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George Mason Basketball

George Mason Basketball: January 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

On the road again...

The Patriots hit the road again tomorrow to face ODU in Norfolk; where they have not been victorious in about five years. We will see the return of John Vaughan, but in what capacity? I wouldn't expect to see him be much of a factor in this one as he will have to knock off some rust. Two games missing action can seem like a lifetime once conference play kicks into full gear. Vaughan had been averaging over 30 minutes of play before the injury; he most likely won't be on the court for more than 25 in this one. Isaiah Tate and Andre Cornelius have shown some promise filling in for him but on the road they have struggled. Facing ODU though, play in the front court will be more of an issue than the backcourt. The Monarch's streaky play has been their undoing this year, especially with Gerald Lee only recording single digits against UNCW and Northeastern at home just last week. On the upside for the Monarchs they do led the conference in rebounding margin and assist-to-turnover ratio. Niether was an issue for the Patriots when these teams played in Fairfax earlier in the month but don't expect to see that same Monarchs team tomorrow night. Lately, Mason and ODU have been splitting the season series with both teams playing very well at home. I kinda hope we continue to see more of Mike Morrison in this one as he has been contributing a lot lately on both sides. I also would not be surprised to see Isaiah Tate get the start and have Vaughan come off the bench.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reserves shine, Mason routs Delaware

Mason bounced back last night at home against Delaware. The Patriots continued their unbeaten streak at home and ended their two-game skid. Reserve players had a huge role last night as Isaiah Tate had career highs and Michael Morrison ignited the Patriots early with 14 points. Dre Smith had a couple of great steals that he converted into layups and Cam Long had his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Mason came out flat to start the game and was down by as much as nine while Delaware's offense looked very much on point. After half-time though Mason's defense looked a to have a lot more fire and they basically didn't get the Hen's any looks. Darryl Monroe's rebounding on both ends helped the Patriots take control in the second half. Every starter had a steal which is something you can't say most nights for any team. The team obviously still misses John Vaughan's play on both ends of the court but it was interesting to see who would step up in his absence. We have really seen Cam Long's best lately and it's been a nice little preview of what next year's team will look like. Andre Cornelius got another start and seemed to look a lot more comfortable handling the ball. The coaches have to be pleased with Isaiah Tate's performance despite looking sloppy at times earlier in the year. He will need to step again Saturday at ODU even with Vaughan likely returning. Vaughan's return will hopefully end another iffy defensive start for Mason and hopefully improve their assist-to-turnover ratio which hasn't been great lately. ODU, like Mason is tough at home and being down early like last night could really be their doom.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mason to play in Ireland?

Ever dreamed of visiting Ireland and watching the Patriots play there? Well it might just happen. Per The Irish Times:
"Basketball Ireland are in discussions with US sports network ESPN to host an in-season US college’s tournament in Ireland in 2010, writes Gavin Cummisky. The coach of George Mason Patriots, Jim Larranaga, father of Ireland head coach Jay, stated an interest in bringing his university over to play in such a competition or take part in the Emerald Hoops competition.

“ESPN were very interested,” said Jay Larranaga. “If that were the case I think my Dad would really want to do one or the other; either play in the Emerald Hoops or an in-season tournament if ESPN get the backing to televise it in the US, which is what they want to do.”

The move requires a change in NCAA rules, for teams playing abroad, while Basketball Ireland would require funding from the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism"
Kind of interesting. I don't know how it would feasible with academic schedules and all to get this done, maybe it would be an early season tournament or something. You know the NCAA will bend over backwards on their rules and regulations in order to get their "product" more coverage around the globe. I mean hey Mason already has green uniforms, this thing markets itself!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Mason going Green Tuesday Night

