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Kethan Savage

He was back.

For a minute in GW’s Atlantic 10 Championship semifinals match against VCU, fans got to see sophomore sensation Kethan Savage finally return to the court.

But a few dribbles and an awkward cut later, Savage was back on the Colonials bench, not to return. He would limp slowly back to the locker room and could be seen at practice Tuesday back in a boot.

Sophomore Kethan Savage played one minute against VCU's "havoc" defense. Samuel Klein | Photo Editor

Sophomore Kethan Savage played one minute against VCU’s “havoc” defense. Samuel Klein | Photo Editor

It’s not 100 percent yet that the guard will be out for GW’s second-round NCAA Tournament game against No. 8 Memphis Friday, but as of now, head coach Mike Lonergan’s game plan is to be without him.

He told reporters during practice Tuesday:

“I’m going into the game plan that we’re not going to have him. It’s been seven, seven-and-a-half weeks and we thought we were gonna play him four minutes the other night and it didn’t work out. He’s got a bright future ahead of him, two more years, so I’ll probably ask the trainer on Thursday and Friday what his thoughts are, but he’s not practicing or anything. And that’s probably the only thing I’m sad about this week, he really was having a monster year and helped us get to this point. And I’m not gonna lie, we’re not the same team without him.”

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Sophomore forward Kevin Larsen loses the ball against two VCU defenders Satruday. Samuel Klein | Photo Editor

Sophomore forward Kevin Larsen loses the ball against two VCU defenders Satruday. Samuel Klein | Photo Editor

Ben Krimmel, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

For the first 20 minutes Saturday, the Colonials weathered the storm.

But hampered by a fast-paced tempo and punishing inside play, GW crashed out of the Atlantic 10 Tournament at the hands of VCU.

There is no good time to play a very solid team like VCU, but there is a bad time to play them. And with a quick turnaround from last night’s punishing game against Massachusetts, Saturday afternoon was the wrong time for GW.

After a solid first half, GW entered the halftime interval down a bucket and converting 48.1 percent of its shots from the floor. The only blemish of the opening period was the sight of Kethan Savage limping back to the locker room, as the sophomore’s return to action entailed only one uneventful minute. (Savage never looked comfortable on the floor, and upon returning to the bench after his fleeting flash of action, looked rather relieved to get off his ailing foot.)

During halftime, head coach Mike Lonergan encouraged his team to keep getting the ball to his big men and continue the hot starts of senior Isaiah Armwood and sophomore Kevin Larsen, who combined for 18 points on 8-for-11 from the field.

But VCU was able to neutralize the inside play of the Colonials with their ox of a man: Mo Alie-Cox. Alie-Cox’s strength was immediately apparent as Larsen struggled to gain position on every possession and GW’s 6-foot-10 sophomore could only hope for a stalemate verse the ox.

After the half, Larsen and Armwood would score just five points (2-6 from the floor) as the 6-foot-6, 250 pound Alie-Cox asserted his dominance, grabbing six points and six rebounds during that span.

VCU head coach Shaka Smart was pleased with his 20-year-old’s defense: “He changed a lot of plays around the basket,” Smart said. “He’s credited for two blocks, but he changed so many more, and I thought he did a terrific job on the glass, as well.”

How terrific on the glass? Well GW managed just 11 second-half rebounds compared to 20 corralled by VCU. As the Colonials shooting percentage dipped to 33.3 percent in the second half, second-chance points disappeared with the GW hopes of playing on Sunday.

After the game, Armwood sat at the podium visibly disappointed and took the blame for the poor performance.

“The second half we didn’t do the job on the boards,” he said. “They are known for rebounding and we knew that coming into the game, we just didn’t put a body on them.”

Even with the daunting Alie-Cox and senior forward Juvonte Reddic — who grabbed 10 rebounds — fatigue is what got the Colonials in the end. Fatigued from playing two games in one 18-hour span after a long regular season played with a very short bench. GW may be glad not to have to play again for a few days.

And while there was postgame sulking from Armwood and his head coach, Sunday will be a historic day for the program, as GW will earn their first NCAA Tournament bid in seven years.

Lonergan said it best after the game: “We’ll be miserable for a few hours,” he said. “But I’ll wake up tomorrow and it will be a great day in my life.”

An invite to the dance is the best cure for the Colonials current woes.

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GW had nothing left in the tank.

After trailing the No. 23 team in the country by just two at halftime, shots stopped falling for the Colonials as VCU stayed hot on its way to a 74-55 victory.

