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Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 1:03 p.m.

Skyler White called his shot

The Colonials’ victory over La Salle on Wednesday was mostly forgettable. GW steamrolled a weaker opponent and cruised to their 17th victory.

However, the last two minutes of the game were worth reliving.

Colonials fans were practically begging head coach Mike Lonergan to put in forward Skyler White – a walk-on freshman who endeared himself after stopping mid-play to tie his shoe earlier in the season.

And with a minute and 38 seconds left on the clock, Lonergan relented. In came White.

From my seat under the hoop, I heard White made the boldest of predictions: “If I get the ball, I’m gonna make a three,” he told his teammate Paris Maragkos.

And if you can excuse my poor camerawork, you can see what happens next. From a dish from freshman Miguel Cartagena, White hits a three.

The entire Smith Center (including the GW bench) erupted, and kept celebrating when White grabs a defensive rebound on the other side of the court. Fittingly, the game’s last play is a second White rebound.

White called his shot, cementing himself as GW’s Babe Ruth.

Zach Montellaro is The Hatchet’s multimedia editor.

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

Fans could draw few hard conclusions from the Colonials’ game against Delaware State Tuesday night. GW waltzed through the game, finishing with a 44-point win. The game was essentially over before halftime.

During the mundane second half, I prayed for something – anything – to happen. Luckily, the basketball gods came through.

Tuesday night, I witnessed the most memorable play of the season thus far. And no, it wasn’t the slam by Isaiah Armwood or an alley-oop from Maurice Creek.

It starred freshman forward Skyler White. In the first possession after entering the game, White got the ball on the left wing, surveyed the floor and made a good entry pass to Paris Maragkos for a layup.

A normal play at first. But then, something magical happened.

After White’s pass, Delaware State inbounded the ball and all of the players ran down the court. All of the players, that is, except for White: Instead, the six foot eight inches tall freshman dropped to one knee and began to tie his shoe.

Head coach Mike Lonergan, with his palms to the sky, urged White to join his teammates. And it wasn’t until Armwood stood up from the bench that White got going. Lonergan shrugged, and the players on the bench tried their hardest to contain their laughter.

But the players, like myself, were unsuccessful.

Luckily for White, Delaware State missed a shot and GW got the rebound.

It might have been an embarrassing moment for the young player, but it was one that made me – and other fans in the Smith Center earlier this week – into diehard Skyler White fans. The Colonial Army let out one of the loudest cheers of the night when he walked to the scorer’s table. Many of them chanted his name.

After all, it is hard not to like White, the walk-on freshman from Washington who sits way down at the end of the GW bench. In pre-game warm-ups, he congenially jokes with other players while draining open three-pointers.

Later in the game after collecting his first two points of his GW career, White didn’t even crack a smile as he ran down the court, getting back with plenty of time to play defense.

With a few days until GW’s next game, I can’t wait for White to get more playing time. Until then, I’m left selfishly hoping for more of his humorous charm.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013 6:56 p.m.

Men’s basketball announces trio of new transfers

There will officially be six newcomers to the 2013-14 men’s basketball team this season, as head coach Mike Lonergan announced the transfers of Maurice Creek, Dominique Bull and Ryan McCoy on Wednesday.

Men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan announced the transfer of the three new Colonials on Wednesday. The new additions will begin training with the team this July. Hatchet Photo File

The three transfers complete the list of Lonergan’s offseason additions that also include incoming recruits Miguel Cartagena, Skyler White and Nick Griffin.

Cartagena, White, Griffin and Creek will be the only four eligible to play during the 2013-2014 campaign, adding a healthy dose of  depth to the Colonials’ backcourt.

A former Indiana University guard and recent graduate, Creek comes to GW with one season of eligibility left. His transfer to GW was reported June 9 after Creek posted pictures of himself on Twitter declaring himself a Colonial.

Coming out of high school, Creek was touted as one of the nation’s Top 50 shooting guards and Top 100 prospects. He averaged 16.4 points over the first 12 games of his freshman season, but a series of injuries then hampered Creek’s career at Indiana, beginning with a fractured knee cap after those 12 games in 2010 and then a ruptured achilles in 2011, ultimately leaving him as a backup by 2012.

By the end of his four years, Creek averaged 7.2 points per game on 43 percent shooting and 36 percent beyond the arc over a total of 54 games as a Hoosier. He has now enrolled in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Bull becomes a Colonial after playing out his freshmen season at the University of Missouri. Despite only playing in eight games for the Tigers, Bull will be forced to sit out the 2013-14 campaign due to NCAA transfer regulations. Graduating from the Tilton School in 2012, Bull averaged 12 points, five rebounds and four assists per game as a senior. He will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the upcoming season.

