George Washington Colonials men's basketball

The George Washington Colonials men's basketball team represents George Washington University in the United States' capital, Washington, D.C. It plays its home games in the Charles E. Smith Center, which is also shared with other George Washington Colonials athletic programs. The school's team currently competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The head coach is Jamion Christian.

George Washington Colonials
2019–20 George Washington Colonials men's basketball team
George Washington Colonials logo.svg
UniversityGeorge Washington University
First season1912–13
All-time record1,325–1,109 (.544)
Head coachJamion Christian (1st season)
ConferenceAtlantic 10 Conference
LocationWashington, D.C.
ArenaCharles E. Smith Athletic Center
(Capacity: 5,000)
Student sectionGeorge's Army
ColorsBuff and Blue[1]
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1954, 1993
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1993, 1994, 2006
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1954, 1961, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014
Conference Tournament Champions
1943, 1954, 1961, 2005, 2007
Conference Regular Season Champions
1999, 2006


The colors of GW, buff and blue, can be seen on banners on the Foggy Bottom campus.


Mike Jarvis was hired as head coach in 1990. Led by future NBA player Yinka Dare, the Colonials received an at-large bid to the 1993 NCAA Tournament, the Colonials first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1961. GW advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to the Fab Five Michigan team (which later vacated its wins due to NCAA rule violations).

The Colonials would also make NCAA Tournament appearances in 1994, 1996, and 1998 under Jarvis. Jarvis would leave the school in 1998 to accept the head coaching position at St. John's.

The school then hired recently fired Texas head coach, Thomas Penders. Penders would spend three years at GW, before resigning amidst accusations of NCAA rules violations.[2]


GW would then turn to Karl Hobbs on May 2, 2001 as head coach. Hobbs, who spent eight years an assistant at Connecticut, led GW to back to the national stage in 2004 after defeating No. 9 Michigan State and No. 12 Maryland in back-to-back games to win the 2004 BB&T Classic. That year, the men's basketball team went on to win the Atlantic 10 West title and the Atlantic 10 Tournament, earning an automatic bid to the 2005 NCAA Tournament. The team received a No. 12 seed, losing to No. 5 seed Georgia Tech in the First Round.

The team began the 2005–06 season ranked 21st in the Associated Press poll, reaching as high as sixth in the polls[3] and closed out the year ranked 19th in the nation. With a 26–2 going into the 2006 NCAA Tournament. They received an at-large bid to the Tournament as a No. 8 seed where they came back from an 18-point second-half deficit to defeat No. 9 seed UNC-Wilmington. However, in the Second Round, they lost to Duke, the top overall seed. J. R. Pinnock was drafted in the 2006 NBA Draft and two other Colonials from that team played in the NBA. Pops Mensah-Bonsu played for the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and Toronto Raptors and Mike Hall played for the Washington Wizards.

The 2006–07 basketball season was considered by many[4][5] to be a rebuilding year for the Colonials after graduating their entire starting front court and losing Pinnock to the NBA. Coach Karl Hobbs and Senior guard Carl Elliott led the team to a 23–8 record, winning the 2007 Atlantic 10 Tournament, once again earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Colonials were received a No. 11 seed and lost to No. 6-seed Vanderbilt.[6]

The Colonials would struggle the next three years and after finishing the 2010–11 season with a record of 17–14, capped by a disappointing 71–59 overtime loss to Saint Joseph's in the conference tournament,[7] Karl Hobbs was dismissed as head coach.[8]


On May 11, 2011, Mike Lonergan, former head coach of Vermont, was hired to replace Hobbs.[9]

The 2011–12 basketball season, Lonergan's first with the Colonials, resulted in a 10–21 record (5–11 in Atlantic 10). By the 2013–14 season, Lonergan had rebuilt the program and finished third in the Atlantic 10 with a 24–8 record (11–5 in Atlantic 10). The team received an at-large bid to the 2014 NCAA Tournament, its first NCAA Tournament since 2007. They received a No. 9 seed in the East Region and would lose to Memphis in the Second Round (formerly known as the First Round).

The Colonials regressed the following year, finishing 22–12. They did, however, receive a bid to the NIT where they defeated Pittsburgh before losing in the second round to Temple.

In 2016, the Colonials again missed the NCAA Tournament and again received a bid to the NIT. This time the Colonials would defeat Hofstra, Momouth, and Florida to reach the NIT final four at Madison Square Garden. In the NIT semifinal, they defeated San Diego State to advance to the championship game. In the championship game, they cruised to the NIT championship with a 76–60 win over Valparaiso.

