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Taking'em to school

George Mason Basketball: Taking'em to school

Friday, November 23, 2007

Taking'em to school

Oh how sweet it is to see Mason's experience take down another talent heavy but young squad. I figured I had to start this post with a sentence containing the word "experience" because the ESPN2 announcers probably said about 2345 times last night. It got to the point were my brother and I started to play a drinking game about it. I also love how every time Mason plays on ESPN some announcer has to say what "Folarin" means in Nigerian. But they were right, Kansas State's inexperience really showed in this game as the Patriots looked calm and cool throughout the whole game. Also I don't think it hurt that was some extra motivation involved here after Michael Beasley's name was being mentioned every five seconds. The Patriots are off to a 4-0 start for the first time in school history as Folarin Campbell, Will Thomas, and John Vaughan all had sensational games. That being said I can't anything away from that Beasley kid who despite having only six points at halftime, finished with 30 and 10. At times he was able to score at will, too bad no one else on that squad could score until it was too late.

Mason was able to shoot the ball very well and even went 8 for 17 from the three point line. The Patriots have not shot the ball this well all season and Vaughan seemed to be in the zone all night. Jordan Carter posted 10 points, 8 assists, and 9 rebounds and was able to set up a lot of three point chances for his fellow Patriots. Freshman Vlad Moldoveanu got his second start did a descent job guarding Beasley at certain points. Vlad is a star in the making, just you wait and see. I was also pleased the play of Cam Long, he has been handling the ball well and looks like a veteran out there. I had mentioned that long range shooting and getting to the foul line would be keys to this game but it was really Mason's defensive presence that took over the game. The Patriots had their share of miscues and sloppy play but unlike the Wildcats everyone on the floor for Mason was an offensive threat. It was a true test of veteran depth versus young talent. At many times during the game Beasley would simply just rely on his talents to score from anywhere on the floor and Mason could do nothing to stop him. But that didn't matter because Mason played better as a team, got everyone involved and played solid defensive. Sure it's not fun to watch at times but it's how Larranaga has been winning games for years.

Up next is Villanova, who had a little bit of trouble against UCF yesterday. I like our chances in this game but Scottie Reynolds could cause some problems. They are a much more polished team then Kansas State and have more experience. If Mason can play like they did last night they will be advancing to the championship game on Sunday.


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