George Washington's Joe McDonald and George Mason's Patrick Holloway are both local products with an AAU connection dating back to when they were 15. Now the dueling sophomore guards square off on the college level.
For McDonald (Landon), that means contending with Holloway's lethal 3-point touch. George Mason's third-leading scorer (9.0), Holloway (Paul VI) sinks 42.3 of his attempts from beyond the arc.
"It's quick too, McDonald said of his friend's release. "I recall him [making] 10, 12 3's in a game before."
The Colonials point guard has a defensive plan in place.
"Coming out against him, just pressuring a lot should get to him," McDonald said. "Maybe I'll crack some inside jokes, make him lose focus."
George Washington (15-3, 3-1 Atlantic 10), which is 3-2 in true road games this season, must avoid losing focus and looking past the Patriots (7-13, 0-5). George Mason has lost six straight, most in the final minutes and the last four by a combined 13 points. The two sides meet Saturday at 12 p.m. at the Patriot Center with TV coverage on NBC Sports Network.
"All their games have been close," McDonald said. "That's definitely a red flag for us. We can't come out and take them lightly. Getting off to a fast start will be big for us. But we also know if we're down late, they're prone to give up the lead so we don't have to lose focus."
The stat-stuffing McDonald averages 8.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.9 steals. More is expected from him and the other starters now that GW's second-leading Kethan Savage and top driving threat is out 6-8 weeks with a foot injury.
"We're just going to have everyone contribute just a little bit more," the Lorton native said. "We don't need one specific person to do everything that Kethan does. We can't do that. Kethan is a special player."