However, the Colonials could not build on their NIT success as the school fired head coach Mike Lonergan on September 16, 2016 after an investigation found him guilty of verbally and emotionally abusing his players.[10][11]

The school named assistant coach Maurice Joseph interim coach for the 2016–17 season. The Colonials finished the 2017 season 20–15, 10–8 in A-10 play and received a bid to the College Basketball Invitational where they defeated Toledo in the first round before losing to UIC.On March 27, 2017, the school removed the interim tag and named Maurice Joseph full-time head coach.[12]

Joseph was fired after the 2018–19 season. He had an overall 44–57 record (.436) at GW including 21–33 (.389) in the Atlantic 10.

On March 21, 2019, former Siena head coach Jamion Christian was hired as the new head coach.[13]


NCAA tournament resultsEdit

The Colonials have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 11 times. Their combined record is 4–11.

Year Seed Round Opponent Result
1954 First Round NC State L 73–75
1961 First Round Princeton L 67–84
1993 No. 12 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
No. 5 New Mexico
No. 13 Southern
No. 1 Michigan
W 82–68
W 90–80
L 64–72
1994 No. 10 First Round
Second Round
No. 7 UAB
No. 2 Connecticut
W 51–46
L 63–75
1996 No. 11 First Round No. 6 Iowa L 79–81
1998 No. 9 First Round No. 8 Oklahoma State L 59–74
1999 No. 11 First Round No. 6 Indiana L 88–108
2005 No. 12 First Round No. 5 Georgia Tech L 68–80
2006 No. 8 First Round
Second Round
No. 9 UNC Wilmington
No. 1 Duke
W 88–85OT
L 61–74
2007 No. 11 First Round No. 6 Vanderbilt L 44–77
2014 No. 9 Second Round No. 8 Memphis L 66–71

NIT resultsEdit

The Colonials have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) six times. Their combined record is 6–5. They won the NIT championship in 2016.

Year Round Opponent Result
1991 First round South Carolina L 63–69
1995 First round Ohio L 71–83
1997 First round Michigan State L 50–65
2004 First round Virginia L 66–79
2015 First round
Second round
W 60–54
L 77–90
2016 First round
Second round
San Diego State
W 82–80
W 87–71
W 82–77
W 65–46
W 76–60

CBI resultsEdit

The Colonials have appeared in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) two times. Their combined record is 1–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
2010 First round VCU L 73–79
2017 First round
W 73–69
L 71–80


The Colonials have had 27 coaches in its history including two seasons with two head coaches.

Overall Conference
Name Years Record Pct. Record Pct. Note
J. Kramer 1906–08 7–12 .368 First collegiate basketball team organized in the District of Columbia.
No Varsity 1909–12
Slitz Schlosser 1913–14 4–17 .190
Nathan Dougherty 1914–15 5–9 .357
George Colliflower 1916–17 9–18 .333
Goesbeck & Murphy 1917–18 5–6 .455
No Varsity (WWI) 1919–20
Brian Morse 1921–23 16–27 .372
Jack Dailey 1924–25 8–14 .364
James Lemon 1926–27 12–16 .429
Maud Crum 1928–29 13–14 .481
Joe Mitchell 1929–30 9–7 .563
Jim Pixlee 1931–32 22–9 .710
Ted O'Leary 1933–34 26–9 .743
Jim Pixlee & Logan Wilson 1934–35 14–6 .700
William Reinhart 1936–42, 1950–66 319–237 .574 Southern Conference Tournament Champions 1954, 1961; NCAA Tournament 1954, 1961
Arthur "Otts" Zahn 1942–43, 1946–47 45–21 .682 No Varsity 1944–45 (World War II), Southern Conference Tournament Champion 1943
George Garber 1948–49 37–15 .712
Babe McCarthy 1966–67 6–18 .250
Wayne Dobbs 1968–70 31–45 .408
Carl Slone 1971–74 54–48 .529
Bob Tallent 1975–81 102–84 .548
Gerry Gimelstob 1982–85 58–55 .513 31–33 .484 1981–82 Season in Eastern Eight Conference, 1982–85 Atlantic 10
John Kuester 1986–90 50–91 .355 20–52 .278
Mike Jarvis 1991–98 152–90 .628 76–52 .594 NCAA Tournament '93 (Sweet 16), '94, '96, '98; NIT '91, '95, '97
Tom Penders 1999–2001 49–42 .538 28–20 .583 NCAA Tournament '99
Karl Hobbs 2001–2011 149–115 .564 74–70 .514 NCAA Tournament '05, '06, '07; NIT '04; CBI '10; Atlantic 10 Tournament Champions '05, '07; Atlantic 10 Regular Season Champions '06; National Coach of the Year Finalist 2005–06
Mike Lonergan[14] 2011–2016 46–45 .506 23–25 .479 NCAA Tournament '14; NIT '15, '16 (Champions)
Maurice Joseph[15] 2016–2019 44–57 .436 21–33 .389 Interim head coach in 2016; named full-time head coach on March 27, 2017[12]
Jamion Christian[16] 2019–present 12-17 .414 6-10 .375

