Game 16 - George Washington (12-3) vs. Davidson (10-5)
Nuts & Bolts
Date: January 13, 2024
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Charles E. Smith Center - Washington, DC
How to Watch: ESPN+
Matchup History: Davidson leads all-time series 8-4
Last Meeting: George Washington def. Davidson 75-70 on 3/1/23
Betting Lines: Via DraftKings
Spread: George Washington -1
Prediction: George Washington 82, Davidson 77
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The Atlantic 10 Conference season has returned and so has the back-and-forth nature of one of the nations craziest league’s.
The conference features 15 teams and boasts perhaps the most parity of any conference in the country.
George Washington has experienced that parity firsthand, having played just two games in A10 play and is off to a 1-1 start.
Last Wednesday, GW lost in triple overtime to a Fordham team that struggled in non-conference play. Three days later, the Revs went on the road to take on VCU and won an 84-82 thriller behind another stellar performance from James Bishop IV.
Bishop won A10 Conference Player of the Week last week, scoring 32 points in the loss to Fordham and adding 28 more against VCU, including the game-winning shot in the closing seconds to lift GW to a much-needed victory.
Now, Chris Caputo’s team returns home for two games in three days over MLK Weekend. First up, GW hosts Davidson College before taking on local rival George Mason on Monday.
George Washington is off to a phenomenal 12-3 start and owns the third best overall record of all A10 teams, trailing only Dayton and George Mason. However, the team has struggled to control games as of late, with each of the last four games being decided by single digits, including two games at home against Maryland Eastern Shore and Alcorn State.
After those two close games to close out the non-con slate, followed by a home loss to Fordham in triple overtime, GW needed that win at VCU to get back on track. Just as important, it needed the best player to step up in crunch time and that’s exactly what happened.
With veterans James Bishop IV and Maximus Edwards leading the way, paired with the freshman talent of Darren Buchanan and Garrett Johnson, GW has perhaps its highest ceiling since it last went to the NCAA Tournament in 2014.
Long way to go, but a sweep this weekend to get to 3-1 in conference play would go a long way toward getting back to the Dance for the first time in a decade.
This is the second season for Davidson under Head Coach Matt McKillop, who replaced his father, Bob McKillop, who coached the team for 33 years prior to Matt taking over the job.
In Matt’s first season at the helm, Davidson had its worst season since 2000-2001, finishing .500 at 16-16. It was the first time since that 2001 season that the team did not have a winning record.
In the transition from Bob to Matt, the Wildcats had an overhauled roster as well. Now, in Matt’s second season, the team has begun to find its footing once again.
After a 3-3 start to the year, including a win over Maryland, the Wildcats ripped off seven wins in a row to get to 10-3.
Since, however, Davidson has started 0-2 in conference play, including a 13 point home loss to the top team Dayton, and a five point loss at home to Rhode Island.
Matt McKillop has yet to develop much of the team rotation past the top six guys, who all average 20 minutes or more each game, including the five starters who are all averaging 25 minutes or more per game.
Led by seniors David Skogman and Grant Huffman, this mostly veteran team is similar to GW in that the rotation is pretty limited, but the top guys are contributing in a major way.
For Skogman, a 45% three point shooter, if the shots fall, Davidson will find success. It’ll likely be GW’s Garrett Johnson tasked with guarding Skogman and James Bishop IV in charge of covering Huffman.
If GW covers the three point line, something it did not do against Fordham the last time they played at home, Caputo’s team should have more success against Davidson, which struggles when the shots aren’t consistently falling.