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November 21, 2012

Preview: Notre Dame vs. George Washington

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Head coach: Mike Lonergan (20th year) - 388-90 overall record: 251-88 in 12 seasons at Catholic University of America; 126-68 in six years at Vermont; 11-22 in second season at George Washington. Won at least 23 games in final seven seasons at CUA. Led Vermont to a 25-10 record and a berth in the NCAA tournament in 2009-10.

You should know: That Notre Dame’s last two losses have come against teams from the Atlantic 10 Conference - last year’s 67-63 NCAA tournament loss to Xavier in the Round of 64 and last Friday’s 79-70 overtime loss to St. Joseph’s in the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic…Mike Brey is a 1982 graduate of George Washington, where he played his final year of college basketball as captain and MVP of the Colonials. His mother, Betty, was the swim coach at George Washington. His father, Paul, earned his masters from GW. Brey’s wife, Tish, played volleyball and also is a GW graduate…Notre Dame and George Washington have never met on the basketball court; Brey is 0-1 vs. GW from his days at Delaware…Athlon Sports picked the Colonials to finish 14th in the 16-team Atlantic 10…George Washington opened the season with an 80-73 loss at home to Youngstown State. Tied at 71, YSU out-scored GW, 9-2, the rest of the way. The Colonials shot just .404 from the field and .632 (24-of-38) from the free-throw line, and were out-rebounded, 43-34…GW bounced back with a 72-59 victory at Boston University Saturday. The Colonials shot .522 from the field (24-of-46).

Top losses: David Pellom, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound senior who averaged 10.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in 2011-12, had wrist surgery in July and is expected to miss four-to-five months.

Top players: George Washington’s top returning scorer is 6-foot-6 senior Lasan Kromah, who averaged 11.1 points per game in 2011-12.

Six newcomers - including 6-foot-9, 210-pound Villanova transfer Isaiah Armwood - give the Colonials a new look.

Two freshmen - 6-foot-6 Patricio Garino from Argentina and 6-foot-1 Joe McDonald - have joined the starting lineup. Garino scored 13 points against Youngstown State and nine versus Boston University. McDonald had 21 points and seven rebounds against BU.

Dwayne Smith, a 6-foot-6 senior, and Bryan Bynes, a 6-foot-3 senior, have been coming off the bench for the Colonials. Bynes made just 1-of-9 shots against Youngstown State, and then tossed in nine points vs. Boston.

Nemanja Mikic, a 6-foot-8 junior, scored eight points in each of the first two games. Kevin Larsen, a 6-foot-10, 264-pound freshman, had seven points against Youngstown State.

Brey on George Washington: “They’re rebuilding it. They’ve got young guards. They’ve got the Armwood kid who transferred from Villanova and is athletic as heck. (They’re) running some of Gary Williams’ stuff because Mike Lonergan was with Gary. The flex, that power-flex kind of stuff, flex-screen duck-ins, some 1-4 stuff, and they’ll post their guards.

“They’ve got some shot-blockers back there, which really bothered us Friday night when St. Joe had some guys flying around. And then defensively, kind of packing it in a little bit more, playing some 2-3 zone.

“They’ve got good personnel. I love their freshman guard, McDonald. We really looked at him and thought about taking him. But we had the local guy here (Demetrius Jackson) waiting in the wings.

“A10 personnel is close to Big East personnel a lot of times. You’ve got to be ready to go. It certainly will be a big one for them, but I think it’s big for us given how we played Saturday and how we’re looking at this window of three games (in six days) through Chicago State.”

Inside the Irish: Notre Dame is 102-7 in its last 109 home games for a .936 winning percentage. That is second nationally to Kansas’ .964 percentage. The Irish have won 37 of their last 38 home games…Jack Cooley is averaging 17.0 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, including 16.5 scoring and 13.5 rebounding in the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn. He is the only Notre Dame player to have scored in double figures in all four games this season…Notre Dame has held its four opponents to .386 shooting from the field, including .254 (16-of-63) from three-point range. Last season, the Irish held their 34 opponents to .314 shooting from beyond the arc.

Pointspread: Notre Dame by 16 ˝
Prister’s Prediction: Notre Dame 82, George Washington 61
Prister’s record: 3-1 straight up; 3-0 vs. points


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