The men’s basketball team opened its practice to the media today, just days before the program embarks on its international tour of Italy. Some notes from the first glimpse of the 2012-13 Colonials:
- The first part of the hour-long session focused primarily on post play, running the players through a series of pick-and-roll drills, as well as splitting into groups where the coaching staff emphasized technique for driving to the net.
- Assistant coach Pete Strickland led the Colonials through turn and shoot drills and could be heard instructing driving players to keep two hands on the ball as they leaped to the basket.
- At the other end of the court, assistant coaches Hajj Turner and Kevin Sutton led a drill in shooting through traffic, telling the Colonials to dribble through the two coaches and shoot over them once on the other side.
- The entire team, minus senior forward David Pellom, out with a wrist injury, participated in a “full court shoot” drill that saw three players traversing the court at the same time, cutting passes back and forth until one drove in for a layup and the other two pulled up for corner jumpers.
- The coaching staff stopped the drill at times, resetting feeds that went awry or discussing the need to send a teammate a solid pass from the baseline before traveling down the court.
- To wrap up practice, the players did more work at the basket, grabbing their own boards over and over, shooting bank shots and practicing jumps to the rim.
- Though Pellom’s out of the official lineup — head coach Mike Lonergan added that he doesn’t expect the forward to return until November or December — Pellom helped junior forward Nemanja Mikic with his shooting and made a few baskets of his own on a side hoop.
- The session officially ended with a high-energy battle drill that saw five-on-five play, the Colonials working to pass around the perimeter before cutting inside.
- Senior guard Bryan Bynes took a charge from sophomore forward Jonathan Davis that stopped his drive but sent both players crashing to the ground, a move that earned the praise of the Colonials’ coaching staff.
- Senior forward Dwayne Smith and senior guard Lasan Kromah were vocal throughout practice, but Lonergan said he’s still searching for a clear on-court leader, adding that sophomore forward John Kopriva’s stepped into a leadership role off the court.
- Lonergan said things are “going well,” but that he thinks the team could use more practice time and added that the Colonials are “way behind in defense.”
- “It’ll be good to play against somebody else,” Lonergan added, pointing out that the teammates have become familiar with each other and their plays.
- Three of the incoming freshmen could “probably start,” Lonergan said. He said incoming freshman Joe McDonald will rotate with Bynes at the point guard slot, and freshmen Kevin Larsen and Patricio Garino, who missed some time at the beginning of the summer rehabbing from high school injuries, also showed early promise. Incoming Villanova transfer Isaiah Armwood is poised to make an impact on GW’s roster too, Lonergan said.
The team’s full overseas schedule was released on GWSports.com today and includes two stops on American military bases.