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George Washington: Best Team in the Area?

In lieu of a What You Need to Know today, and to satisfy the insatiable JMU lust of John Taylor, lemme dump all my college hoops links here. And truly, it was one of the most embarrassing days in the admittedly brief history of the Local Poll.

No. 1 Virginia Tech. The Great Southwestern Hope. Our new source of Local Legitimacy. Well, the Hokies were offed by Florida State. Al Thornton had 27 in the second half alone. Bog Friend Emily Badger calls him a "one-man scoring onslaught." The Hokies had bad practices and bad energy. Florida State fans chanted "overrated," no doubt referring to the Local Poll, or Atlantic 11, or whatever.

Also, No. 6 ODU was dropped by James Madison. James Madison! Local Voter Dustin Dopirak reports that students rushed the court and lifted up the Duke Dog in jubilation. And ODU Coach Blaine Taylor blamed it on a "ghost in the rafters."

In other depressing Poll news, No. 11 Navy got smacked at Holy Cross, registering its lowest point total in 82 games. And formerly ranked American lost to Army for the first time since 1963.

Which brings us to No. 4 GW. Remember, this team replaced four starters from last year's powerhouse. Three of 'em got long NBA looks. They were picked to finish in some middling spot in the A-10. They start a former walk-on at forward and use a bunch of freshmen. They're overachieving. Seriously, they are. Karl Hobbs is right. They have one of the best records in the area, and they've already beaten our top-ranked team. Our No. 2 team just lost to a Virginia team that barely beat some DII squad from Puerto Rico. Our No. 3 team lost at home to an ODU team that just lost to James Madison, and, before last night, had lost two straight. The Colonials deserve at least a few first-place votes, right, as long as they keep winning?

If I still voted, you'd have my vote. (Tom Uhlman - AP)

Last night was Richmond, where GW finally finished off the Spiders late in the second half. The former walk-on, Dokun Akingbade, was "magnificent." And Poll Voter Andrew Alberg sort of compares Maureece Rice to M.J. They gotta be No. 1.

Either them or VCU, which has the best record in the area. The Rams needed a 19-3 second-half run to polish off UNC Wilmington last night, but still, they're 15-3. And UNCW was playing some of its best basketball of the season.

Although Georgetown will likely get the No. 1 nod next week. The No. 3 Hoyas easily handled Rutgers last night, allowing Ewing and the freshmen to get some valuable minutes and leading to this homage to Ewing.

(Also, here's a profile of a Norfolk State walk-on-turned-starter.)

(Also, UMBC has a really smart guard.)

(Also, like the Bog Poll, the Baltimore Sun uses the roller coaster metaphor for the No. 2 Terps, but unlike Bill Fitzgerald, The Sun does not drop a Beverly Sills reference. And a recruit accuses Maryland of reneging on a scholarship offer.)

(Also, Poll Voter Darryl Slater reports that Cal Ripken, Bob Novak, Majestic Mapp and the Lefthander were at the Maryland-Virginia game on Wednesday, no doubt drawn by the Atlantic 11 implications.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 18, 2007; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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If VCU doesn't handle ODU on Saturday then GW gets the top spot. I told you Agent Steinbog me voting someone for #1 is the Kiss of Death.

Posted by: Marc | January 18, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Finally Steinbog gives them credit. GDubs was supposed to stink this year, to bad we blew a lead against Air Force.

Hopefully the love will carry over to the Capitals.

Posted by: CapCrazy | January 18, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Steinberg - instead of throwing the ODU loss at Gtown (remember the Hoyas smoked the Dukes). How about you consider who they have beaten. ND (which beat UMD), Oral Roberts (that beat #5 Kansas, at KU... the same Kansas team that smoked the currently undefeated in ACC play, BC Eagles at home).

Of course, Tech managed to win at Duke which the Hoyas failed to do. GW will need to beat somebody a little stronger than Richmond to get a first place vote from me.

Posted by: Nathan | January 18, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Want to see some more ugly local poll stats? A whopping 9 poll eligible teams have an RPI of 289 or worse! Ouch

289 Longwood
290 Mount St. Mary's
297 Howard
300 Radford
304 James Madison
310 Liberty
314 Virginia Military Inst
320 Maryland Eastern Shore
325 Morgan St.

Posted by: Kev | January 18, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Tough road ahead for VCU:

Saturday 1/20 at home against ODU
Wednesday 1/24 at Mason
Saturday 1/27 at Drexel

Because I believe in the magic that is Mason, I'm ready to label the Wednesday game as one of the biggest of the season, poll wise.

It will also feature Northern Virginia versus Richmond, Virginia. In other words, Good versus Evil. I think the teams should wear red and blue uniforms for the occasion.

Posted by: bryc3 | January 18, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

karl hobbs will not be happy with this ...

Posted by: littles | January 18, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I admit, I have lust in my heart for JMU.

