After traveling home from three games at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Seton Hall will have the week to rest up before hosting Atlantic 10 foe George Washington in the first installment of a home-home series that starts Saturday, Nov. 29th.
Depending on the Hall's performance over their first four games, they should at least be sitting at 3-1, giving some added importance to this contest. Attendance may spike due to this being the second home game of the season and first after a hypothetical strong Paradise Jam showing, culminating against one of these four schools in the third round.
The George Washington Colonials lose their top two scorers in shooting guard Maurice Creek and forward Isaiah Armwood, but retain Kethan Savage (guard/wing), who missed the last eight weeks of the season with a fracture in his left foot, sixth man Patricio Garino, and center Kevin Larsen.
Joe McDonald will return as head coach Mike Lonergan's point guard while Savage, who does the majority of his damage within the arc, will fill in at the two or three, replacing Maurice Creek. Kevin Larsen will need help from freshman center Matt Cimino (Worcester Academy, Mass.) in the absence of Isaiah Armwood and Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh, the latter of whom is ineligible in 2014-15 due to NCAA transfer restrictions. Of the other four incoming freshmen, Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) product Paul Jorgensen may see some significant minutes off the bench at point guard or shooting guard with just McDonald and Savage in the Colonials' backcourt rotation next season.
Roster subtractions: Maurice Creek (14.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg), Isaiah Armwood (12.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg), Nemanja Mikic (4.8 ppg),
Returnees to watch: Kethan Savage (12.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Patricio Garino (12.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Kevin Larsen (11.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg), Joe McDonald (8.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 apg)
Key additions: Matt Cimino (forward - Worcester Academy, Mass.), Paul Jorgensen (guard - Don Bosco Prep, N.J.)
Mike Lonergan and his George Washington team look to take a step back in 2014-15 after an impressive 24-9 (11-5) NCAA at-large tournament run last season. The losses of Creek and Armwood are significant, especially with Kethan Savage a question mark coming off an injury that kept him out for significant time this winter. Unlike some other mid-majors, The Colonials don't add any junior college players but five freshmen, who are likely to require more time to adjust to college ball. Lonergan may look to an unconventional source for production this season: when Savage went down injured last year, Patricio Garino picked up his production, averaging 14 ppg over that span.
Taking all of this into account, George Washington looks likely to produce a KenPom/RPI number close to 100 in 2014-15 compared to 47/29 in 2013-14, respectively. Still, the Colonials won't be a an easy out at home for Seton Hall after an important trip to the Virgin Islands.
Next Monday, we'll check out Northeast Conference tournament champions Mount St. Mary's, who travel to Prudential Center in what may turn out to be a trap game the week of a big clash with Rutgers.