Get ready for some "Green night basketball", according to GMU athletics, for this Tuesday night as Mason hosts Delaware. Mason is looking to bounce back after suffering two straight CAA losses. The two losses hurt but you can't knock the fight the Patriots have shown this past week. John Vaughan won't be playing as Coach L stated in the post game after the VCU game Saturday. I feel much better about Andre Cornelius and Isaiah Tate's extended minutes if it's at the Patriot Center. This Delaware team on paper doesn't look stellar but you can't overlook the talent on that roster with guys like Brian Johnson and Marc Egerson (former Georgetown player) and let's not forget they did take VCU by surprise early this year. They have three guys averaging 13 or more PPG, so scoring points hasn't been the problem this year. Mason will have to take care of the ball which has been a bit of an issue lately and Vaughan being out doesn't help that. Let's hope the Patriots don't look like a deer in head-lights again when the opposing team starts using a full-court press. Also, another weak showing from Louis Birdsong wouldn't help either as he was a non-factor Saturday. Cam Long seems to be establishing himself a solid leader on this squad and best of him is yet to come. Dre Smith has also been playing very well as of late but on Saturday the team really needed his outside shooting which was thwarted by the Rams defensive pressure. I would hope to see more screens run for him or something because creating shots are not his thing. And the effects of Dre knocking down three's really opens up everything and allows guys like Cam Long to drive the lane and create for others.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Without Vaughan, Mason can't handle VCU

First off, an exciting game to watch. Some great basketball on display Saturday afternoon, but it became obivous early on that Mason would have it's struggles while missing their leader John Vaughan. Cornelius started in Vaughan's absence and made way too many mistakes handling the ball. Luckily Cam Long had another stellar performance leading Mason with 24 points, the most by a Patriot this season. Long was making shots and driving to the basket left and right to keep the Patriots in this one, and even had a dunk that was on Sportscenter's highlights top plays last night.

He got help from Dre Smith, who connected on 4-of-4 shooting from three-point territory but was literally taken out of the game by the Rams defense in the second half. I didn't see many screens for Smith in the second half and that's just puzzling. Long didn't get help from Louis Birdsong who ended up fouling out with zero points. Darryl Monroe just couldn't get started on the low post, despite the Ram's Larry Sanders being in early foul trouble. Ryan Pearson had a great first half but was unable to keep it going in the 2nd. Isaiah Tate played pretty well and made too big three-pointers late in the 2nd. Credit Ram's coach Anthony Grant for making the proper adjustments at halftime to thwart the Patriots though. The simple fact remained that Mason had no answer for Eric Maynor who finished with 28. Another game where the Patriots could not slow down the other team's star player and it hurt them. It also didn't help that Mason gave the VCU 14 free-throws in the first half with some sloppy defensive play.

You can view the post-game interviews at the end of the video from the VCU Ram Nation blog here. In the interview Coach L state's that John Vaughan won't be playing Tuesday against Delaware.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Previewing VCU...

Things don't get any easier for the Patriots as they face the VCU Rams on ESPN 2 this Saturday in Richmond. John Vaughan is out, but would sure like to play if it was up to him. The Patriots almost escaped Boston with a win at Northeastern but now find themselves in a three-way tie for 1st in the CAA. Forget the at-large talk, I just want to see this squad beat a solid team on the road. Beating VCU on the road would really give this team confidence heading into the end of their CAA slate and into the conference tourney in March. Mason had trouble keeping Matt Janning from scoring and now they have the task of taking on the CAA's leading scorer in Eric Maynor and without one of their best defenders. It will be interesting to see what Larranaga does personnel wise with Vaughan being out. Will we see more Andre Cornelius or will he go with a three-forward lineup using more of Ryan Pearson. A three-guard lineup would be more ideal against this very athletic VCU squad, so we could see more Isaiah Tate. In the front court Mason will be busy trying to deal with the Ram's Larry Sanders. The standout sophomore has shown flashes of brilliance on both ends of the court. He picked up five blocks last Wednesday against Georgia State and has been averaging around three per contest. Sander's aggressiveness does get him into foul trouble and the Rams aren't that deep so Mason will have to establish a low post game in order to come out victorious. Maynor is going to score his 20 but limiting him from setting up his teammates all night long will be the task at hand.

