They are considered among the finest guards in the East.Both honed their skills on the playgrounds and gyms of the District of Columbia. And each man is now his team's most valuable player and leading scorer.
Tonight at 8 o'clock at the Smith Center on the George Washington University campus, Fast Eddie Jordan of Rutgers by way of Carroll High School and GW's John Holloran, a St. John's man, will play against each other for the first time in five years.
A capacity crowd of 5,000 is expected for the first-ever meeting between two streaking teams with legitimate hopes for postseason tournament bids.
George Washington, now 8-4 overall and 3-0 in the Eastern Collegiate Basketball League, is riding a five-game winning steak and has won all four of its home games this season.
Rutgers, an NCAA semifinalist a year ago that is coached by former American coach Tom Young, got off slowly but has won its last three games and is 9-4 overall, 2-0 in the league.
And Jordan and Holloran are the men who make their respective teams go.
"Jordan's probably one of the most well-rounded guards you'll see in the East," said GW coach Bob Tallent. "He can score, he's a good shooter and the best thing about him is probably his defense.
"You've got to watch him all the time. He's always coming up with the big steal, making the big play. He's won a lot of games for them. Of course, John (Holloran) is doing the same things for us."
Jordan is averaging 20.2 points, seven assists and four steals a game for Rutgers, despite playing a good portion of the season with a bruised hip and a bone bruise on his left hand. "He's about 80 per cent," says Joe Boylan, a Rutger's assistant. "But he's still making the big plays, and he's our leader."
Holloran performs the same function for the Colonials. Tallent has asked him to take over an increased offensive load this season, and the senior guard has obliged.
He is shooting at 53 per cent and averaging 19.8 points and five assists a game for the season. In his last four games, he has averaged 26 points an outline, including 32 against Duquesne last weekend.
Tallent says he is still not certain how he will defense Rutgers, or whether Holloran will be asked to check Jordan. "I'm sure they'll go at each other quite a bit no matter what we do," he said.
Rutgers is still playing fast-break basketball with a heavy emphasis on the press. "It's going to be a good basketball game," says Tallent. "Both these guys can fill it up. It'll be a show."
Elsewhere, American University, 8.6 travels to West Chester, 8-4, hoping for more of the same from 6-9 center Howie Lassoff, who has averaged 21 points in his last three games.
Calvin Brown still leads the Eagles with 18.2 points and is averaging six rebounds.