Tough week for GW, but no reason to quit on the #6 Colonials just yet. Just as GW was starting to get some real consideration for a 2 or 3 seed in the eyes of some "experts" and a very nice article in USA Today on George Washington's real birthday, Pops Mensah-Bonsu injured his knee against LaSalle Wednesday night and will be out at least two weeks. Rampant speculation at gwhoops.com about how this affects the team, the rest of their season, and the upcoming midterm elections in the House and Senate, but who knows how long he will be out and if he returns, what kind of shape he will be in?
Pops is the name most casual college basketball fans know if they know any names on the GW roster, but he is not the team's leading scorer or rebounder. GW has plenty of other options on offense, but Pops was the most effective - some would say only effective - interior scorer, and his presence opened up lots of opportunities for his teammates. Earlier in the season, when he was off the court, defenses could cheat away from the lane and match up better. Since the midseason integration of Regis Koundjia, GW has gotten much better at adjusting to running the halfcourt offense without Pops. Also, look for the Colonials to push the tempo even more until Pops returns.
Karl Hobbs still has enough talent that GW can win out the regular season and repeat as Atlantic 10 Tournament champs without Pops in uniform, but if he is still out of commission when the NCAA Tournament rolls around, the Colonials' season may not have the fairy-tale ending the Foggy Bottom faithful are hoping for.