So we came down to Philadelphia to watch Seton Hall play Villanova yesterday, and to see St. John's play Villanova tomorrow. Today we needed a change of pace. Something different. Something new and fresh.
...so we went to a La Salle game instead.
Normally you would have gotten a lot more pregame blathering about the place and the pregame happenings. However, La Salle does not allow backpacks in their arena, and the security people they brought in were unusually strict about the matter. They were kinda rude about it, too. Fortunately, the ticket office was able to hold my backpack and its attendant computer. Unfortunately, that means my impressions will be a bit more vague than usual.
(Bonus points for that same security person being the ticket-taker and holding up the line a good five minutes because she went to the concession stand and bought herself nachos.)
Everything seemed a little bootleg for the non-game related portions of the program. The ticket office was really slow to react and was printing tickets on an individual basis. There was no band, and instead there were innumerable repetitions of the fight song, which has an unfortunate similarity to something you might hear on a Saturday morning cartoon. The side boards went wacky and showed distorted ad images, so they were eventually shut down, though I kind of want to know what Citizens Bane would be.
Beautiful video of Philly scenes during the playing of the anthem.
George Washington has a lot of very tall, very skinny players with questionable mechanics. The shooting was... it was awful, no two ways about it. This would probably have been a thirty-point margin if the Colonials could hit the broad side of a barn down low. Because the game was non-competitive for about 35 minutes, we got to see a lot of both teams' reserves, so these are going to be relatively long notes.
I'm not sure why Aaliyah Brown shoved the ballhandler out of bounds late in the second half, but it was pointless. Lauren Chase ignited the offense in the first half with jumpers and a nice and-1 in the lane. Alexis Chandler reminds me of a former Johnnie, Greeba Barlow, around the face. That's where the resemblance ends. Chandler took a lot of shots, some better than others, and always seemed to be looking for her shot, no matter what. Dalacy Anderson gave good minutes in the post. Mia Farmer- a Philly kid we'd heard about on the ride home last night- took corner threes, and the third time was the charm (though that first one should have gone down- it was halfway around). Jada Matthews brought some nice size, but not so much touch. Brianna Cummings had some really good minutes- always active, with some good plays on offense. Kelli Prange was the least awkward of GW's tall, awkward players, but not by much. She made some nice little plays in the middle.
I was looking forward to seeing Jonquel Jones- I'd heard a lot about her, and as a Johnnie I'm familiar with the talents of Clemson transfers. But I was very disappointed. Her shot was a hot mess. She rebounded well, but you've got to hit the chippies down low and you've got to hang on to the ball. GW ran a lot of alley-oops early for her and Caira Washington, and none of them were successful. Washington looked like she was still trying to find her feet. She needs to muscle up. She was getting moved around very easily, and La Salle didn't have that much more size. Hannah Schaible didn't look to score, though I think her teammates wanted her to score when they had stretched the lead out and it was time to distribute the points. Shannon Cranshaw was tough from three- she's got a pretty stroke, which is more than I can say for most Colonials today. Chakecia Miller ran the offense well and seemed just comfortable enough calling her own number to balance the duties of the offense well.
So many easy shots. So many missed shots. Ugh.
Oh, La Salle. The passing was horrible. The ball security was virtually non-existent. When the shots missed, they were ugly. They never gave up on plays, but that's the most I can say about them as a group.
Amy Griffin's skill set intrigues me. She has the build of a forward, but she handles like a guard. She's a little reckless, and a little careless, but she's only a freshman. If she gets coaching, she might be special for La Salle. They brought a lot of size off the bench with Indigo Dickens and Ashanti Freeland, neither of whom played a lot, but who both crashed the paint. Jordan Williams handled the ball near the end of the game. Ebony Wells was, I think, physical, but we're getting to the time of night when my memory for mid-rotation bench players starts to fail me.
Micahya Owens was high usage, especially in the first half. She made a lot of defensive plays, disrupting the dribble and playing the passing lanes. Alicia Cropper came up with threes in the second half, as well as some tough plays. Jasmine Alston handled herself like a point guard who runs a good offense. I like her demeanor. Lisa Mintzer, the token local girl, blocked a lot of shots when GW thought they had a size advantage. They did not shoot very intelligently. Siobhan Beslow was the player of the day on the poster, but she seemed irrelevant today.
When La Salle was able to get a shot off, they got decent shots. But they really didn't have a lot of good ball movement and were sloppy with the ball.
Officiating was inconsistent, and it got to the point where you could tell the refs just wanted to get home. I am also not sure which ref she was, but there was referee who needed to visit my favorite corsetorium- by the end of the game, she had, er, lost some of her structural support.
GW has a really loud staff. Everyone seemed to be yelling. (They're also the only team I've heard use something other than the standard "DE-FENSE!" chant- they call and and respond "D UP!"
Worth the trip... but George Washington isn't quite back yet.