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The Hen is mightier then the Patriot

George Mason Basketball: The Hen is mightier then the Patriot

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Hen is mightier then the Patriot

Well they really almost had me this time. A 19 point lead made me think the Mason boys had their swagger back for at least one game. Then something happened: the second half. This is really starting to become an issue and I feel like I am writing the same post game comments every week. Who have thought Mason would blow a game to a team that actually shoots free throws worse then them. The Patriots play a great first half, shooting over 50% then follow it up with dumb fundamental errors that cause them to turnover the ball constantly. Why is it that Mason looked like they had never seen a full court press before? I've never seen a team get back into the game so easily. Many of Delaware's points during their run in the second half were basically gift wrapped by Mason ball handlers. Will Thomas seemed to have has way in the first half and then as usual was a none factor for a large portion of the second half, sound familiar? Delaware was not even double teaming Thomas much until late in the game. Adding more insult to injury was Dre Smith sparingly playing due to an ankle injury in practice, which forced guys like Campbell (8 turnovers) and Birdsong into more playing time despite playing poorly. Smith's hot hands from behind the arch really could have made a difference in the second half. Cam Long started in his place and made a little too many of those "freshman mistakes". At what point is Larranaga to blame for this? That's a question I don't want to answer, but 15 turnovers in the second half, where is the discipline?!? I will tell you one thing though Delaware has got a player in Marc Egerson, the guy was clutch and on all night. Watch the highlights here, if you dare. Get in the line kids because the roller coaster season of the CAA has only just begun.


Blogger Brannman. know it's good for you. said...

You sound as frustrated as I am. This season is killing always happens to Mason...tons of hype for a good season, and we suck ass when it matters. Just wondering...does Larranaga still know what he's doing, or is it the guys on the floor not executing? And at this point, I think I'd rather have Cam Long in there when the game matters instead of inconsistent and never-living-up-to-his ability Campbell.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Yeah, I was listening to the game and when I heard we were up 19 points, I thought "how could we blow that lead?". Then it happened.

Like I said prior, we seem to lose steam after the second half. There's a dry spell which we can't seem to get out of. I think that's to blame on all the coaches, because when it happens our defense and offense seems to die off.

I'd also hope the players were coached into how to handle a full court press -- but alas.

I'm just beside myself, cause my hopes were really high this season. At least Cam Long will eventually be very good, and its nice to see he's getting some experience. Vlad was "sick" -- so I don't know why he was even put in.

Oh well, I digress.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

I love George Mason basketball but this team is getting increasingly frustrating to watch and support.

Why does it seem like every season we are horrific at free throw shooting? Can we please devote an entire practice to just shooting free throws? Why aren't the guys working on this in the off season? If it was just one guy on our team that would be one thing but our WHOLE team is horrible at them.

This trend of blowing leads is also very disturbing. I'm not going to go as far as saying Larranaga doesn't know what he is doing but something needs to change because right now we aren't going to sniff the NIT, much less the NCAA tournament.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Ross Williams said...

We are falling into the same pattern as last year where we blow the first half lead and lose to inferior teams. I think this is a good team that has the potential to go far, but they need to decide as a team if they really want success. There was no excuse for the number of second half turnovers.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Bobnoxious said...

Yeah, yeah...we're all frustrated. I guess going to the Final Four makes people forget the MANY disappointing seasons we've had to endure. Case in point from Bannman, "it always happens to Mason"...are you joking? I hope so, as this team has already beaten 2 top 25 teams in KSU and Dayton. Be happy, hope for the best, show your pride for GMU at every turn and know they feel much worse about their collapse than anyone blogging about how the season is "killing them".

This team will be in the NCAA this year and has a bright future ahead. I would much rather have this be a turning point for the rest of the season than have it happen during the CAA tourney!

5:53 PM  
Blogger Farmdog said...

Point taken - but still the team looks run down in the 2nd half - in those early season games we had a rotation and everyone was getting quality minutes - you can't tell me that playing against the teams in that tourney was easier then playing the CAA chumps that we have played to date

6:04 PM  
Blogger Bobnoxious said...

Farmdog, you are absolutely right. In the beginning of the season the team was playing fundamentally sound bball, so what has changed? Ever since the meltdown at Kent State we haven't really gotten back to early season form. Has GMU gotten tougher academically putting additional burden on the athletes? Has Larranaga forgotten how the team won early on? The answer to both questions is obviously NO, the team isn't where you, I or many other people thought it would be by now but that doesn't mean they are stuck in this rut. Still have a long way to go in the CAA and spotting the Blue Hens a 2 game lead is really of no consequence...YET. If we continue to look confused, tired and slow in the 2nd half of games I may have to change my tune.

6:11 PM  
Blogger TREX_360 said...

Don't forget - that injuries have someimpact with the slide - losing JC for several weeks and last night DRE. JC is probably just getting back in stride - and last night was not the night to be without Dre (yeah he played a few minutes but not his norm).

7:34 PM  
Blogger Brannman. know it's good for you. said...'s brannman, not bannman. and YES, i do remember the bad years quite well, since i was a student at mason as an undergrad and grad from 1990-99. i KNOW times are a lot better now, but a team still should NOT lose a 19 pt. lead, no matter what the excuse. larranaga is still a fine, damn good coach and guy, and i'd rather have no other guy in charge. but, he needs to right this ship ASAP, because it's nice to do well when it's not expected (like the FF run), but it's horrible to stink when you're not supposed to. injuries...yeah...bad for us...but, all teams have injuries.

Still, I agree with you - it's early, so many of us just need to relax...

7:31 AM  
Blogger Bobnoxious said...

Brannman(sorry for the error), nice to see someone with a little perspective. I was at Mason during some pretty lean years but help to start a movement of support for the team in 1987. We had Kenny Sanders at the time and were put on the map with his rebounding prowess. This team has a nice mix of young and seasoned players that could gel into something special by years end. I do expect more out of Folarin and Carter maybe to a fault. The important thing is to understand the strides the program has made and make sure the home court advantage is huge for us. We still haven't lost at home and that will bode well when we start winning big on the road. Time will tell, but I like you think we fans need to show continued unconditional support for our team and hope they turn this loss into a positive for upcoming road games.


11:10 AM  
Blogger Brannman. know it's good for you. said...

Amen, Bob. You're right...positive, positive, positive...and we do kick butt at home. We need to continue that trend tomorrow, and against two of the supposedly toughest teams in the CAA, as we're told - ODU and VCU - the next couple weeks.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

I don't mean to sound like I don't support the team. Basically I use this blog to vent and after that loss to Delaware I needed a place to vent.

While not a fan since 1987 (I was only 4 years old), I have been a fan of the since my freshman year at Mason in 2001. I went to the home games starting then, and I took great pride in knowing I cared about and followed the team long before their Final Four run.

If we lose at home tomorrow to Northeastern I will definitely be back on here venting, :)

Go Mason.

2:42 PM  

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