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Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 5:18 p.m.

Ben Krimmel: GW’s big loss to Kansas State just doesn’t matter

by admin

Ben Krimmel is a senior majoring in international affairs.

Bill Murray, starring in “Meatballs,” leads one of the greatest motivational speeches in the history of film: “It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!”

Head coach Mike Lonergan and the Colonial faithful should shake off Tuesday's loss. Hatchet File Photo

Head coach Mike Lonergan and the Colonial faithful should shake off Tuesday’s loss. Hatchet File Photo

It didn’t matter whether the team won or lost, he told a group of young campers in the movie.

Echoing Murray, the men’s basketball team’s loss on Tuesday just doesn’t matter. The Colonials second loss of the year came against a tough Big 12 opponent and will not doom GW’s season.

If anything, the loss only dimmed the unrealistic zeal of the Colonials, who dreamed about finally reaching the AP’s Top 25 list. It was a reality check in the form of a 17-point loss. I hope this ends the weekly press releases and the school-wide obsession over the new AP poll on Mondays.

From sports to academics, GW needs to get this enormous fixation over rankings under control.

They’ve been a great story this year, but the Colonials aren’t quite where they should be, and it showed against the Wildcats. Kansas State bullied GW in the paint at both ends of the floor. The team cruised to a 20 to zip first half run that all but ended the game. The ease at which coach Bruce Weber’s squad converted on offense and frustrated GW point guard Joe McDonald into numerous turnovers represented the gulf in talent between the two teams.

But when the new year began, the sky did not fall on head coach Mike Lonergan’s squad. The clock’s stroke of midnight is not a Cindarella deadline for the team, as there are 17 games – plus the Atlantic 10 tournament – still to play.

The best thing the Colonials can do is to forget about most of what happened in Kansas. The members of the team should remember the experience of playing in a big gym and the intensity of the game, but ignore the loss.

Forget that sophomore forward Kevin Larsen threw a pass into the first row of the stands and that senior forward Isaiah Armwood air-balled a free throw. These were two exceptionally embarrassing moments. They should forget the numerous missed free throws, too – even though Lonergan no doubt reminded the team of them during their return flight to the District.

The biggest takeaway from Tuesday was positive: A healthy Patricio Garino showed flashes of his former self on defense.

But this advice also applies to the fans, who should also forget about the loss. When the AP voters hop off the GW bandwagon next Monday, it would be a shame for Colonials fans to abandon the Smith Center, too. This is especially important now that games that do matter are just around the corner as A-10 conference play comes to Foggy Bottom on Jan. 11.

This loss is not cause for concern. GW still boasts its best record in years, and losing morale now can only bode poorly for a team well on its way to success.

  • ColonialsFan

    Well put Ben. I think there were some unrealistic expectations heading into this game. I’d rather have a loss early during non-conference play to allow the team to reset and move forward heading into crucial conference games. To Kansas State’s credit, they are one of the best defenses in the country and the final score didn’t adequately show how lopsided this game got. They shut us down inside the paint (where our strength traditionally is) and from beyond the arc. We didn’t get any production off our bench. And our defense fell apart. But there’s still no reason to panic. We’re still a very, very good team. The rankings are nice, but being a top 25 team only escalates the unrealistic expectations. Lonergan and his staff has done a phenomenal job so far and I expect a strong continuation of this success in 2014