When Joe McKeown was the coach at New Mexico State in 1987-88, the Roadrunners were among the nation's top offensive teams, averaging more than 80 points per game. McKeown looks for George Washington to threaten that mark this season.
"I told them that's got to be one of their goals, to average 80 points a game," McKeown said. "As long as they don't give up 81, we'll be okay."
McKeown returns three starters from a team that averaged 74.5 points per game but missed postseason play for the first time in six years. However, the Colonials are a different team.
For starters, George Washington lacks the dominating inside player it had in 1997 with all-American center Tajama Abraham or last season with forward Noelia Gomez, the Atlantic 10 Conference's player of the year. This season, the Colonials are perimeter-oriented.
Elisa Aguilar leads a group of talented guards. She was a first-team all-Atlantic 10 pick last season despite missing six regular season games with a stress fracture in her left ankle.
Kristeena Alexander complements Aguilar's precision with her enthusiasm. Alexander became eligible the second half of last season after transferring from George Mason. She started 12 of 20 games.
Marlo Egleston is a steadying influence and a solid outside shooter.
Petra Dubovcova is the only returning starter in the front court. McKeown is counting on the junior forward, who is the team's leading returning rebounder, to be more of a force inside than she has been. Katarina Baskova, a 6-foot senior, is expected to start at the other forward spot. Starr Jefferson, a 5-10 junior, may be moved from guard to forward. She is one of the team's more physical players.
McKeown is excited about his newcomers -- Lindsey Davidson, Cathy Joens and Erica Lawrence. Davidson has picked up the team's system quickly.
Last season: 19-9, 12-4 Atlantic 10 conference.
Coach: Joe McKeown (11th season, 224-85; 14th season overall, 292-105).
Top returning players: G Elisa Aguilar, 5-8, Sr. (15.4 ppg, 5.4 apg, .421 three-point pct., first-team all-Atlantic 10); G Kristeena Alexander, 5-6, Jr. (9.5 ppg, 4.2 apg); F Petra Dubovcova, 6-3, Jr. (10.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg); G Marlo Egleston, 5-7, Sr. (5.8 ppg, 4.4 apg, .378 three-point pct.).
Key departures: F Noelia Gomez (19.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, Atlantic 10 player of the year, GW's career scoring average leader at 18 ppg); F Mandisa Turner (6.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg).
New faces: G Lindsey Davidson, 5-9, Fr. (Brea, Calif., third-team Parade high school all-American); G-F Cathy Joens, 5-11, Fr. (Irvine, Calif.); F Erica Lawrence, 6-0, Fr. (Nyack, N.Y.)
19 at Vanderbilt, 8
22 Howard, 7
26 Central Michigan*, 2
27 SMU or Texas Southern*, 12:30 or 3
4 Rutgers, 4
7 Albany, 7
11 at La Salle, 1
13 Villanova, 7
20 Santa Clara, 7
28 UMES, 7
30 Seton Hall, 7
3 at Arkansas, 8
6 Duquesne, 7
9 at Virginia Tech, 4
16 Temple, 2
20 at Dayton, 7
22 at Xavier, 2
27 La Salle, 7
30 Fordham, 2
2 Virginia Tech, 7
6 St. Joseph's, 2
11 at Rhode Island, 7
13 at St. Bonaventure, 2
17 at Massachusetts, 7
20 Xavier, 4:30
24 Dayton, 7
27 at Duquesne, 6:30
3-6 Atlantic 10 tournament in Philadelphia
*SMU Classic in Dallas