Roller coaster. Two days after winning by the most decisive margin in Mike Lonergan’s two seasons (24 points over Hofstra), the Colonials suffered perhaps their worst defeat of his tenure, committing 25 turnovers against the relentless pressure of Mount St. Mary’s. Prior to Monday, the most GW had committed in a game under Lonergan was 19. “Their pressure won the game for them,” Isaiah Armwood said. “That was the first time we saw pressure like that this year.”
With three freshmen in the starting lineup, joined by Armwood, a transfer from Villanova, and Lasan Kromah, who missed most of last season with a foot injury, Lonergan is blending five new players. “Unfortunately this group is relying too much on young players and young players are going to be inconsistent,” Lonergan said.
Bad news comes in threes. While Mount St. Mary’s made 8 of 15 shots from beyond the arc, GW missed its six long-distance tries. The 3-pointer has not been in the Colonials’ arsenal so far. They’ve tried only 40 in five games. Their average of eight per game is tied for the fewest among the 347 teams in Division I. More playing time may be in order for junior Nemanja Mikic who led GW in 3-pointers the last two seasons (126), but has hit only five so far.
Nothing in reserve. The Mount St. Mary’s bench out-scored the reserves of GW, 30-3. Lonergan used six players off the bench, but got little from them. In 50 minutes of floor time, the reserves made 1 of 10 shots, committed eight turnovers, with six rebounds and one assist. “We gotta get consistent, especially with our bench,” Lonergan said. “We gotta depend on some guys coming in there.”
Climbing the Mount. Mount St. Mary’s (2-3) is on the rise under first-year coach Jamion Christian. Junior transfers Rashad Whack (George Mason) and Sam Prescott (Marist) have joined freshman Shivaughn Wiggins and junior holdovers Josh Costellanos and Julian Norfleet in a deep guard rotation, fueling the Mountaineers’ full-court mayhem defense, which resembles the hovoc defense of Virginia Commonwealth. Christian, a 2004 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s, was an assistant at VCU last year. “We knew what to expect,” Lonergan said. “They came after us and we coughed it up.”
This week. GW has a chance to pick up a couple wins this week, playing at struggling James Madison (1-4) on Wednesday and facing Manhattan (1-3) in the BB&T Classic on Sunday.