Posted: Friday January 19, 2007 4:44PM; Updated: Friday January 19, 2007 5:07PM
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McKeown missed that game because he was recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee. He was injured while participating in a drill during practice, but McKeown didn't need to see the win to recognize its importance.
"This is first year where we really stepped up and made a statement in non-conference," McKeown said.
It's a statement that brings reminders of the past. It was 10 years ago that George Washington reached the Elite Eight. Those accomplishments, however, were reached by a senior-laden team.
"That team, we had all seniors and we won 23 in a row," McKeown said. "That team, I would have told you, I knew they'd do well. This team could be really good at the end of the season, but they're young."
They're also determined. And that is something McKeown did expect. He saw it the moment the Colonials walked off the court in their final game last season -- a 66-53 loss to Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA tournament. It left his team disappointed, but ready to work even harder.
"I think the way we finished last year carried over," McKeown said. "We beat Old Dominion in the NCAA tournament on their home court. It was a tough loss to Tennessee, but our players walked off the court thinking, 'Hey, we can play with anybody.' They really felt like they belonged with those teams."