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Previewing Vermont...

George Mason Basketball: Previewing Vermont...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Previewing Vermont...

So finally we are only a mere 27 hours away from the start of another George Mason basketball season. Expectations might not be as high this year and there certainly are a lot of question marks on this squad, but doesn't that just make it more fun to watch? First up for Mason on the road will be the Vermont Catamounts from the American East conference. A mid-major team usually in contention for the American East auto-bid stumbled a little last season due to injuries and basically had a different starting lineup each week. This season they expected to be back atop of their conference and it all starts with junior forward standout Marqus Blakely. Blakely was conference and defensive player of the year (19 ppg, 11 rpg, 2.7 bpg) despite being hobbled with ankle problems all season. Blakely dominated the frontcourt of UNCW last season with 19 points and 19 rebounds and could pose serious trouble for Darryl Monroe and Louis Birdsong. Hopefully the Patriots will prevent him doing this. Another player to watch for the Catamounts is Michigan State transfer Maurice Joseph who is returning from offseason shoulder surgery and could be an excellent complement to Blakely. Point guard Mike Trimboli was second on the team in scoring last season but struggled with turnovers, something Larranaga will be looking to exploit. The Patriots didn't look to hot exploiting anything against Randolph-Macon and their lack of perimeter defense was well, awful.

The Patriots will win the game if:

...they limit everyone else besides Blakely and create turnovers for their faster, more athletic backcourt. I don't see the Patriots stopping Blakely in the low-post. It's questionable how recovered and in shape Monroe is from missing all of last season, while Birdsong and Fleming are prone to foul trouble against players like Blakely. The speed and athletisim of guards John Vaughan, Dre Smith and Cam Long will be Mason's strength all season long and these guys need to get going early.

The game will get ugly for the Patriots if:

...their forwards get into early foul trouble and give up too many uncontested three-pointers. Blakely is probably going to have a big game, but the Patriots can't make his day easier by letting his teammates drain three's all day. Also it will be important to keep what little experienced forwards the team has in the game and not fouled out on the bench. Monroe is the best rebounder on the team and will have a difficult time vying against Blakely on the boards, it's very important he stays out of foul trouble late.



Blogger Dave said...

This site has some out of market college basketball games every day. Doesn't have tomorrow's schedule up yet but might be worth a look.

Sometimes the game is on the list but it won't connect. It is hit and miss.

12:11 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

Mason was awful on the road last year, don't expect much to change this year.

Chalking this one up as a loss, we will recover against Brown on Monday.

4:34 PM  
Blogger b-spot50 said...

Paris Bennet recruiting video on espn

4:44 PM  

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