calipari. 4th school.
We’ve been through our share of coaching drama and lower lows.
Coach Caputo impressed last year!  The basketball gods took a big one away with that goaltending no call against Wash state in the Diamond Head opener.  Instead of going 0 and 3 in tourney, could’ve been over 500 for season. And then EJ Clark goes down. Big loss.
Good breaks vs bad breaks are big in any season.
Most encouraging is that the morale never waivered and the effort was there every game. 
We need stability which takes time. The character and chemistry along with development through drills and workouts happens now. Coach C has the right DNA for success. He just needs to mix and match the ingredients for a great season.  After last year things are more promising and looking up.


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