Significant games in Colonials men's basketball historyEdit

GW 97, No. 5 West Virginia 93 – February 17, 1960
After falling to the Mountaineers earlier in the season, an announced crowd of 6,400 watched the Colonials host Jerry West and the nation's fifth-ranked basketball team. Despite giving up 40 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists to West, GW Athletic Hall of Famer Jon Feldman exploded for a career-high 42 points on 17–25 shooting to stun West Virginia.[17]

GW 111, No. 12 Syracuse 104 (OT) – November 16, 1994
The Colonials were invited to participate in the pre-season NIT at Manley Field House at Syracuse, and though they gave up a last-second three-pointer to allow the Orangemen to send the game to overtime, the Colonials controlled the extra period to secure the win on national television.[18]

GW 78, No. 1 UMass 75 – February 4, 1995
President Bill Clinton joined the Colonials at Charles E. Smith Center when John Calipari and the top-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen came to Washington. Kwame Evans scored 27 points, including his 1,000th and fans rushed the court as the Colonials scored their first-ever upset of a number one team.[19]

GW 78, No. 18 Xavier 73 – OT, January 14, 1998
The Colonials hosted James Posey and the 18th ranked Musketeers at the Charles E. Smith Center. After trailing most of the game, Xavier took control of the game midway through the second half. GW forward Yegor Mescheriakov sprained his right ankle jumping for a rebound and limped off the court with 16:32 remaining. Without its leading scorer, and with Koul on the bench with four fouls, GW sagged. With GW's offense sputtering, Mike King entered the game and rescued the Colonials. King scored eight straight points and tied the game at 63-63. The clock then showed all zeros and the GW men's basketball team trailed 18th-ranked Xavier 68-66. King, a freshman playing his third collegiate game after achieving academic eligibility, calmly made two free throws - sending the game into overtime and the Smith Center into a frenzy. In the overtime, King continued his heroics scoring 8 of GW's 10 points in OT to a 78-73 win over Xavier.[20]

GW 77, Xavier 74 – February 27, 1999
With the Atlantic 10 West Division Title on the line in the final game of the regular season, the Colonials hosted the Xavier Musketeers. Seniors Shawnta Rogers and Yegor Mescheriakov were playing their final home games. Despite missing a game-winning three with five seconds left Rogers received a pass following a Mike King rebound and broke the 74–74 tie as time expired to win the game and the division. The Colonials would later receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament under first-year coach Tom Penders.[21]

GW 96, No. 11 Michigan State 83 – December 4, 2004
GW 101, No. 12 Maryland 92 – December 5, 2004
In the 2004 BB&T Championship, the Colonials upset ranked teams on two consecutive days, winning each by at least 9 points. Karl Hobbs guided his team to wins over the Michigan State Spartans and Maryland Terrapins. Pops Mensah-Bonsu scored 23 points in the first game and T.J. Thompson poured in 27 against the Terrapins for the Colonials. The next week, the Colonials entered both national polls for the first time in six years.[22]

GW 76, Saint Joseph’s 67 – March 12, 2005
The Colonials clinched their first-ever Atlantic 10 Tournament title in 2005 behind 20 points from Omar Williams. The Colonials were given a 12th seed and faced Georgia Tech in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.[23]

No. 6 GW 86, Charlotte 85 (OT) – March 4, 2006
The sixth-ranked Colonials secured a perfect Atlantic 10 record and Charles E. Smith Center record when Carl Elliott tipped-in an errant Noel Wilmore three-point shot to finish a 26–1 regular season, solidifying the nation's best record, and the best regular season record in Colonials history.[24]

(8) GW 88, (9) UNC-Wilmington 85 (OT) – March 16, 2006 After drawing a surprising 8-seed following its 26–1 regular season campaign and reaching as high as 6th in the nation, the Colonials were sent to take on UNC-Wilmington in nearby Greensboro, North Carolina. Pops Mensah-Bonsu returned from a meniscus injury and helped the Colonials overcome an 18-point second half deficit to take on top-seeded Duke in the second round of the 2006 tournament.[25]

After winning the 2007 A-10 Championship

GW 78, Rhode Island 69 – March 10, 2007
The Colonials controlled the entire second half in winning their second Atlantic 10 Tournament championship in school history (and second in three years), giving the Colonials their third consecutive NCAA Tournament bid and first time in school history with three consecutive 20-win seasons. The Colonials drew an 11th seed and travelled to Sacramento to play 6th-seeded Vanderbilt.[26]