GW will now have to wait until 6 p.m. Sunday to find out its fate in the NCAA Tournament. In ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s most recent bracket, the Colonials were picked as a No. 7 seed, taking on No. 8 Pittsburgh in Buffalo, N.Y.

“Disappointed with the loss. I thought it was a pretty good game for about two-thirds of the game,” head coach Mike Lonergan said. “I think Nemanja [Mikic] hit a shot with 7:43 left and then after that we just struggled to score.”

The Colonials played the first six minutes without turning the ball over a single time. VCU’s pressure would not change, but the Colonials lost their ability to hold on to the ball. In the final 14 minutes of the half GW turned the ball over 11 times, mostly coming by way of errant and telegraphed passes. The Colonials ended the game with 15 turnovers off nine Ram steals.

GW handled the pressure of VCU’s press early on the game, though, best illustrated by the Colonials first possession of the game. Three crisp passes, first from sophomore Joe McDonald to graduate student Maurice Creek and then to a running Kevin Larsen led to a two-handed slam for senior Isaiah Armwood.

Armwood proved the spark for the Colonials early on, but as it did for the rest of GW, fatigue took its toll as the game progressed. In the first four minutes of the game, the senior scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds, appearing very comfortable in the paint and attacking VCU’s frontcourt on every possession.

“Early in the game we made all the right plays,” Armwood said. “It was the turning point in the game where it wasn’t necessarily them making us turn the ball over, we had some uncharacteristic turnovers that let them take the lead going into halftime and it continued in the second half.”

Senior Nemanja Mikic complemented Armwood’s first-half scoring. For the second straight game, Mikic became GW’s three-point threat, going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc in the first half to finish with 12 points in 16 minutes of play.

Struggling in the first half was Larsen, who had the added responsibility of being ball handler in the absence of Kethan Savage. Larsen turned the ball over five times in the half, but came alive in the second, scoring four straight points for GW to finish with 10.

VCU was led by junior forward Treveon Graham, who despite early foul trouble, still led the Rams with eight points at the half. Graham’s damage would be done in the second half, however, as he scored seven points in the first five minutes – just the beginning of a scoring tear that led to 22 points and four assists.

The Rams as a whole picked up their offense in the second half, seeming to heat up as the Colonials legs grew tired. After shooting 39.4 percent in the first half, VCU shot 56.5 percent in the second half, opening the half 5-for-6 from the field. Junior Briante Weber ran a fluid offense for the Rams, dishing out a game-high eight assists, while scoring 16 points.

The Colonials fought hard to stick with the Rams, but were ultimately unable to match the production and energy of VCU’s scorers. The Colonials limited their second half turnovers to four, but would only shoot 7-for-21 from the field, struggling to find open looks and convert attempts.

VCU’s success would also be found in their ability to out-rebound GW in the second half. After ending the first half tied at 17, VCU ultimately outrebounded the Colonials 37-28, leading to 12 second-chance points.

Senior Isaiah Armwood slams home a dunk Saturday for two of his team-high 15 points. Samuel Klein | Photo Editor

Senior Isaiah Armwood slams home a dunk Saturday for two of his team-high 15 points. | Samuel Klein | Photo Editor

“If you can outrebound GW by nine, that’s a heck of a feat,” head coach Shaka Smart said.

GW would also miss the production of McDonald and sophomore Patricio Garino, who combined for just nine points Saturday. Garino went scoreless in the first half and after a small offensive run in the second, would go silent for the Colonials finishing with six points on 2-of-9 shooting.

McDonald also struggled to shoot the ball, making just one field goal in the game. McDonald’s role Saturday was as primary ball handler, in which he did a more than exceptional job, but his beat-up body would take one too many hits as he left the game with 5:28 left to play after tweaking his ankle. McDonald returned for a short stint a couple minutes later, but would exit the game for good, fouling out of the game with 3:03 left to play.

“It might have been his ankle, which I felt good about since it wasn’t his hip,” Lonergan said. “I knew it would be tough, but he’s a warrior, he plays so hard and I didn’t have a lot of choices as you can see. Give VCU credit, they wore him out and wore all our team out, but hopefully he’ll be back by NCAA’s.”

Sophomore Kethan Savage made his first appearance since Jan. 18 after fracturing his foot against St. Bonaventure, but unfortunately, it was short lived as he played only one minute.

