Location: RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina
Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m.
Television: Fox Sports
Radio: Airtime begins @ 6:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
George Washington Information
Probable NC State Starters
03 Ilian Evtimov F 6-7 222 Sr. 13 Cameron Bennerman F 6-4 205 Sr. 33 Cedric Simmons C 6-9 233 So. 14 Engin Atsur G 6-3 200 Jr. 22 Tony Bethel G 6-2 185 Sr.
Probable George Washington Starters
No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown PPG RPG F 1 Omar Williams 6-9 190 Sr. Philadelphia, PA 8.5 4.3 F 3 Mike Hall 6-8 230 Sr. Chicago, IL 14.3 7.5 F 21 Pops Mensah-Bonsu 6-9 240 Sr. London, England 12.0 7.8 G 2 Danilo (J.R.) Pinnock 6-5 207 Jr. McDonough, GA 15.8 4.9 G 25 Carl Elliott 6-4 220 Jr. Brooklyn, NY 10.4 4.3a
Players to Watch
Cedric Simmons -- Simmons has emerged as NC State's go-to player, and is a dominating defender, as he currently ranks second in the ACC in blocks.
J.R. Pinnock -- GW's leading scorer, Pinnock averages 15.8 points per game and is an explosive athlete on the perimeter. He is also a quality shooter from deep and a lockdown defender.
George Washington Game Notes
LAST GAME: SMITH CENTER, WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 17) —
Danilo Pinnock scored 18 points to lead five GW players in double figures and the 15th-ranked Colonials beat Maryland-Eastern Shore 98-72 on Saturday. Pops Mensah-Bonsu had 16 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for the Colonials (8-0), off to their best start since 1953-54 when they won their first 11 games. GW took control with a 20-4 run midway through the first half. Hall's 3-pointer capped the spurt and gave the Colonials a 36-17 lead with 9:13 remaining. Tim Parham led Maryland-Eastern Shore (2-8) with 21 points and nine rebounds. Early in the second half, Hall hit a 3-pointer to become the 37th 1,000-point scorer in school history.
FAST STARTS UNDER KARL HOBBS
The Colonials are accustomed to getting out of the gate quickly in the months of November and December. GW is 35-15 (.700) during five Novembers/Decembers under Karl Hobbs.
GW PICKED TO REPEAT
The Atlantic 10 Conference coaches and media have picked GW to win the newly-expanded A-10 in 2005-06. GW received 38 of a possible 65 firstplace votes with Charlotte picked second and garnering 18 first-place votes while Temple was tabbed to finish third with eight first-place votes. Fordham (8th) also received one firstplace vote.
GW LANDS FOUR ON PRESEASON ALL-ATLANTIC 10 TEAMS
The A-10 coaches and media also selected GW seniors Mike Hall (Chicago, IL) and Pops Mensah-Bonsu (London, England) as preseason first-team All-Conference picks with teammate Danilo (J.R.) Pinnock (McDonough, GA) as a second team selection. Colonials junior Carl Elliott (Brooklyn, NY) and Mensah-Bonsu were named to the league's All-Defensive team in the same poll.
POPS CLIMBS BLOCKS LIST
Pops Mensah-Bonsu leads the Colonials with 15 blocks this season. He enters tonight's NC State game with 118 career blocked shots—fourth on GW's career blocks list.
GW AMONG NATION'S FG PCT. LEADERS
The Colonials enter tonight's NC State game among the top five in Division I team FG percentage. GW has converted 247-of-474 shots for a .521 FG percentage which ranks fifth (in games through Dec. 19).
KEEPING THEIR BALANCE
The Colonials are winning as a team and have embraced coach Karl Hobbs' ‘Share the Game' philosophy. GW leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring with an 84.4 ppg average. Despite the high offensive output, no Colonial is averaging more than 16 points a game. The Colonials are the only team in the A-10 with five players averaging double digits. (St. Bonaventure has four players in double figures). Danilo Pinnock leads the Colonials with a 15.8 ppg average. Then comes Mike Hall (14.2 ppg), Maureece Rice (13.9 ppg), Pops Mensah-Bonsu (12.0 ppg), and Carl Elliott (10.4 ppg). That's a total of 494 points from those five guys. In addition, the scoring is coming equally from the frontcourt (338 points) and the backcourt (337 points).
Sophomore combo guard Maureece Rice has scored four new career-highs in GW's first five games this season and seems to be getting better with each outing. Most recently, his current career-high 19 against No. 21 Maryland Monday night. He also had 17 points on 7-9 shooting in GW's 75-62 win over Boston U. Dec. 2 He sank his career-high 8 field goals in the Colonials' 85-68 victory over Saint Francis-PA Nov. 30. Rice also cooked for 13 points on 6-13 FGs in GW's season-opening win over Kennesaw State Nov. 23. The Philadelphia native also added four steals and three assists in 23 minutes of action. The emergence of Rice was foreshadowed by his performances during GW's summer Australian exhibition tour in August. In those five contests, Rice averaged a robust 18.6 ppg and shot nearly 52 percent from the field, including a lights-out 17 three-pointers.
HALL SERVES NOTICE
Senior tri-captain Mike Hall wasted no time in getting a fast start for his final season of college ball. Hall's 22 points and 10 rebounds in the season-opener against Kennesaw State Nov. 23 marked the Chicago-native's 17th career double-double. Hall shot 7-for-7 in the first half and finished 10-for-12 en route to his career high in points. The senior also scored his 900th career point and grabbed his 700th career rebound. On Nov. 26 against Norfolk State, Hall added 18 points on 7-9 shooting and was named the www.GWsports.com ‘Colonial of the Week.' In GW's win over No. 21 Maryland Dec. 5, Hall scored 14 points with 12 rebounds and was named Player of the Game. Hall has four double- doubles in GW's first seven games. The Preseason A-10 All-Conference First Team selection enters tonight's NC State game with 1,001 points for his career.
PINNOCK'S BUSY SUMMER
Junior guard Danilo Pinnock logged quite a few frequent flier miles this past summer. He not only traveled with the Colonials to Australia in mid-August, he also played for the Panama National Team at the 2005 FIBA Americas Men's World Championship Qualifying Tournament (Aug. 24 - Sept. 4) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, immediately following the conclusion of GW's trip 'Down Under.' Pinnock averaged 15.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.7 steals per game in seven games for Panama, as he helped the squad finish 5-3 overall and earn one of five qualifying spots for the 2006 FIBA Men's World Championship, held Aug. 19 - Sept. 3 in Saitama, Japan. Panama, led by former Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson, played eight games in nine days at the qualifying tournament. Pinnock helped lead the squad to four straight wins to close the tournament. He made two starts in that stretch and arguably turned in his best overall performance in Panama's final game, a 78-71 victory over Uruguay in which he scored 20 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished out two assists and had three steals. To spark Panama's four-game win streak, Pinnock turned in a 21-point, nine-rebound effort in the team's 89-84 triumph over Argentina. His 15.4 points-per-game average ranked second-best on the team and 17th best overall for the tournament. In addition, Pinnock's 1.7 steals-per-contest ranked fifth-best individually at the tournament and he helped Panama lead the 10-team field in scoring defense (73.8 ppg), FG Pct. Defense (.413), Rebounding Defense (31.6 rpg) and Rebounding Margin (+8.7).