GW 49, Saint Louis 20 – January 10, 2008
The Colonials held the Saint Louis Billikens to just 20 points for the entire game, which set the record for the lowest point total since the inception of the shot clock in Division I College Basketball. Saint Louis was held to 14.6% shooting for the game, and made only one of nineteen three-point attempts. They had seven points in the first half.[27]

GW 66, Memphis 71 – March 21, 2014
The Colonials drew the Memphis Tigers in the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The game was held in Raleigh, NC. The Colonials trailed Memphis for the bulk of the game but had two shots to tie in the final minute that didn't connect leaving them with a loss in their first NCAA Tournament Appearance since 2007.[28]

GW 73, No. 6 Virginia 68 − November 16, 2015
Hosting UVA a year after losing 59-42 in Charlottesville, the Colonials held a lead for most of the game and knocked off Virginia for their first win over a top 10 team since defeating UMass 20 years prior. It was the third straight year GW had beaten a ranked team, and a sold-out crowd at the Smith Center stormed the court as GW pulled off the upset. Patricio Garino led GW with 18 points and had many key buckets to spur momentum the Colonial's way.[29]

(4) GW 76, (1) Valparaiso 60 - March 31, 2016
The Colonials made their way through the NIT tournament as a 4 seed by beating 3 higher seeds than them. They won their first National Invitation Tournament and first postseason title starting 3 foreign players and player of the tournament Tyler Cavanaugh. GW set a new school record with 28 wins with this game.[30]

Notable alumniEdit

Colonials in the NBAEdit

Other Colonials of noteEdit


  1. ^ "Athletics logo - George Washington University". July 23, 2018. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  2. ^ Reports, From Wire (April 21, 2001). "Penders Resigns Under Cloud". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  3. ^ "Yahoo Sports - Sports News, Scores, Fantasy Games". Yahoo Sports.
  4. ^ Express: A Publication of The Washington Post Archived May 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ " - GAME DAY REPORT: Vanderbilt vs. George Washington". March 15, 2007.
  6. ^ FOX Sports on MSN – College Basketball – Recap Archived February 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Patient Saint Joseph's bounces GW from A-10 tourney". Washington Times. March 8, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  8. ^ "George Washington Colonials fire coach Karl Hobbs - ESPN". April 25, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  9. ^ "George Washington hires Lonergan as coach". May 6, 2011.
  10. ^ "Source: Lonergan fired by George Washington". Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "GW names Maurice Joseph full-time men's basketball coach". Washington Post. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  13. ^ "Jamion Christian leaves Siena for George Washington job". Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  14. ^ "2012-13 George Washington Colonials Roster and Stats | College Basketball at". Archived from the original on January 2, 2015. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  16. ^ "GW NAMES Jamion Christian HEAD COACH OF MEN'S BASKETBALL". Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  17. ^ "West Virginia at George Washington". Archived from the original on October 2, 2011.
  18. ^,+1994&author=Mel+Antonen&pub=USA+TODAY+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&desc=George+Washington+stuns+Syracuse+111-104+in+OT&pqatl=google Archived October 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Colonials knock off UMass".
  20. ^ "Colonials, King rule 18th-ranked Xavier". January 15, 1998.
  21. ^ "GW topples Xavier, takes A-10 West title – Sports". Archived from the original on January 25, 2013.
  22. ^ GW Men's Basketball Back in the Top 25 After Six-Year Absence: No. 21 AP; No. 25 USA Today/Coaches Poll – GEORGE WASHINGTON OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
  23. ^ "Colonials Win First-Ever A-10 Tournament Title, Defeating Saint Joseph's 76-67".
  24. ^ "Colonials Hold Off 49ers In Overtime, 86-85".
  25. ^ "George Washington Advances Past UNC Wilmington In OT, 88-85".
  26. ^ "George Washington Wins A-10 Championship With 78-69 Decision Over URI".
  27. ^ "Colonials Roll All Over St. Louis, 49-20".
  28. ^ NCAA tournament: GW can’t get over the hump in loss to Memphis Washington Post
  29. ^ George Washington Stuns No. 6 Virginia "Washington Post"
  30. ^ G. Washington beats Valpo behind tourney MOP Tyler Cavanaugh"ESPN"
  31. ^ "Yuta Watanabe Stats". Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  32. ^ "Tyler Cavanaugh Stats -".
  33. ^ "Patricio Garino Stats -".
  34. ^ "Pops Mensah-Bonsu Stats -".
  35. ^ "Mike Hall Stats -".
  36. ^ "Yinka Dare Stats -".
  37. ^ "Mike Brown Stats -".
  38. ^ "Joe Holup Stats -".
  39. ^ "Corky Devlin Stats -".
  40. ^ "Knicks Add to Coaching Staff". September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  41. ^ Odeven, Ed (April 13, 2018). "Yuta Watanabe reflects on successful hoop career at George Washington". The Japan Times.

External linksEdit