“He cut and he felt some soreness. I think he told the trainers to have me take him right out, so it was tough,” Lonergan said. “I feel bad, I’m hoping he’s alright and maybe a few more days.”

Sophomores Kevin Larsen and Patricio Garino walk offthe court after GW's loss to VCU Saturday. Samuel Klein | Photo Editor

Sophomores Kevin Larsen and Patricio Garino walk offthe court after GW’s loss to VCU Saturday. Samuel Klein | Photo Editor

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Ben Krimmel, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

Did you see him?

Were you able to spot him in the video running around a screen at the Colonials’ practice? No I’m not talking about GW head coach Mike Lonergan running the drill, but the player wearing the No. 21 shirt. Yeah, that guy. You remember his name?

Kethan Savage is back on the floor for the Colonials. Well, at least for practice.

Sophomore Kethan Savage drives past a Rhode Island defender earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

Sophomore Kethan Savage drives past a Rhode Island defender earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

The last time GW fans were able to see Savage running around the court was Jan. 18 during the game at St. Bonaventure when he broke his foot.

Before last Wednesday’s senior night victory over Saint Joseph’s, Savage was walking around the Smith Center without any limp or protective walking boot, which made it seem possible that he was close to a return.

After missing seven weeks, Lonergan would love to get the guard back and finally have six players that can contribute on offense.

But with GW’s positioning in the NCAA Tournament at “lock” status, there is no need to throw Savage back into the lineup before he is ready. While the sophomore may be lacking in-game sharpness, shoehorning him too quickly could delay his return to full health.

While Savage’s foot injury is different than sophomore Patricio Garino’s finger injury, Garino’s rough road to full health would be a good lesson.

After breaking his finger in the lead up to the start of the season, Garino missed GW’s first two games before entering an injury revolving door: in for two games, out for one, then in again for two more before missing nearly all of December. Garino has played in the last 19-straight contests since New Year’s Eve.

Playing Savage this weekend in Brooklyn is a matter of risk and reward: Does the reward of conference tournament success outweigh the risk of losing Savage for the remainder of the season?

As antsy as Savage looked to get back on the court during the past two months, I would make him wait another week before returning to action.

If Lonergan decides to use Savage, I’d expect him to play sparingly and likely not on back-to-back days. (If the Colonials continue to win, they would play three games in three days.)

Garino’s long absence in non-conference play in December came on the heels of playing two games in three days around the Thanksgiving holiday.

While Savage may be running low on patience, another week spent watching games in a shirt and tie is the best look for GW, as it keeps their high-flying guard available for the big dance.

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Saturday, March 8, 2014 12:11 p.m.

Savage set to return for A-10 Tournament

As GW fights for a top four seed Saturday against Fordham, they will do so knowing that breakout sophomore guard Kethan Savage will be returning for the Atlantic 10 tournament, according to ESPN.

ESPN insider Jeff Goodman first reported Friday that Savage will return to the Colonials lineup after missing the last 11 games with a broken foot.

Kethan Savage goes up for a dunk against VCU earlier this season. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

Kethan Savage goes up for a dunk against VCU earlier this season. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

According to the reports, Savage will play limited minutes in the conference tournament, but his return will be a huge boost to the thin bench that head coach Mike Lonergan has had to stretch.

Before Savage’s injury Jan. 18 during the final minutes of a game against St. Bonaventure, the Colonials were 15-3. Since then, GW is 7-4.

Savage will come back as the Colonials second leading scorer, averaging 13.4 points per game prior to his injury.

A win Saturday for the Colonials coupled with either a UMass or Saint Joseph’s loss Sunday, will give GW a top four finish and a double bye in next week’s tournament. A top four finish will give Savage an extra day to prepare for his return, while a fifth seed would give him an extra matchup at full game speed before the NCAA Tournament.

Further reports will be confirmed at the conclusion of Saturday’s game.

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WHO: GW (17-3, 5-1) vs. Dayton (13-8, 1-5)
WHERE: University of Dayton Arena
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 1 @ 12:30 p.m.

Case for Dayton:

At the end of Novemvber, Dayton was 6-1 and just off a huge 84-79 win over a now 19-3 Gonzaga team. When the non-conference schedule was finished, the Flyers were up to 12-3, ready to take on the best the Atlantic 10 had to offer.

Unfortunately for the Flyers, the A-10′s best has been too much for them to handle, losing five of six conference games to the likes of Saint Louis, Richmond, VCU, Rhode Island and Saint Joseph’s.