Posted by: John Taylor | January 18, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

As a GW fan, either put the crack-pipe down, Dan, or get yourself some animal protein. You're hallucinating.

Posted by: aka | January 18, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

How can you not lust for JMU? It's the jewel of the Shenandoah valley.

Posted by: Marc | January 18, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

If you consider having interstate 81 running through your campus beautiful, then I suppose it is the "jewel"

Posted by: Nathan | January 18, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

George Washington has beaten mostly teams with poor RPIs. Maybe we should see how the Colonials do against the upcoming stronger A10 teams, "stronger" being a relative term in this case.

Posted by: Everett W. | January 18, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I loved walking under the highway thru Duke Dog Alley on my way to UREC. I'll take 81 thru campus over the traffic in Richmond, Norfolk and on the Beltway anyday. It's a jewel damn it!

Posted by: Marc | January 18, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that the Atlantic Eleven is gonna change more between now and Monday:

Hofstra over W & M
VCU over ODU
Maryland over Tech

Posted by: Reader Glenn | January 18, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The Va Tech loss isn't as bad as it looks. Tallahassee, for whatever reason, has been tough place to play in recent years. Top-ranked Florida lost there earlier this season when they were No. 4; Duke came in as No. 1 last year and got beat, and that's not the Devils' only loss there lately.

Posted by: Hayden Alfano | January 18, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Traffic in Richmond? Have you been to Richmond? Rush hour is like 2:30 when all the hot tennis moms gather at the local Ukrops to grocery shop before they pick up their kids from school. and the old people head out to a local buffet to grab dinner before turning in early to die. It may seem like there's traffic because 80% of the locals consistently drive slower than the speed limit but to throw Richmond in with the beltway?

Posted by: Jon | January 18, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...the RPI of teams (other than VT) that GW has beaten this year:

202, 214, 289, 306, 320, 213, 293, 110, 134, 311, 273.

Their losses are to 60, 64, 10, 65.

And they beat VT (#35) at home by one slim point.

Does not look like a resume for a team ready to take over the top spot of The Eleven. On a neutral court, VT, GT, MD, and UVa (assuming the neutral court wasn't in PR), would take home the W.

They only play two teams in the Top 100 of the RPI the rest of the way (Dayton and Xavier), so we may never know how good or how bad they really are.

Posted by: JP | January 18, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

GW is the best in the nation's capital and getting better.

Steinberg IS DC sports!

Posted by: Buff&Blue | January 18, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey JP - the local teams that are not afraid to play George Washington (VaTech & MD) have lost to the Colonials recently. That's why Chickenhoyas keep hiding.

Posted by: Colonial Pride | January 18, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

VMI has a terrible RPI, but they do lead the nation in scoring at 101 ppg.

Posted by: GTB | January 18, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

GW has a rebuilding team, but they have the BEST coach in the area.....yea, right now GW is the first team I want to pay $$ to see.

Posted by: caphcky | January 18, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Big Stein, what are you trying to do, take up the rest of my afternoon? In my poll, Tech's loss opens the door for VCU first, but I agree that the Rams have a very tough game coming up against Mason. I've seen both teams beat Towson this year and it should be a great matchup. ODU might be even more inconsistent than Maryland this year (Virginia needs to win a few more games before they can join that group, ouch), and as far as Georgetown beating Notre Dame, well, who hasn't beaten ND since McAlarney got busted? I mean besides Seton Hall and West Virginia? So, anyway, whither GW? Believe me, I would love to bump the Colonials ahead of everyone, but they need to beat one more team as good or better than Vtech to earn it. And finally, where was Scientific Mapp?

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | January 18, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't this post violate some type of tampering code? Don't tell me this poll doesn't have a clearly written and enforced tampering code. If not, I'm out.

Posted by: Andrew Alberg | January 18, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"GW has a rebuilding team, but they have the BEST coach in the area.....yea, right now GW is the first team I want to pay $$ to see."

Did someone mention a crackpipe earlier? At best, Karl Hobbs is the 4th best coach in the area - and that's without debating what the area is. I like him (even as a Xavier grad), and still do in spite of his atrocious scheduling, media paranoia and what I think is a faulty in game philosophy (chuck and duck gets you a nice seat on the couch in March - ask Skip Prosser). He's a good recruiter and brings a ton of energy to the job.

I agree that going to a GW game is money well spent, especially when tickets are less than $10. Shame that more than about 3,000 people don't see that point. I bought 30 tickets to the GW-Xavier game for the price of two of my Redskins tickets - fantastic!

Posted by: Kev | January 18, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

JP, the GW-VTech game was on a neutral court, in DC. Also, there were probably more Tech fans at the game. But my above statement still stands. Crack pipe all around.

Posted by: aka | January 18, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Is GW's spot in the Atlantic 11 a sign of a good, overachieving year for the Colonials or how putrid the rest of the competition is?

