5:05 At 5 p.m., Karl Hobbs opened up the doors to his practice to the public. It appears to be business as usual for the Colonials. Hobbs started practice with a fast break drill starting with a free throw and the defense running the break off the rebound. Interesting to see how the offense seems to run with equal efficiency with both Travis King and Tony Taylor running the offense. The emphasis in this drill appears to be communication. Switching defenders and calling out screens is an improvement that this GW team has made clear in this pre-season.
5:27 The team is now running some set plays both from half court and baseline in-bounds plays. Working with screens off the ball and creating for teammates seems to be a key theme. As Hobbs asked everyone to bring the ball in, there seemed to be a high level of enthusiasm and hustle. There seems to be a good rapport buliding between the players and as Hobbs addresses the crowd, “good chemistry” this season will be the key to a successful season this year. The second reason for Hobbs’ enthusiasm going into this season is that the team is “returning to their GW style of play.” He is now fielding questions from the crowd of 50 or so on hand for today’s practice.
5:46 When asked about how the leadership will emerge this season, Hobbs talked about changing around the locker room arrangement. He has put every freshman next to a senior and expects both Wynton Witherspoon and Noel Wilmore to help Rob Diggs as far as the senior leadership position goes. Having starting point guard, Travis King, returning to the line-up will obviously put the offense back on the right track and won’t have to rely on a point guard-by-committee approach that was employed last year until finding Johnny Lee midway through the conference season. He anticipates freshman, Tony Taylor from Steppanack, NY, to have an immediate impact relieving King off the bench while he is on the mend from last year’s season-ending ankle injury and wearing an ankle brace for the season.
5:52 When asked about the lack of quality opponents on this year’s non-conference schedule, Hobbs stressed how difficult it is to get big-name schools to play in the Smith Center due to its reputation as being an extremely tough place to play. He also discussed how the lacking facilities at the Smith Center in comparison to GW’s competition have made it difficult for GW to secure top recruits.
That concludes our coverage of the GW men’s open practice. The team will open up their season on the road against Boston University on November 14 after playing West Georgia on November 8 in their lone exhibition game. Check back for news and notes.