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George Mason Basketball

George Mason Basketball: October 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cam Long poised for big year

Don't be surprised if Cam Long is this year's team MVP. The sophomore showed flashes of brilliance and poise at times last season and looks to build on that this year. It's a shock to no one that he will be asked to step up by his coach and teammates this year and take over the duties of Folarin Campbell.
“What we’ve told Cam now is (he’s) got to step up and take Folarin’s job,” said Larranaga, entering his 12th season in Fairfax. “You’ve got to score, you’ve got to rebound, you’ve got to get assists, steals, you’ve got to defend. You’ve got to contribute in a lot of different ways and be a team leader even though you’re just a sophomore.”
Those are some pretty big shoes to fill for Long and the rest of this young Patriots squad. It's still John Vaughan and Dre Smith's team but leadership will be given by Long who ended the season averaging about 18 minutes a game. His progression could be the difference between Mason fighting for an NCAA or NIT bid.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

First Practice

Here's a YouTube of the Patriots first practice of the season. You gotta love the passion from Dre Smith!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mason picked 4th in the CAA

Today is media day in DC for the CAA and the ball is already rolling as VCU was picked to win the conference while the Patriots came in at #4. No shocker there, Eric Maynor is a senior and two other starters return for the Rams. CAA media day is more interactive then ever apparently, which isn't hard because it was never interactive with the fans at all! Hurry and send in your questions to Coach Larranaga now.

Side note: Per, it seems Mason will have 14 televised games this season, with the Liberty game being on "Flames TV", whatever the hell that is.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mason gets it's Big Man

Great weekend for the Patriots on the recruiting front as they picked up two signees for the class of 2009 including 6'8" center Johnnie Williams (pictured) of Memphis, Tennessee. Mason also picked up a verbal from 6'5" small forward Luke Hancock of Chatham, VA. Williams had been considering Alabama, Oklahoma State and Boston College. Both are key pickups to round out the class of 2009 with Williams being that big man Mason needs now that the Jai Lewis - Will Thomas era is officially over and Monroe is in his last season of eligibility. Williams has been listed as much as 230 lbs on some recruiting websites, which is definitely a plus for an incoming freshman at the forward/center position. For most mid-major schools getting quality guards is not a problem but getting skilled big men with size and atheltism can be difficult and that is why this commitment is so huge for the Patriots. Mason has already been noted as having the best incoming freshman class of 2008 in the CAA and adding Williams to that mix next season could possibly have fans seeing the most talented squad they have seen in Fairfax in awhile.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Madness Begins

Didn't go to Midnight Madness last night but I heard the freshmen looked great and Coach L could not resist mentioning about the US News report on Mason being the #1 up and coming University. I so could have called that, he loves the stats rankings.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Where's the Madness?

It's that time of year again, Midnight (9:30pm) Madness! Call me crazy but it's difficult for me to get excited about this now that I am an alumni. Being a recent grad, last year's was the first I attended while sober and I was pretty damn bored. What do Indian belly dancers have to do with college basketball? At least some schools find loop holes and get creative with it and then there's Kentucky who I guess can do whatever they want. It's a glorified pep rally that gets fans all hyper for Randolph Macon? I'd much rather have something like this before the first home game which isn't against a middle school jv team.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Larranaga building on success

Jeff Goodman, author of the College Hoop Blog: Good N' Plenty, writes today about Larranaga using the success of the Patriots to expand his recruiting beyond the DC Metro area. This is the first year in a long time that the Patriots incoming freshman class doesn't have a local scholarship player. Interesting quote from Coach L:
"We look wildly good and wildly bad at times,” Larranaga said of preseason workouts. “But we’ve got a lot of talent.”
Should be a fun season.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Big Willie in Belgium

Seems like Will Thomas is picking up the Euro game pretty easily so far. In his first game, which his team won, he had 11 points and 11 boards in 29 minutes. It's much easier for an American forward to produce in the Euro leagues than it is for an American guard but still an impressive showing against some Euro vets. Thomas has great fundamentals and that "old school" style of play that Euro coaches love and will definitely help him across the seas. It would be great if he could fine tune his skills even more and get a second look at an NBA career. Am I just dreaming?

Thanks to everyone that sent this in.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Who is the greatest Cinderella of all-time?

EA Sports is running a little poll asking that very question. Mason along with some other historic teams are listed for voting.
"Who is the greatest Cinderella of all-time?

You tell us! Vote for which underdog you feel made the strongest run in the NCAA Tournament and we'll include them in NCAA Basketball 09 as the 64th team in an all-new tournament we have in this year's game, consisting of the greatest teams of all time (more to come on that later.) Vote as many times as you want by clicking on a team logo. We'll announce the winner with the release of our full field of 64 teams."
I would so buy this game if I could play as Jai Lewis just one more time without having to play the '06 version. So keep voting! And don't forget Midnight Madness is only 14 days away.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Final Four 2006 ring for sale on eBay

Two "George Mason Final Four 2006 Championship" rings are listed on eBay currently. One here and another here. In the description the seller claims to have gotten them from a pawn shop in Virginia and that they are both from the same player. So naturally I'm thinking Tony Skinn. Yet if you look at the engravings the name on each ring reads "Scherrens". No such player had a last name of Scherrens during the 2005-2006 season. But there is a Maurice Sherrens at George Mason and he happens to be the Senior Vice President. Why would he sell the rings, it's not like he doesn't enjoy sports. And it's not like he needed the money. Very interesting.

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