Posted by: eclecticunderground | January 18, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the post on neutral floor match-ups, GW has already beaten VTech on a neutral floor this year (Verizon is not a home game), consistently beaten Maryland on that same neutral floor in recent years and if the Hoyas had any courage or civic pride they would have played in the BB&T and we would not need to speculate on a potential GW GT outcome. It's fun to argue who the best local team is, but it's past time to find out on the court. The BB&T should crown a local champ in tournament fashion. And, isn't it ironic that with all the back and forth over who was the better George last year, the answer was a resounding George Mason?

Posted by: NITColonial | January 18, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm just saying every time I drive near richmond there is some reason I get stopped dead on 95 or 295.

Andrew Alberg the tampering code is in effect. my poll is not swayed by the comments of people on the Bog.

Posted by: Marc | January 18, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

But surely Steinberg's endorsement is going to affect some people's votes. This is unconscionable.

(I'm kidding)

Posted by: Andrew Alberg | January 18, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I see my suggested name for the poll is catching on.


Posted by: Reader Glenn | January 18, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure it will sway the same people who are voting for JMU and UMBC.

I'd like some change at the bottom of the poll so I can think of some new pithy comments.

Posted by: Marc | January 18, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

The BB&T is a fraud because Georgetown won't play. Maybe if St. Leo gets invited JT3 will show up.

Its a shame cuz the BB&T WAS a good idea.

Posted by: caphcky | January 18, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow, so the GW invasion of this board seems to have warped some facts. The fact is this, Fienstein has said that Georgetown doesn't participate in the BB&T because Gary Williams will not participate if they do because he refuses to play Georgetown there. John sticks by Gary because Gary supported the tournament from the get go and he has always given John good quotes.
Now if Gary dropped his demand about Georgetown playing at Comcast before the BB&T or if he gave Georgetown the same conditions playing at Comcast that Georgetown gave Maryland in Landover that cause all of this rucus, there wouldn't be an issue. And please GW fans, can you stage another cute "invasion" of a Georgetown game with fans painting WG on there faces this year? That was great.

Posted by: Chris | January 18, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Now THATS a real joke.
The tournament loses alot of credability
because the coaches haven't grown up.

Thats funnier than when the fact came out that Ewing and Iverson went to class!

Posted by: caphcky | January 18, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh. For the first time, the comments section has entered the Internet Acronym (I.A.) zone. It's a slippery slope towards GWHoops from here.

Posted by: Andrew Alberg | January 18, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Way to boost your credibility there caphcky. At least you are acknowledging the fact that Georgetown's lack of participation in the tournament has nothing to do with a fear of GW, that's a big step for you.

Posted by: Chris | January 18, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

speaking of majestic mapp, anyone happen to know if he's still playing somewhere? googled him, and the last sighting i could find was for an ABA team in niagara that folded at the end of 2005.

Posted by: Joe | January 18, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Hi caphcky!

Posted by: FS | January 18, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, sure, GW hasn't really beaten anybody, but they have beaten our No. 1 team, which just lost. And like I said, it'd be hard to vote Maryland ahead of GW/VCU after Tuesday, unless you're of the mind that ACC teams should always be ranked ahead of everyone else, in which case this whole thing is sorta pointless. But I guess MD's winning percentage is still better than GW's, so I'll just be quiet.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | January 18, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"At least you are acknowledging the fact that Georgetown's lack of participation in the tournament has nothing to do with a fear of GW, that's a big step for you."

I'm sorry Chris, I had no idea English wasn't your first language.

Posted by: caphcky | January 18, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so when you said the tournament lost credibility because coaches haven't grown up, I thought that you were actually understanding a point for once. Let me state it again. Georgetown's lack of participation is all about a pissing match between the Hoyas and Terps while little guys like GW are just getting pissed on and the thought (let alone fear) of playing GW has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Chris | January 18, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

LOL....keep chirpin...

my choir robe is blue!


Little guys?

St Leo's?

Posted by: caphcky | January 18, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dan, lots of he said-she said, innuendo and third hand information here about why G'town won't play in the BB&T and UMD won't play if G'town plays, etc. Sounds to me like the basis of a great article.

Back in my undergraduate days we used to make the trip from Baltimore up to Philly to watch Big 5 doubleheaders in the Palestra. Great atmosphere, great games and a lot of fun. Don't know if the BB&T in the Phone Booth with G'town, GW, UMD, George Mason/ODU/VCU et al. would be the same but at least I wouldn't have to sneak beer in.

Maybe there's an idea--start scheduling Mid Atlantic 11 doubleheader games somewhere (Patriot Center, Smith, Phone Booth), could be the start of a great tradition.

Posted by: Dave Richardson | January 18, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Will the Bog sponsor a Mid Atlantic 11 doubleheader?

Posted by: Nathan | January 18, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

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