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First cut is the deepest

George Mason Basketball: First cut is the deepest

Saturday, November 24, 2007

First cut is the deepest

Well the Patriots were unable to pull off consecutive "upsets" as they fell to Big East power Villanova yesterday. The loss is disappointing from the standpoint that if Mason played as sharp as they did against Kansas State they probably could have easily taken this one. But Mason fans should not feel down about this loss, for starters it was the the second game in less than 24 hours against a nationally ranked team. Scottie Reynolds was held in check by the Patriots in the first half but then took over in the second. Mason shot well from the field and from the three point stripe but 'Nova just shot better. They boasted a lineup that often featured Reynolds and two other point guards, all of whom could hit threes from anywhere on the court. An offense like that is very difficult to defend, especially when they are shooting over 40% from long range. Will Thomas and Folarin Campbell were again able to carry the offense, but Vaughan and Carter were held to unproductive games. Dre Smith picked up the slack early and was deadly from three point land but was unable to be a factor late in the game. Carter managed only 1 assist after dishing out 8 against Kansas State. Cam Long had his best game as a Patriot scoring 7 points and made some great plays on offense and defense as well. His three point play early in the game showed he is going be a playmaker this year once he gets more minutes. Fellow freshmen Vlad Moldoveanu (which for some reason announcers have an easier time pronouncing then Folarin) got the start again and didn't play as well as he did the previous night but was able to get some solid experience against a serious opponent. Larranaga was not afraid to use him, Long, and Tate in this game, which will pay dividends later in the season during conference play.

Next up is South Carolina on Sunday at 4:30, who might not be the cream of the crop in the SEC but are a squad that gave a very good NC State team a run for it's money. It's hard to imagine but Mason actually has a small size advantage over this team. Will Thomas should be able to get back on track and dominate in this game. The Gamecocks are a very proficient three point shooting team and the Patriots will have to play some better perimeter defense then they did last night.


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