Previewing George Washington
The Colonials have cruised through an easy schedule to an 8-0 start. That schedule, which currently ranks 307th in the country, has allowed pretty much everyone on the GW roster to look good, so I would advise taking the numbers below with a grain of salt.
For instance, the Colonials' raw defensive numbers indicate they have one of the best defenses in the country. After adjusting for competition, however, the defense suddenly becomes pedestrian.
On the other hand, the George Washington offense doesn't suffer very much from adjusting for competition. It's just good, period.
|Four Factors||Percent||Nat'l Rank|
|Off Reb Rate||39.8||29|
While George Washington has eight players who average 10+ minutes per game, the box score from GW's game against Maryland suggests they're really only six- or seven-deep. I'd expect a similarly tight rotation from GW on Friday.
They like to up the tempo, which means NC State will--as it usually does against faster teams--make a point to play methodically and control the pace.
Danilo Pinnock (6-5, 207) -- Leading the team in scoring and minutes played. Pinnock averages 21.1 pts/40 min and 6.5 rebs/40.
Carl Elliot (6-4, 220) -- Elliot has been GW's best three-point shooter this season (11-19, .579). Leads the team with 5.8 ast/40 and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.8. With the lowest usage of all the George Washington starters, Elliot appears to be more of an opportunistic scorer.
Mike Hall (6-8, 230) -- Hall is having a good ol' time beating up on GW's crappy competition. He leads the team in eFG% (.672) and averages 19.2 pts/40 and 10.1 rebs/40. He's also second on the team in three-point attempts.
Pops Mensa-Bonsu (6-9, 240) -- Missed the first three games of the season; averaging 19.2 points, 12.5 boards and 4.8 blocks per 40 minutes since returning. Mensa-Bonsu is another in a string of good rebounding forwards the Pack has seen lately, with the difference being that he possesses the best offensive game of all of them. Pops is, among other things, good at getting FTAs (but not so much good at making them).
Omar Williams (6-9, 190) -- Not a major scoring threat, and one of the few GW players with an eFG% below .500. Mediocre rebounder.
Maureece Rice (6-1, 215) will play a lot of minutes off the bench (he logged 32 against Maryland). And despite being the sixth man, Rice is second on the team in field goal attempts. He's averaging an impressive 21.1 pts/40, so he's giving the Colonials a huge scoring punch off of the bench.
Montrell McDonald (6-7, 290) will also see some time but shouldn't be much of a factor in GW's offense.
Against Maryland (I'm leaning heavily on the box from this game since the Terps are the only decent team GW has faced), Hall, Pinnock and Rice combined to take 47 of the Colonials' 65 shots.
Although the Colonials don't rely on the three-pointer, they have several guys who'll shoot it from beyond the arc. Pinnock, Hall, Rice and Elliot will take 'em when they've got 'em.
|Four Factors||Percent||Nat'l Rank|
|Off Reb Rate||31.1||126|
George Washington has done a great job forcing turnovers (Maryland committed 25), though they're not quite as good on the defensive glass as they are on the offensive glass. And as you can see from that FTA/FGA ratio, they can be foul-prone.
OFF EFF / DEF EFF / DIFF
GWU: 112.4 / 97 / 15.4
NCSU: 111.2 / 91.8 / 19.4
Decent interior defense and a good defensive rebounding effort should be the keys to a Wolfpack victory. The Colonials didn't adjust particularly well to Maryland's defense (and by that I mean GW shot poorly), and hopefully they'll have similar difficulties against us. Of course, Maryland's frontcourt matched up well with George Washington's; I can't say the same for the Pack's forwards.