Senior forward Isaiah Armwood will look to dominate the paint Saturday, with his team's backcourt depleted with injury. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

Senior forward Isaiah Armwood will look to dominate the paint Saturday, with his team’s backcourt depleted with injury. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

To get back on track against GW Saturday, Dayton will have to do so with its offense. The Flyers rank first in the A-10 in field goal percentage (.475) and second in three-point field goal percentage (.378). Additionally, sophomore Khari price (.443) and junior Jordan Sibert (.434) rank second and third in the league, respectively, in percentage from beyond the arc.

The Flyers dont have any one dominant scorer, but they do spread the ball well, averaging 13 assists a game to get three players – Devin Oliver (12.2 ppg), Dyshawn Pierre (12 ppg) and Silbert (12 ppg) – into double figures.

With Joe McDonald and Kethan Savage both out, the last thing GW wants is for Saturday to turn into a shootout. But if it does, the struggling Flyers will certainly have the edge.

If it turns into a close one down the stretch, look for the more than 12,000 Dayton fans – first in the A-10 in average attendance – to potentially make the difference.

Case for GW:

GW may be a remarkable 10-0 at home this season, but entering University of Dayton Arena will be a completely different – and hostile – environment.

To get the win, over a still strong Flyers’ team, the Colonials will need the continued frontcourt dominance of Isaiah Armwood and Kevin Larsen, as well as veteran performance from graduate student Maurice Creek.

Creek knows that without Savage and McDonald, he will be given a huge number of the backcourt responsibilities, including guarding smaller, quicker guards and running plays from the top of the key. If Creek is able to find open shots, while also controlling the offense for extended periods, he could help carry his team to victory.

There to help carry the load will be the enforcers: Armwood and Larsen. The two have been unstoppable of late, with the Blockness Monster coming off 16 point, 14 rebound night against La Salle, and Larsen averaging 16.6 points per game over the last five matchups. Their presence in the paint will be huge with the depleted backcourt and in winning the all-important rebounding battle.

Dayton ranks first in the A-10, allowing just 31 boards per game, but GW holds a slightly higher rebounding margin and average. If this game boils down to success on the glass, the edge looks to tip in favor of the Colonials.

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Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 4:44 p.m.

Ben Krimmel: Colonials need to count on Cartagena

by admin
Freshman guard Miguel Cartagena looks to go around a VCU defender earlier this month. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

Freshman guard Miguel Cartagena looks to go around a VCU defender earlier this month. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

Ben Krimmel, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

On a basketball court, freshman Miguel Cartagena doesn’t look very imposing. He’s listed as 6-foot, but that might be stretching it. He often looks a bit unsure of himself when taking the ball up the court, or at least, he looks like a freshman.

But Cartagena could be the man that can help GW fans from losing their minds without sophomore Kethan Savage.

Cartagena can’t replace Savage and shouldn’t attempt to play like him. Rather, starting tonight against La Salle, the freshman should emulate the style of play of the once-struggling junior John Kopriva.

During Saturday’s win at George Mason, Cartagena would advance the ball up the court and immediately peer over his shoulder to get instructions from his head coach. The offense was methodical, slow and a few times a better defender could have knocked the ball away from him when he was distracted and looking for guidance.

Now, in Cartagena’s defense, he was virtually on his own, as Nemanja Mikic, John Kopriva, Paris Maragkos and Nick Griffin provided little off the ball movement. During this reserve only time on the floor, Cartagena shot 1-5 with two turnovers and two personal fouls.

In 17 minutes, Kopriva forward had six boards, two points, and added two steals. Kopriva isn’t going to dazzle with sensational scoring numbers, rather his game Saturday was to fill space on defense and rebound. (Based on my last round of GW predictions, expect Kopriva to pour in at least 15 Wednesday night.)

Cartagena just needs to play smart and play a clean game. No one is expecting him to make any all-rookie teams. But if he can control the ball and keep a steady tempo, the rest of the squad can take it away.

Whenever he gets the chance, the freshman should feed the ball to sophomore forward Kevin Larsen. Larsen has responded to criticism following a poor shooting night (3-10 from the field) against La Salle last time with a run of four excellent performances.

The Colonials will look for their fifth straight victory tonight. If GW hopes to survive a lethargic first half, they’ll need another dominating second half when they shoot 66.7 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc.

But if the Savage-less Colonials are unable to overcome any offensive sluggishness and fall (again) to La Salle, concern shouldn’t compound with Savage’s gradual march to the locker-room. With a third of the season remaining, GW still have some budding playmakers it can count on.

