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George Mason Basketball

George Mason Basketball: April 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pearson shines in Jordan Classic

Ryan Pearson is continuing to prove what a solid recruiter Jim Larranaga has been to the Mason program. Pearson exploded at the Jordan Classic for 36 points and 15 rebounds as he grabbed co-MVP honors playing against guys who will likely be one-and-done in the college game next year before jumping to the NBA. You cannot always put a whole lot of stock in these all-star game showcases as it is rare that anyone comes out looking bad but the fact still remains that Pearson was able to standout amongst recruits that were all considered to be more "talented" than him. Put up these kind of numbers against guys who will be starring at Memphis and Arizona next season, yeah I'll take that. Dick Weiss of the Daily News gives Pearson his praise:
"Forward Ryan Pearson from Christ the King – who has signed with George Mason – scored 36 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. He was a deserving MVP for the City team. What a steal for Jim Larranaga. Had Pearson – the most under-recruited player in the city – still been available, he would have wound up on some Big East or ACC roster next year."
Has Larranaga found another diamond in the rough? We shall see, but I will tell you this, Pearson has the kind of game that will help us deal with the pain of losing work horse Will Thomas. Paired with Monroe, Pearson could do some damage early and hopefully be more aggressive on the glass than Birdsong. With two other freshman forwards coming in and Monroe returning from injury, the Patriots will finally have an abundance of depth up front.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Cornelius can't get here fast enough

Star Mason recruit Andre Cornelius had a terrific day yesterday for the U.S. Team in the Capitol Classic. Granted it was an all-star game showcase with no defense it was still impressive to witness Andre dish out some of those passes. One would almost have to wonder if Chris Fleming is going to be able to handle those no-look passes. His speed was also impressive and I cannot wait to see him blow by CAA opponents in Fairfax. If you missed it check out the clip below where scenes of Cornelius start at the 45 second mark, he is #10 on the red team. Don't ask about the music in the video, it scares me too.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thomas participates in Portsmouth Invitational

In what will probably be his last real basketball experience in the states, Will Thomas joined other college hoops standouts in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament this past week. Thomas had 17 points in the first game, and I wish I could be witnessing his last days of basketball in the U.S. before he undoubtedly ends up playing Pro ball over seas. Almost a sad realization that he will join the likes of Jai Lewis, Tony Skinn, and Lamar Butler playing ball in a distant far away land that is not the NBA. But then again playing basketball professionally any where for six figure salaries is nothing to complain about.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Future Freshman Spotlight

I have raved a lot recently about my man crush on incoming freshman Andre Cornelius but that's not to discount the rest of the class. Ryan Pearson, a 6-7 forward from NYC could be the star of the '08 class. Numerous scouting websites have been calling him a steal for the Patriots for awhile mentioning all the bigger conference teams that coveted him. Teams such as Memphis, Pittsburgh, and St. John's all had Pearson on their radar but considered him too small for the power forward position. Did I mention that Pearson is left-handed? So let's see a talented lefty forward who is shunned by the majors because he's not tall enough, can we say Will Thomas? This article on breaks down Pearson's game listing his strengths and weaknesses and after reading it you can find some strikingly similar features to Will Thomas' game. Pearson might get more playing time as a freshman compared to Cornelius simply due to his position. At the moment Mason is more deep at he guard position and frankly what returning forward from last season played consistently? The answer is none. Louis Birdsong is most likely going to start due his experience along with Vlad Moldoveanu or Chris Fleming, but when you consider how none these guys have a legitimate post game Pearson could have an opportunity to step in early. Don't forget big Darryl Monroe, how much will missing all of last season hurt his game, that will greatly determine the starting lineup. Unlike Vlad last season, Pearson has a game that will translate much easier from high school to Division I and Coach L's strategy. Although I do expect the abundance of experienced guards will have us seeing more 4-guard rotations next season which in no way is a bad thing as we saw the success it had at certain points during last season.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Larranaga Stays in Fairfax

Well the last few days have been rough with Mason fans going to bed each night wondering if our head coaching position would be vacant the next morning. But never fear as Jim Larranaga has rejected the offer from Providence and will remain in Fairfax. The administration at Mason finally pulled the trigger and gave the Big L a contract extension through 2015. All of us can enjoy a sigh of relief and not have to worry about losing a stellar recruiting class or demanding refunds on next year's season tickets. The D.C. Sports Bog points out that the Big East is now 0-2 in the coach-luring sweepstakes, oh joy of joys. So get ready for the scramble defense and hilarious pre-game talks to continue for the next 7 years.


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