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Forward Collin Goss and guard Jordan Roland have become the first official signees of the 2015 men’s basketbal recruiting class, head coach Mike Lonergan announced Thursday.

Both players, who had each verbally committed to GW this summer, inked National Letters of Intent this week during the early signing period.

“We are very excited to have Collin and Jordan joining the GW Basketball family,” Lonergan said in a release. “These two student-athletes will be great additions to our program.”

Goss averaged 9.8 points as junior at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Va., where he also earned Second Team All-Interstate Athletic Conference honors and helped his team finish 18-8 overall and 8-2 in IAC last year.

The 6-foot-10 Manassas, Va. native has three older sisters who have all played at the NCAA Division I level, including 2014 GW graduate Rachael Goss, a four-year outside hitter for the Colonials’ volleyball team. Goss will also be the fifth player on the team’s 2015-2016 roster hailing from the D.C. area.

“Collin is a very skilled post player who has great potential because of his versatility,” Lonergan said.

Roland comes to the Colonials from Syracuse, N.Y, where he averaged 23.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.6 steals to lead his Westhill High School team to a perfect 27-0 record last year as a junior. He is also the reigning New York State Class B Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-1 point guard is a three-star recruit, currently the No. 10-rated player in New York State and No. 59 point guard in the nation, according to ESPN.com.

“Jordan can score in numerous ways and can play both guard positions,” Lonergan said. “He is a proven winner and has shown tremendous leadership ability.”

Fellow Syracuse native Tyler Cavanaugh, a transfer from Wake Forest, will join Roland next year when his two-year eligibility for the Colonials begins.

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men's basketball assistant coach Kevin Sutton

Men’s basketball assistant coach Kevin Sutton. Hatchet File Photo

Updated 2:01 p.m.

Men’s basketball assistant coach Kevin Sutton wants to go to Dunk City.

He’s submitted his name for the head coach opening at Florida Gulf Coast University, Seth Soffian of The News-Press reports. The slot is open after Andy Enfield accepted the USC coaching position, following FGCU’s Cinderella run in the NCAA tournament this year.

Athletics communications declined to make Sutton available for comment, and said there would be no statement from anyone with the program on the news.

Sutton is one of many coaches to express interest in the position, according to the News-Press. Should GW’s assistant coach get hired, he would also be the latest in a series of departures for the men’s basketball team that include the transfers of senior guard Lasan Kromah and sophomore forward Jonathan Davis, the potential transfer of senior forward David Pellom and the de-commitment of heralded recruit Nigel Johnson.

Head coach Mike Lonergan has not commented on the program’s departures beyond statements in press releases. The athletics communication department has declined to make both Lonergan and players available for comment.

Should the assistant coach depart the program, it would likely be a blow to Lonergan’s recruiting system, now of crucial importance with the multiple roster hits the team’s taken in recent weeks.

Sutton is in his second season with the Colonials, after Lonergan brought him on in May 2011. Prior to his stint in Foggy Bottom, Sutton boasted Florida ties, serving as the athletic director and head coach of the boys’ basketball team at Montverde Academy for eight years. Under his leadership, the Eagles earned a 2007 National Title and were 2010 National High School Invitational Runners-Up. Montverde was No. 13 in the final USA Today rankings in 2011, finishing the season with a 22-4 record.

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The Washington Post has a feature piece on 2013-14 recruit Nick Griffin today, one that describes how his pure shooting skills were the catalyst behind his offer from head coach Mike Lonergan to join the Colonials.

The piece, written by Eric Detweiler, includes the moment assistant coach Pete Strickland decided to offer Griffin his scholarship – after the high school senior knocked down 10 straight treys at an October 2011 shooting practice. The article focuses on how Griffin refined his shot, going from a freshman who scored zero three-pointers to a senior that “might be the area’s top high school three-point marksman.”

“Along the way, Griffin would — and still does — count each made basket, usually attempting to reach 500 before the end of a session, which can take up to two hours,” Detweiler wrote.

The piece also quotes Lonergan, who says that the incoming recruit needs to improve his defensive play, as well as his ball handling skills, but that he was sold on Griffin’s, who is Magruder’s all-time leading scorer, commitment to improving.

