Ben Krimmel, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.
A look at the stat sheet shows a GW team that edged Rutgers on Wednesday with a powerful offense. I could break down the plays and maneuvers that led to the Colonials’ win, but let’s talk about the theater of Wednesday’s game.
While it is clear this year’s team is performing better than last year’s on the court, this was the first time the Smith Center crowd was able to match the team’s intensity. Finally, the Smith Center had a real college basketball atmosphere – even garnering praise from Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan.
Isaiah Armwood – the most passionate player on the team – was also the most active player on the floor. His talkative, demonstrative demeanor gives GW a defining aggressive characteristic on defense. Following his brilliant performance against Creighton, Armwood disrupted Rutgers’ inside game at the bottom of GW’s 1-3-1 zone.
“I think I act like I play,” Armwood said after the game. “So I’m always jumping around, I’m always screaming and yelling, so it’s basically just to try to get everybody riled up.”
Armwood mirrors his head coach. Mike Lonergan spends the game pacing the sideline waving and stamping while yelling instruction to his players. His own secret language of hand motions sometimes looks meaningless, but it isn’t hard to tell when he is upset with the game.
It is evident that Lonergan — and now the Colonial Army — feed off this energy.
(On a side note, the buff jersey’s are the best look for GW, yet were somehow bested by the matching blazers worn by the GW coaching staff. With any luck, this isn’t the last time Lonergan and his staff go to this stylish look.)
Lonergan and athletic director Patrick Nero have done their job enticing students to come to the game with t-shirt and food giveaways, planting the seeds for a real raucous atmosphere. It’s a long way coming, considering the Colonials had one of the lowest attendance records in the conference last season.
If Wednesday night is any indication for the games after winter break, the Smith Center now will be no easy place for an opposing team to grab a win.
After sparse attendance in the previous two home games, the Colonial Army had their biggest showing of the season. Finals be damned, they declared, it was a “Buff Out!”