McCoy will also be ineligible to play during the 2013-14 season after competing for two years at Manhattan University. McCoy averaged just 1.3 points and 1.0 rebounds in nine minutes per game over his 63 appearances for the Jaspers, scoring a season-high eight points against GW in last season’s BB&T Classic.

 

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Updated: May 17, 2013, 9:45 a.m.

Head coach Mike Lonergan has reportedly snagged his newest recruit of the offseason, as Virginia Episcopal School’s Anthony Swan has committed to GW, a source told CBS Sports.

Those reports were confirmed by ABC-13 WSET-TV on Thursday, stating that Swan, who is the cousin of head associate coach Hajj Turner, has committed to GW. Swan had narrowed down his choices to GW, Miami and Cincinnati, but ultimately decided that becoming a Colonial would be the best fit for him.

Mike Longergan

Men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan has now had his first recruit join for 2014-15, CBS Sports reported. | Hatchet File Photo

Swan, a 6-foot-7 small forward, is a high school junior, so he will not arrive to play on campus until 2014-15, making him the first recruit to declare for that season.

He joins the list of 2013 offseason recruits that includes Skyler White and Miguel Cartegena.

“He’s just a very reserved person, always very positive even through negative times – bad losses and things like that,” Curtis Staples, Swan’s head coach at Virginia Episcopal, said. “He’s always the guy that tells everybody it’s gonna get better, so he’s definitely one of those guys that you want to have in your locker room.”

Last season, Swan averaged 17 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks for his varsity VES team that went 21-4,5-1 in the extremely competitive Virginia Independent Conference.

Swan’s wing shooting skills will help fill the hole left by recent transfer Lasan Kromah, and could form to a strong combination with White, known for his three-point shot.

“Anthony’s biggest strength is his shooting. He’s a great shooter, so he’s able to stretch defenses and create a lot of problems for a lot of opposing teams because he’s so athletic,” Staples said.

This has been an up-and-down off season for Lonergan, with Kromah, Jonathan Davis and David Pellom leaving the program, and former recruit Nigel Johnson de-commiting from GW.

It is not known at the time whether Swan will receive one of the available scholarship slots upon his graduation next year.
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Clarification appended

The men’s basketball team picked up two new members for the 2013-14 season Thursday, with guard Migual Cartagena signing a National Letter of Intent and forward Skyler White committing to join GW.

The two players fill up slots left empty by recent departures from the program, including senior guard Lasan Kromah, sophomore forward Jonathan Davis and, potentially, senior forward David Pellom. They join guard Nick Griffin as new additions to GW’s roster. Nigel Johnson recently decommitted from the program, a move that allows the recruit to explore other programs while leaving the door open for a return to GW.

White previously verbally committed to the Colonials as a walk-on forward. Despite the recent moves, White remains a walk-on for GW, meaning that he does not take up a scholarship slot. The Colonials are left with two open scholarships, possibly three should Johnson decide to join another program.

“Miguel and Skyler boast two key attributes needed to help make our program successful – they can both really shoot it and come from a culture of winning,” head coach Mike Lonergan said in a release. “They’re both very solid perimeter shooters, and both played for national championship caliber teams this past season, in addition to their time playing in international competitions. Miguel and Skyler will join Nick in providing an added dimension to our group of five returning starters.”

Cartagena, a  6-foot-1 guard from Aibonito, Puerto Rico, currently competes for Montverde Academy in Orlando, Fla., the same school that freshman forward Patricio Garino attended. It’s also the high school where GW assistant coach Kevin Sutton served as the athletic director and boys’ basketball coach from 2004-2011.

Cartagena helped the Eagles to a 48-6 record over the past two seasons, including trips to the 2012 and 2013 ESPN National High School Invitational championship games. As a senior, Cartagena played a role in helping Montverde achieve a No. 1 final national ranking in all three major polls- ESPN, USA Today and Prep Nation - with a 25-2 season record.

“Miguel is a very good shooter who will give us another ball handler next season,”  Lonergan said. “His experience playing FIBA and for the top high school program in the nation will help him make the adjustment to the high level of play in the Atlantic 10.”

 White, best known as a three-point specialist, currently plays for Northfield Mount Hermon High School in Gill, Mass. This season, he aided  the Hoggers in compiling a 29-5 overall record and the 2013 National Prep Championship title. White was also nominated for McDonald’s All-America honors.
“Skyler gives us another good three-point shooter and provides depth at the forward position,” Lonergan said.

This post was updated April 18, 2013 to reflect the following:
The headline was altered to clarify that Skyler White has committed to join the Colonials but, as a walk-on recruit, has not signed a letter of intent.
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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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