If the best season in Mike Lonergan's three-year tenure at George Washington is going to culminate in an NCAA tournament bid, the Colonials will have to survive until March without one of their top players.
Sophomore guard Kethan Savage, George Washington's second-leading scorer, is expected to miss 6 to 8 weeks with a fractured metatarsal in his left foot, the school announced on Tuesday. Based on that timetable, the earliest Savage could return would be in time for the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn.
"It's disappointing for Kethan to have this happen in the middle of his breakout sophomore season, but as a team we've dealt with injuries before and have emerged stronger as a unit," Lonergan said in a statement. "We'll look forward to his return to action, but I have every bit of confidence that we'll overcome Kethan's absence. In the meantime, this is a great opportunity for all his teammates to step up at this time. That is a mark of a great team. We are all very excited for the rest of the season ahead."
Savage's injury comes on the heels of a 17-point performance in George Washington's win at St. Bonaventure on Saturday. The 6-foot-3 sophomore has more than quadrupled his scoring average from his freshman season, averaging 13.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game because of his ability to attack defenders off the dribble and finish at the rim.
Thanks to Savage's breakout season and huge contributions from Indiana transfer Maurice Creek and Villanova transfer Isaiah Armwood, George Washington has exceeded modest expectations so far this season. The Colonials (15-3, 3-1) beat Creighton, Maryland, Miami and Georgia in non-league play and have followed that up with a 3-1 league start including a victory over VCU.
To continue that surge without Savage, George Washington will need other guards to fill his production.
Sixth man Patricio Garino appears to be a prime candidate to assume a larger role. The 6-foot-6 sophomore averages 9.5 points off the bench and lit up VCU for 25 earlier this month.