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Grinding it out

George Mason Basketball: Grinding it out

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Grinding it out

Coming into this game it was uncertain what role Folarin Campbell was going to have after being benched for all but two seconds in the second half of the ECU. Coach Larranaga started Campbell last night in Fairfax and as a result he contributed 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, including a three pointer with 1:57 to go that all but sealed the victory for Mason. The Patriots shot the ball well (48%) but still had their struggles getting to the free throw and line (60%) and connecting. At times it looked like the Patriots were shredding the Pirate's zone defense but then they would creep back in the game. Hampton's defensive play was able to force the Patriots to turnover the ball 11 times in the first half and yet they were still able to lead at by 8 at halftime. Hampton would not go away in the 2nd half and got a lot of second chance opportunities that help to keep them in the game. Will Thomas who failed to score double digits for the first time this season, seems to be the only forward we have that can rebound. Speaking of which, the Washington Post reports that Darryl Monroe might not return this season and could be redshirted, yikes. Forward Louis Birdsong, despite his nice scoring touch of late, is picking up more fouls than rebounds and failed to finish the game again last night fouling out when the Patriots needed his defense. It was also another night where Dre Smith did not see a shot opportunity he didn't like, shooting 1 for 6 from the field and 1 for 5 from the three point stripe. I really feel Smith's erratic shooting throws the Patriots off balance at times late in the game. You ever play NBA Live on Xbox or Playstation and create yourself in the game and then only use yourself to take every shot? Well that is what it is sometimes like to watch Dre Smith play and the difference is in real life you can't max out all your attributes to 99% if you have a bad shooting first half.

It was a less than impressive victory for the Patriots but it was a victory none the less against a team that did beat VCU. True it was not the Hampton Pirates of old but after an embarrassing loss on Sunday you would have thought that this game would have gotten ugly as the Patriots took out there aggressions at home. We did see improved defensive play but still way too many turnovers at key moments in the game. Luckily at half-time we got to forget for a few minutes about Mason's turnovers as the Doc Nix lookalike contest winner was announced. Pictured to the left you can see why I was not impressed with the kid's outfit but I do like the matching cane he pulled out. But seriously Mason, how about a "create a better mascot" promotional event, that would fill some seats.

Pictures from the


Blogger Trent said...

I'll be honest, I would like for Monroe to redshirt. I think he would have a much bigger impact on next year's team than this one. Granted, this team could make a deep March run with Monroe, but the dividends for a '08-09 are compelling. Really, would Monroe make the difference between a Tourney-qualifying and a Sweet 16 team? I'm not so sure.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Trent said...

Excuse me...'07-08. It's Friday night, right?!?

8:53 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

On one hand we could really use Monroe this year, it would take some pressure off of Will. Since our outside game has fallen apart defenses are collapsing on Will and he really can't do much. On the other hand we culd really use Monroe next year and this forces Birdsong and Vlad to mature faster which can only help us in the long run. None the less we have to be able to hit a shot if we're going to win. Free throw shooting has GOT to improve, less than 50% ias going to cost us games. The next 3 are against Florida Internalional, Liberty, and Ga St., that should be 3 wins to put us at 10-3 going into January. ECU just beat NC St. which makes the BB&T loss not looking so bad. Gotta win on the road though.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I want a Doc Nix bobble head! We've got the best pep band in the land, who else has a string section?

9:13 PM  

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