George Washington Colonials
| MESSAGE BOARD
REGION: Midwest SEED: 8
COACH: Joe McKeown CONFERENCE: A 10
Road to the Final Four ...................................................................................
|PLAYER TO WATCH|
Joens scores a team-high 19.6 points, but after averaging just 11 points in two A-10 tournament games as the Colonials got upset in the semifinals, foes should know the 5-foot-11 senior guard/forward will be on a mission in her final NCAA Tournament appearance. Typically, consistency isn't a problem for Joens, a two-time A-10 Player of the Year who also tallies 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Long-range ability is Joens' specialty. She has nailed 95 3-pointers and shoots 44.6 percent from beyond the arc, and closed out the regular season ranking fourth in the nation with 3.4 treys made per game. Joens, who has 1,790 career points and is on the verge of taking over the No. 2 spot on the Colonials' all-time scoring chart, also is a stud in the classroom. She scored A-10 Student-Athlete of the Year honors with a 4.0 grade-point average as she pursues her Master's Degree in Health Promotion-Disease Prevention.
ANALYSIS BY ESPN'S STACEY DALES-SCHUMAN
Earlier this season, Joe McKeown deemed his team "the Rodney Dangerfield of women's basketball ... they still don't get no respect."
But with an annual winning average of 23 games, the Colonials are a consistent NCAA Tournament-caliber team and they feature a trio of players who have drastically changed the face of A-10 basketball. And with five seniors and a trip to the Sweet 16 a year ago, George Washington has big expectations for 2004.
Senior Cathy Joens, a two-time A-10 Player of the Year, is the team's unspoken leader. Possessing an unsuspecting athleticism that often jumps out of mid-air, it's no wonder Joens leads the team with a versatile 20 points per game. She is arguably the hardest working player on the Colonial roster -- a prototypical "gym rat," one might say.
Another senior you can't help but notice is the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, 6-foot-4 center Ugo Oha. With a stronger physique than she has ever enjoyed, Ugo is blocking three shots per contest, which has ranked among the nation's top five leaders all season long.
Leading the team in assists with nearly six per game, even while playing forward, is Spanish-born Anna Montañana. She has a striking flare for the game like no other, and her ability to creatively distribute the orange is a thing of beauty.
George Washington loves to push tempo and score in the open court. In the half-court game, the Colonials assemble into a 4-out-1-in set, while also exploiting the high-low game. Defensively, it's solid player-to-player with great emphasis on the point guard.
What you should really pay attention to is George Washington's "blizzard" zone press. It's a formation that uses traps and gaps to force many teams into uncharacteristic turnovers insofar that they compete at an uncomfortable pace. The full-court pressure will eventually fall back into a match-up zone that is equally tough to combat.