This post was updated Jan. 29, 2014 at 5:05 p.m. to reflect the following:
Correction appended
The Hatchet misspelled Paris Maragkos’ last name.

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This post was written by contributing sports editor Sean Hurd.

Heading into Saturday’s matchup against George Mason, head coach Mike Lonergan has had to repeatedly answer one question: How will his team move on without breakout guard Kethan Savage?

“No one on our team will do what Kethan did,” Lonergan said.

Not sophomore forward Patricio Garino, who will likely take the place of the injured Savage in the starting lineup. Not senior guard Nemanja Mikic. Not freshman guards Nick Griffin or Miguel Cartagena.

At least not single handedly.

Without sophomore Kethan Savage, GW will need multiple players to step up the rest of the season. Hatchet File Photo

Without sophomore Kethan Savage, GW will need multiple players to step up the rest of the season. Hatchet File Photo

Savage was the team’s biggest driving presence, Lonergan admitted, and the only player who could consistently get to the rim. The emphasis this week, though, has been that while one player may not be able to come in and fill the large gap left by Savage, they will learn to adjust as a team and find other ways to make up for Savage’s production.

“We don’t need one specific person to do everything that Kethan did because you can’t do that. Kethan is a special player,” sophomore point guard Joe McDonald said.

GW will get the chance to experiment and shake out the kinks against a struggling Patriots team that is still without a conference win. They enter Saturday’s matchup with a 7-12 record, although seven of their losses have come by six or less points.

To secure what seems like an easy win, Lonergan will need to highlight the rest of his team’s skillsets: a solidified frontcourt, good outside shooting and flexible defense.

“We’re going to have to become a better outside shooting team. We’re going to have to do a better job of getting the ball inside, or maybe we’ll have to play more 1-3-1 because we are going to have to guard against foul trouble more than ever,” Lonergan said. “So hey does it change us, it definitely does, but you can’t spend a lot of your energy worrying about it now.”

The Colonials will look to establish that inside game early against the Patriots, but in the way of the GW frontcourt will be a pair of 6-foot-8 big men: Johnny Williams and Erik Copes. Sophomore Kevin Larsen and senior Isaiah Armwood should be able to control the rebound game, though, as the Patriots only average 34.3 rebounds per game, ranking second to last in the conference.

On offense, GW will face a Patriots defense that allows 70 points per game to opponents at 44.6 percent shooting. Creek and Armwood, Lonergan said, will be looked to to steer GW forward, but someone like Mikic will be called on for increased production as well. Mikic was a solid contributor for the Colonials in the absence of Garino, averaging 9.8 points, but he has visibly regressed since, unable to find his touch until last Saturday against St. Bonaventure.

“Nemanja is a guy we’re going to have to get more out of, that’s for sure,” Lonergan said. “He’ll get more minutes, he’s definitely capable and coming off a pretty good game at St. Bonnies so he should be confident. Like I said, he’s a totally different player than Kethan, but we’re going to have to get him some shots and play to his strengths.”

The Patriots, on the other hand, are led by senior duo Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen, each averaging 14 points per game for head coach Paul Hewitt. GW will have to be careful with their pressure on GMU – who turns the ball over 14.6 times per game – as without Savage, the Colonials bench is even shorter than it already was. Early foul trouble would be an immediate red flag.

“They’re a very experienced team,” Lonergan said. “A lot of these guys are still there from coach Larrañaga, I think the senior class, so the expectations are really high for this group. We expect them to have a sold out crowd, have a great atmosphere, and we’re going to have to play really well.”

Fortunately, GW has already been in this type of situation once before this season. In late October, Garino was kept off the floor for multiple weeks with an injured index finger. During that time, GW lost just one game, with Creek and Savage picking up much of the clack.

“Not much is going to change at all,” Armwood said. “If you look at it, we missed Patricio at the beginning of the season, and we did well without him. Patricio is a starter so he’s going to insert his self into the starting lineup and fill Kethan’s role, but everybody’s got to step up individually a little bit more.”

GW and George Mason will face off Saturday at 12 p.m. at the Patriot Center.

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Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 6:30 p.m.

Ben Krimmel: When it snows, it pours

by admin
Sophomore Kethan Savage drives past a Rhode Island defender. Hatchet File Photo by Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

Sophomore Kethan Savage drives past a Rhode Island defender. Hatchet File Photo by Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

The writer, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

GW’s first real snow day in years was supposed to be joyful. Instead, as the snowfall accumulated Tuesday morning, news broke and good feelings about GW men’s basketball faded.

