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Patriots looking for a fresh start in '07

George Mason Basketball: Patriots looking for a fresh start in '07

Monday, January 01, 2007

Patriots looking for a fresh start in '07

After being suffering a loss in their conference opener to Drexel and narrowly beating Mississippi State at home, the Patriots would like nothing more than to get a fresh start for 2007. Its that point in the season when your team should be developing team chemistry. I don't really see any from this team yet. Night in and night out I don't know what Patriot team is gonna show up; the team that runs the offense through Thomas in the low blocks or the team that doesn't protect the ball and then launches three point attempts every possession. The Drexel game could pretty much be summed up in the 2nd half when John Vaughan dribbled the ball off his foot which led to Dominick Mejia taking in the loose ball for an easy layup. That play was one of the many easy scoring opportunities that the Patriots basically gift wrapped for the Dragons. The Patriots were kept under 50 points after being down 30-28 at the half. The 2nd half was basically Drexel versus Will Thomas as he was the only Patriot who came to play apparently. Drexel has proven so far that they are the team to beat in the CAA and I believe they have the depth to keep it going into March.

That being said the Patriots did bounce back against Mississippi State after having less than 48 hours between games. Will Thomas again had another great game and led all scorers with 22 points. Thomas was doubled teamed as usual and this did create turnovers that let the Bulldogs stay close in the game, but he did seem like he was making better decisions as this happened. Dre Smith got another chance to show flashes of his athletic ability by tossing some no look passes and hitting a clutch three pointer late in the 2nd half. Something that Patriots did in this game that we haven't seen a lot of was driving to the lane, late in the game and getting to the free throw line. This really helped the Patriots close out the game and guys other than Campbell need to do it as well. John Vaughan had his lowest point total of the season scoring only 2. Vaughan has been generally consistent so far but lately he seems to be in a shooting funk. Hopefully a game against William and Mary coming up with fix that. Another continuing problem Mason has is the forward position next to Will Thomas. Birdsong didn't have a great game and managed only 3 points in 21 minutes. With Thomas getting doubled teamed this position gets freed up often but neither Birdsong nor Jesus Urbina have been able to profit from it. Urbina has great hustle in him but not much else, while Birdsong is still adjusting and learning the system. Monroe on the other hand continues to be useless and seems to get frustrated after every missed shot or foul. This position needs to get some stability or else the team chemistry is going to suffer more.


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