“He’s a gym rat,” Lonergan told the Post, “and we thought if he had that work ethic and commitment he would keep getting better as he gets older.”

The Post’s feature includes a video on Griffin, which you can watch below:

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Mike Longergan

Head coach Mike Lonergan, seen here at his introductory press conference. Hatchet File Photo

Between last night’s men’s basketball game against Temple and tonight’s women’s basketball game versus Saint Joseph’s, the two programs are busy this week.

But the news doesn’t stop there: women’s basketball alumna Jennifer Shasky Calvery is among the first Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Legends, and men’s basketball recruit Nick Griffin is a McDonald All-American nominee.

 

Women’s basketball

Calvery joins Red Auerbach as the two GW representatives in the inaugural A-10 legends class. Featuring 16 student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the league’s women’s basketball programs, the 2013 legends will be honored March 16 at the Barclays Center.

Calvery, a three-time Atlantic 10 All-Conference selection, lead the Colonials to their first A-10 championship in 1992, earning tournament MVP honors after the  62-57 victory over Rutgers. She was a member of GW’s 1991 and 1992 NCAA tournament teams, Calvery was also honored as the 1993 NCAA Woman of the Year.

She still holds the school record for three-point percentage in a game, 1.000 – 7-for-7, and ranks fifth all-time at GW with 195 career triples. Calvery also averaged 14.0 points per game in her career, the fifth-best scoring average in program history.

 

Men’s basketball

Incoming recruit Nick Griffin is among the 2013 nominees for the McDonald All-American game, announced today.

Over 800 players from 39 states and the District of Columbia were nominated for the 2013 McDonald’s All American Games. Griffin is one of 22 nominees from Maryland.

Griffin, who signed his letter of intent in November, is a 6-foot-2 guard for Magruder High School in Rockville, Md. Last season, he averaged 17 points per game for Magruder last season, en route to a 26-1 record and the Class 4A state championship.

 

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Six-foot-8 forward Skyler White committed to the men’s basketball team for the 2013-14 season late last night, becoming the third high school senior to verbally commit to the Colonials.

Head coach Mike Lonergan, clad in a Buff blazer for the occasion, calls to his team from the sidelines earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo by Samuel Klein | Contributing Photo Editor

White joins Nick Griffin, who signed his letter of intent to join GW in November, and Nigel Johnson, who has yet to sign a National Letter of Intent despite verbally committing in September.

The New England Basketball Recruiting Report wrote that White will join the Colonials as a recruited walk-on, meaning he will likely not take up a scholarship slot for GW. White currently plays for Northfield Mount Hermon High School in Gill, Mass., where NERR said he “has been playing some of his best basketball so far during his senior season.” He’s also competed on England’s U-18 junior national team.

White, who is best known as a three-point specialist, told NERR that the University’s overall academic and athletic profile was a key selling point.

“The academics were a big part of it,” White said, “and the basketball, the A10 is a great conference.  You don’t really find that mix of great academics and great basketball.  When I got on campus it just felt like the right place for me.”

He is unranked in his ESPN.com recruiting profile.

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Senior guard Bryan Bynes holds onto the ball before passing to junior forward Nemanja Mikic in the first half of GW’s win over BU. Hatchet File Photo by Elizabeth Traynor | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Updated 5:53 p.m.

Here’s a glimpse at the news from the men’s and women’s basketball teams over Thanksgiving break:

Men’s basketball

The men’s basketball team announced plans Friday to participate in the 2013 DIRECTV classic, to be played in Anaheim, Calif., Nov. 28th, 29th and Dec. 1st of next year.

The Colonials will join Arizona State, College of Charleston, Creighton, Marquette, Miami (Fla.) and San Diego State in the tournament, with an eighth team to be named at a later date. The classic will be in a bracket format, with 12 games being played over three days. Each team will compete once per day, moving through the bracket until the final two teams standing compete for the championship.

“We’re excited to be headed back to California to compete in next year’s DIRECTV Classic with a national ESPN audience,” head coach Mike Lonergan said in a release. “The tournament field is extremely competitive and should prove to be a solid three-game test for our team next year.”

