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Going out in style

George Mason Basketball: Going out in style

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Going out in style

It was senior night, Folarin Campbell's 22nd birthday, Will Thomas broke the record for games started and a victory that earned the Patriots a first round bye in the CAA tournament and sole possession of second place in the standings. All around a pretty good night, capped off with an emphatic dunk by Campbell in the closing seconds. It was a typical home win for the Patriots, a close first half then an explosion of energy and three point shooting in the second, ending with four players in double figures. Basically the exact opposite of how Mason plays on the road. Campbell and Vaughan finished with 17 and 15 respectively and Big Willie Style added 10 with 8 rebounds. David Schneider of the Tribe almost spoiled senior night with his three point shooting but Mason was able to counter by getting to the free throw line all night. Campbell drove to the lane at will all night for the Patriots to have success in the CAA tourney, especially if Will Thomas is not having a huge night. It was great to see Cam Long add 12 points, he's basically been our entire bench production lately. Dre Smith came off the bench again and was held scoreless; that's a nice way of putting it. End of the season and Dre is posting goose eggs on the box score? That 10 for 10 NCAA record shooting display is really starting to seem like a distant memory isn't it? That being said I am still happy as long as two out of Long, Vaughan, and Smith trio are doing well.

After the way things have gone this season, second place in the standings doesn't seem so bad right now. That first round bye will do wonders for Mason, who typically plays poorly against the bottom feeders of the CAA. Having to play one less game against teams like that will help the Patriots if you ask me. And look the NY Times says "Mason is calmer now", which I think is funny because to most Mason die hards it's the exact opposite right now.


Blogger Christopher said...

Tough, grind it out win over William and Mary.

All year I have been wondering how in the hell William and Mary was playing so well in conferece. I got to see it first hand tonight. What they lack in athleticism they make up for by playing sound, fundamental basketball.

Their zone defenses gave us problems all night and they have some good shooters.

Huge game Saturday against Northeastern, win and we clinch the #2 seed in the CAA tournament, lose and we will likely be in a jumbled mess with ODU and UNCW.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Will needs to step it up, he isn't working hard on the offensive side of the ball the last two games and his rebounds are down.

I am kind of scared to have the #2 seed in the CAA tournament. That would most likely mean a Semi-Final match up with ODU or UNCW. ODU is on a roll right now and we don't match up well with UNCW.

That being said definitely want to see us beat Northeastern on Saturday. If we want to win the conference tournament we have to beat the best.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

I liked the NYT article.

One thing I didn't like was Larranaga saying we still recruit the same caliber player.

We should be recruiting far better players, considering we have a lot more to sell our school on.

12:01 PM  
Blogger neil said...

Vaughn played well, minimized turnovers, and we won. I guess when I stated our season has and will continue to rest on Vaughn playing well as our third option, if Long does what he does and Vaughn plays well, good things will happen. I much rather play ODU than UNCW in semi-finals of CAA tournament.

12:13 PM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

If, if, if bull frogs had wings they would not bump thier tales. Mason needs to take the ifs out of the picture and step up and play like they did against Dayton, and K-state. They use the ifs to guide them and they have not stepped up to play the consistant, fundamental basketball that they can play. If they play like champs they will be in the Big Dance. If they play like chumps then it is one and done in Richmond.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Brannman. know it's good for you. said...

Campbell was killing me with the TOs, but I guess he redeemed himself...somewhat. Our offense is poo. If you can even call it an offense. As for Smith...yeah, let's see more of Cam, please. He's a stud in the making. W&M - solid team. It's weird to see so much whiteness, but that fundamental stuff can work well for a lot of teams. I wish we played more fundamental b-ball (Campbell missed alley-oop to Thomas is an example - one of our 17 TOs). As for the Big Dance and the NY Times piece...I agree with mooky about our postseason prospects, and I thought the Times piece was unnecessary. Why don't they pick on a school like Duke that's SUPPOSED to be in the Final Four every year and isn't anymore? At least we were there two years ago. There's a lot of Mason haters out there...

HOWEVER, I do like our school in the national press. It can't hurt the program to be known as one of the greatest Cinderellas of all time in March Madness history.

2:00 PM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

The only thing about the article that I don't like is that everyone wants Mason to live in the past. They are not that same team and only a couple players were on that team. I also am sick of hearing "Living on a Freakin' Prayer" that was great for the time but for god sake lets find a new song for this team. Come on Doc that time is over lets move on. Pleas!!!!!!!!!!!!

6:24 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

I don't get this let's forget about the past stuff I keep hearing.

Why would I want to forget going to the Final Four? A place we wil likely never reach again? The Final Four gives our program a ton more credibility than we had before we went. We shouldn't bring that up to recruits? You think if we hadn't been to the Final Four that every single one of our games would have been televised this year?

Some of you guys act like it something we should be ashamed of, I just don't get it. We should milk everything we can out of that Final Four experience, I agree we have to keep winning and can't rest on that forever, but to completely ignore it would be idiotic.

Living on a Prayer was a song at games in 2001 my freshman year at Msaon, and was probably before then. The media made it seem like that song was something new during the Final Four run, the band has been doing that song forever.

11:10 AM  
Blogger neil said...

IF we get a consistent 3rd option (whether that is Vaughn with a good attitude, minimal turnovers, and driving to the basket or a combination of Vaughn and Long), we will be very tough to beat, regardless of what happens to bullfrogs' tails.
As for the past, I agree with Christopher. Also, things may have calmed down for Thomas and Campbell on campus, but the fans have been turning out in bigger numbers at home and on the road over the past 2 years. I just hope we can continue to do that over the course of the next couple of years after we lose Thomas and Campbell and have a group of good young players. And as far as Coach L getting the same players as he has always gotten, I don't remember too many classes where all 4 incoming freshman are 3 star recruits, with the best point guard and best power forward recruits in CAA according to Mason the next Gonzaga on the East Coast? It can happen.

11:26 AM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

I am not saying that we forget that the final four was a great conquest. But at the same time you can't compare this team and that one. I don't want to live in the past with the team I support. I want to move on to the future which I would hope will be brighter. If Coach L is not recruiting better players now than when they went to the Final Four then there is something wrong with that. Either they are not pushing that fact of the FF or they are timid in their recuiting and are settling for what ever was left.

And about the song, I was at Mason in the late 90's and continued to attend games in the 00's I don't remember hearing that song until the Final Four run. If I am wrong then so be it. But I know that when Coach L first came to Mason there was not even a "Green Machine" it was like a quintet. That being said that I know what the hell I am talking about, The F'n song needs to die.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Trent said...

I would love to see a record breakdown based on jersey color, i.e. white vs green vs yellow.

8:09 PM  
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