After starting A10 conference play with four straight losses, St. Joes has won three games in a row and will now head to George Washington to take on the 4th-place Colonials.
When it comes to offense, George Washington has three high-level scoring threats that have led the Colonials to a 108.7 offensive efficiency rating on KenPom, which is ranked 89th in the country. Maximus Edwards, Brendan Adams, and James Bishop IV are all averaging over 13 PPG over the last ten games, and on the season, Bishop IV leads the team with 21.9 PPG.
In four of the six conference games that George Washington has played, Bishop IV scored 25 or more points, including a 27-point performance in the Colonials' most recent win over Dayton. As a team, the Colonials are shooting 47.4% from the field this season which is the 27th-best percentage in the country, and has helped them win three of their last four games.
A casual fan might think this team will get an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament by looking at this team's offensive numbers. Unfortunately for the Colonials, production must come at both ends of the floor. Entering tonight, George Washington has a defensive efficiency rating that ranks 276th in the country, according to KenPom, and they’ll now take on one of the best three-point shooting teams in the A10 in St. Joes.
The Hawks are attempting the 20th most three-pointers a game this season, but they also make the 29th most per game with an average of 9.1. Over their three-game win streak, the Hawks shot 47% from three in two of the games, and leading scorer Erik Reynolds II had a conference-play scoring high of 23 points in their most recent win.
A big reason why the Hawks started 0-4 in conference play was due to their defense, but over their win streak, they have been able to show signs of improvement on that end of the floor.
George Washington is currently listed as -4 point favorites, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. In the last six meetings between these two teams, both the home team and favorite are 5-1 ATS, and despite recent success, this will be the first high-powered offense that St. Joes has played since they started their win streak.
The Hawks have shown some improvement on the defensive end of the floor, but opposing teams have an effective field goal percentage of 50.9% against them, along with a 34.3% three-point percentage. George Washington is one of the best shooting teams, percentage-wise, in the A10, and their three-headed scoring monster may be too much for the Hawks to contain.
The Hawks had a regression in their three-point shooting in their most recent win, as they only shot 30% from deep, and overall I don’t think they can keep pace offensively with the Colonials.
George Washington (-4)