From more in-depth analysis I had a little Q&A session from the guys over at the VCU Ram Nation blog:

Eric Maynor is an exciting player to watch and I think he's the best player in the CAA because he makes the guys around him better. How much of that can be attributed to the way young guys Larry Sanders and Joey Rodriguez have progressed this year?

Maynor is an exciting and explosive player more importantly Maynor is a true point guard. There is no doubt that he makes his teammates better. A lot of that comes on the court but Sanders has said that Maynor stays in his ear by telling him that if he goes out and attacks it gives VCU a better chance of walking away with a win. I'd hate to say this because it seems like I'm not giving Rodriguez his credit but having Maynor on the court helps out Rodriguez because Maynor draws a double team a lot of the time which allows Rodriguez to make a play.

Speaking of Larry Sanders, how big of a factor do you think he will have in the game against the Patriots this Saturday?

Now that Sanders understands his role on this team by being our big man and playing aggressively, I think he could possibly be the deciding factor against GMU. Maynor comes as no surprise to any team in the conference. Coaches understand (successful or not) what needs to be done to contain Maynor. Sanders is a little different. Sanders at the start of the season is polar opposite of what we see from him now. If Sanders can play his role and attack the basket on offense and defense VCU stands a strong chance to beat GMU. It's hard to contain that height and that insane wingspan.

What would you say has been the Ram's biggest strength this season?

Larry Sanders. Hands down, Sanders. He is almost averaging a double double. Maynor of course is the team leader but teams are understanding how to defend him. Maynor will still drop 18-30 pts on any given night but what has helped us out as a young team has been the presence in the post by Sanders. Every coach in the post game pressers has made comments on how Sanders has affected their style of play whether its from full court pressure to defending the paint.

The Patriots have been successful this season largely because of their defensive efforts, what do you think the Rams will do to counter that? Three-point shooting? Going inside more? Speed the tempo?

The Rams will counter with their full court pressure. Coach Anthony Grant loves to play 94 feet both ways. I expect for this to be a low scoring game with plenty of defense by both teams. VCU runs hot and cold on any given night when it comes to 3 pt %. Barring any foul trouble, I expect to see a lot of points in the paint by Sanders and our other Forward, Kirill Pishchalnikov.

Who could be an X-factor in this game for the Rams?

Freshman, Bradford Burgess. He is a freshman from the Richmond area that has started every game this season. He has hit big shots when the team has needed them. Coach Grant talks about Burgess' high basketball IQ and it shows every game. Burgess has already notched 2 CAA rookie of the week in his freshman year.

What would the Patriots need to do to win this game?

In order for GMU to take this road game, they need to contain Maynor and keep him from driving to the rim. He has an uncanny knack to do whatever it takes late in the game to get the win. Also, I think Coach L knows that he needs to have a big body with coordination on Sanders. If Maynor drops 22 and Sanders drops 15, GMU doesn't stand a good chance. So the key for the Patriots will be to stop Maynor and Sanders also while limiting Rodriguez and Burgess....that or either bring Gunston back and get him to Richmond on Saturday.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vaughan Collaspes, Patriots lose

UPDATE 12:45 pm: ESPN is reporting that Vaughan will be out at least a week:
"Vaughan was released from Beth Israel Hospital in Boston early Thursday morning after a CT scan came back negative. Larranaga and Vaughan were scheduled to fly back to Virginia later in the day; George Mason's staff and players flew home earlier in the morning for the first day of classes."
It seems John Vaughan will be fine. Andy Katz has an update on him here. For those we didn't see the game here is the official word from
"Vaughan, who had 19 points to lead Mason on Wednesday night, took a blow to the head with 2:16 to play as the teams fought for a rebound. On the play, Northeastern's Nkem Ojougboh was fouled. Vaughan was on the floor briefly before being helped to his feet by his teammates. At the other end, Ojougboh made his first free throw before Vaughan collapsed in the lane. After more than 15 minutes, Vaughan, who regained consciousness while on the court, was taken to the hospital to be evaluated."
A scary scene to watch and it looked to me ask if he was having the after effects of a severe concussion, which is nothing to take lightly. More to follow later today.