Foggy Bottom jubilation subsided when the team announced that guard Kethan Savage’s breakout sophomore season would be put on a six-to-eight-week hiatus due to a broken left foot.

While the Colonial Army will miss his thunderous slam-dunks, his teammates will miss his ball handling, scoring and great rebounding even more.

Head coach Mike Lonergan was getting more out of Savage than any other player on the floor. The sophomore guard was second on the team in scoring (13.4 per game), third in rebounding (4.6), and second in assists (2.7), while playing the least minutes out of any GW starter (26.9).

The burden of replacing savage in the starting lineup falls on fellow sophomore Patricio Garino. This is no cause for concern for Lonergan, as Garino is more than a capable starter and was primed to grab a spot in the starting lineup before the Savage injury.

The concern comes in the form of two relative unknowns who will likely see extended minutes themselves: freshman guards Miguel Cartagena and Nick Griffin.

Successful integration into the Colonials’ tight rotation will be a challenge, as the two freshman offer only portions of the skill Savage brought to the team.

Cartagena will need to run Lonergan’s offense like a steady point guard if he’s going to find success. While Joe McDonald is the starting point guard and Garino is another capable ball handler, they don’t have the quickness of Cartagena or Savage.

The question that has yet to be answered is whether Cartagena’s quickness can translate into assists and made baskets, something Savage did rather easily. Cartagena hasn’t recorded either an assist or a made field goal in any of his last four outings.

While Griffin could provide scoring as a capable jump shooter off the dribble, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lonergan challenges his starting big men Isaiah Armwood and Kevin Larsen to chip in with more baskets as well.

Armwood is averaging 10.9 points per game, but is shooting 38 percent from the floor in his last five games. While his three double-doubles during that span have been immense, GW will need a more efficient game from their senior leader.

It will be Griffin’s job to provide a handful of buckets a game while not disrupting the flow of fellow shooters Maurice Creek and Nemanja Mikic.

The success of the Colonials doesn’t rest with those replacing Savage, as the team coped well earlier this season when it was without Garino. The Colonials were undefeated during the seven games the 6-foot-6 guard missed due to a hand injury because they constantly found new sources of offense.

The success of the Colonials is to continue to piece together scoring from different players during the remainder of the A-10 regular season.

The injury news is crushing for the Fairfax, Va. native, as the Colonials travel to Savage’s old stomping grounds to face new rival George Mason on Saturday.

But GW fans shouldn’t temper their enthusiasm or relinquish any hopes. This hurts, but it’s not unmanageable.

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Sophomore guard Kethan Savage will be out six-to-eight weeks with a left foot fracture, the men’s basketball team announced Tuesday, dealing the Colonials a big blow in their surprising season.

After initially being listed as day-to-day with a left ankle sprain, further evaluation revealed that Savage had actually sustained a fracture to the fifth metatarsal in his left foot.

Savage’s injury, sustained in the final minutes of GW’s 79-71 victory over St. Bonaventure, will likely have him out for the rest of the Atlantic 10 regular season.

“It’s disappointing for Kethan to have this happen in the middle of his breakout sophomore season,” head coach Mike Lonergan said in a press release. “But as a team we’ve dealt with injuries before and have emerged stronger as a unit.”

Kethan Savage goes up for a dunk against VCU in GW's upset win last Tuesday. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

Kethan Savage goes up for a dunk against VCU in GW’s upset win last Tuesday. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

Before his injury, Savage was the second-leading scorer for the Colonials, averaging 13.4 points per game. Savage also led GW in total steals (36), and was second in total assists (49) and total blocks (12).

Without Savage on the floor, expect Lonergan to insert sophomore Patricio Garino, who has recently come back from an injury of his own, into the starting lineup. Since his return, Garino has arguably been the team’s best player, but has remained on the bench to add a mid-game scoring spark and keep team chemistry intact.

Also expect freshman guard Nick Griffin, who is averaging just 4.3 minutes per game, to see increased playing time in the backcourt.

“We’ll look forward to his return to action, but I have every bit of confidence that we’ll overcome Kethan’s absence. In the meantime, this is a great opportunity for all his teammates to step up at this time.  That is a mark of a great team.  We are all very excited for the rest of the season ahead,” Lonergan said.

GW returns to the court Saturday when they will travel to face George Mason at 12 p.m.

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