 

Women’s basketball

Head coach Jonathan Tsipis has already started thinking about his 2014 recruiting class, with forward Jada Matthews reportedly verbally committing to attend GW.

The 6-foot-1 forward told recruiting board Fullcourt.com  that the ”combination of GW’s acadmeics and staff were second to none”. ESPN HoopGurlz, however, still lists Matthews as undeclared.

Matthews currently competes for Winslow Township High School in Atco, N.J., where, according to Maxpreps.com, she averaged 14.9 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game last season.

The women’s team also had scheduling news to announce, with athletic director Patrick Nero tweeting that the team would compete in the Bahamas over the 2013 Thanksgiving weekend – though the official tournament wasn’t announced.

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Following Shannon Cranshaw’s signing Wednesday, the athletic department announced Friday that the women’s basketball team’s two other recruits, guard Hannah Schaible and forward Caira Washington, signed their National Letters of Intent to join the Colonials next season.

Schaible, a 5-foot-9 guard from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla., averaged 12.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 3.4 steals per game last season. She’s helped her high school to back-to-back state championships, and is a three-sport athlete who’s also a standout competitor in volleyball and flag football.

Washington is a 6-foot-2 forward from Georgetown Day School, where she averaged 5.5 points and 15.1 rebounds per game last season. Last year, Washington earned a Honorable Mention All-Met nod from the Washington Post.

The three comprise the first recruiting class of head coach Jonathan Tsipis’ GW career.

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Jonathan Tsipis at his introductory press conference. Hatchet File Photo.

The early signing period for college basketball began today, and Shannon Cranshaw wasted no time, becoming the first Jonathan Tsipis recruit to sign her National Letter of Intent to join the women’s basketball program next year.

The signing was announced by Bluestar-florida.com’s Twitter account, which sent out a picture of Cranshaw signing her letter.

Cranshaw was the second of three high school seniors to verbally commit to GW’s 2013-14 recruiting class, joining Caira Washington  and Hannah Schaible.

A 5-foot-9 guard from Father Lopez High School, Cranshaw was a key figure in Father Lopez’s playoff run last season, including an effort against a rival high school where she added 22 points.

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Mike Longergan

Head coach Mike Lonergan, seen here at his introductory press conference. Hatchet File Photo

Nigel Johnson, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Riverdale Baptist High School and a Washington Post second team All-Met player for 2011-12, committed to GW for the 2013-14 season this weekend.

Johnson is unranked by ESPN, which says he also received offers from American and Cornell. He transferred to Riverdale this year, after spending his junior season at Broad Run, averaging 29.5 points per game and helping his team to the Northwest Region playoffs. He also set a Virginia AAA single-season assist record, with 211.

Johnson also made a name for himself with the AAU team D.C. Assault, where his coach, former Washington Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan, told ESPN that Johnson is “just an assassin, and he reminds me of Gilbert Arenas.”

He’s the second recruit for head coach Mike Lonergan’s 2013-14 class, joining fellow local guard Nick Griffin.

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Jonathan Tsipis at his introductory press conference. Hatchet File Photo.

Hannah Schaible, a guard from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla., is the latest recruit commitment for the Colonials, bringing newly hired head coach Jonathan Tsipis’ first class to three.

Bret McCormick, of the All-Star Girls Report, first broke the news on the 5-foot-9 guard’s commitment. Schaible confirmed her decision to attend GW on her personal Twitter.

Schaible is known as a strong all-around athlete who competes on basketball, volleyball and flag football teams. Among the three sports, she’s won three state championships, and was named the 2011-12 Overall Athlete of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel.  Schaible competes as an outside hitter on her volleyball team, and tallied 210 kills and 305 digs last season. As a quarterback for her flag football team, she is a three-time All-Central Florida Player of the Year and has 147 career passing touchdowns, earning her the nickname “Hannah Joe Montana.”

Last season, Schaible averaged over 12 points and seven rebounds per game while leading the Dr. Phillips girls’ basketball team to its second straight state championship. ESPN HoopGurlz ranks her as a three-star recruit, with a scouting grade of 88, and notes that call her a “hustle player” with a “great sense for the game.”

Schaible joins Shannon Cranshaw and Caira Washington as Colonial recruits for the 2012-13 season.

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