As for the game, it was one that actually came down to the last second with the Patriots failing to get a shot off for the win. John Vaughan and Cam Long were making shots to keep the Patriots in it the entire game. In the first half it was obvious that Mason was trying to go inside to score but they had little success and Northeastern jumped out to an early lead. There was a lot less turnovers in this game than was expected and the Huskies actually committed more than the Patriots. Both teams shot the ball well but had trouble getting open looks. Cam Long seemed to hit every shot he took but kind of disappeared late in the 2nd half. Dre Smith, who along with Vaughan didn't start because of missing a team meal, only mustered one three-pointer. His absence in the offense really showed. Darryl Monroe never really got started, even after Northeastern's Manny Adako got into foul trouble early. Adako finished with only 9 but scored the winning points for his squad. Mason could not stop Matt Janning who finished well over his average by scoring 20. It was not one of the Patriots best defensive efforts but Huskies played very well and never let the Patriot's runs take over the lead. Late the game the TV broadcasters pointed out that the Patriots had 0 fast break points and they may have ended up with 2 or 4; but I don't understand why they didn't try to run and push the tempo. Northeastern was bigger and slower and it could have been a real advantage for Mason. And I love the balanced attack the Patriots are sporting but not when it keeps guys like Cam Long from taking more shots. The guy had the hot hand last night and Patriots weren't running plays for him.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday links...

Some links for you today if your like me and stuck at work watching the inauguration while pretending to do actual work.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Previewing Northeastern...

The Patriots travel to Boston on Wednesday to face a gritty Northeastern squad battling for CAA supremacy. The Huskies are not scoring juggernaunts and have rallied off strong defensive play in their success this season. They have the best turnover margin in the conference and have two players averaging nearly two steals a contest. Matt Janning is one of them and he leads the Huskies again this year a junior. There is no shortage of size on this squad as no starters are under 6-4. Unlike most other mid-major teams they sport a more tradition lineup; a center, two forwards, and two guards, as opposed to most of the three-guard lineups you will see in the CAA. Forward Manny Adako is a legit post player, who recently dropped 24 on Towson and gave Will Thomas trouble last year at Matthews Arena. Chaisson Allen joins Janning in the back court and seems to be steadily improving after his CAA all-freshman team honors last year. Allen isn't a terrific shooter but at 6-5 he could cause some problems in the back court for the Patriots.

This will no doubt be a low scoring contest with both teams playing excellent defense lately. The key for Mason will be to use their speed and athleticism at the guard spots to create more scoring opportunities. I would hope to see less wild three-point attempts and more of guys like Dre Smith and Cam Long driving to the basket. High-scoring affairs haven't favored the Huskies this season and if these teams start trading baskets the Patriots could run away with it. I highly doubt that will happen but I wouldn't be surprised to see Coach L try to push the tempo early. Neither team is deep so Pearson and Cornelius providing a spark off the bench could be a huge factor. Another big factor could be turnovers, both teams love to ball-hawk and whoever turns over the ball the least could come out the winner.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

View from the top

The Patriots keep their winning streak alive in the CAA and now currently sit alone at the top of the standings with a victory over JMU. Mason never trailed in this one and used strong runs at the beginning of each half to take control. They held the Dukes to an unimpressive shooting day without their starting PG Devon Moore. Their offense seemed to be very out of sync with his absence and they even struggled from the free-throw line. Louis Birdsong ended his scoring rut by scoring 15 and Ryan Pearson added 13, many off offensive rebounds. I had stated in my preview that these two guys would be the x-factors and they definitely seemed to a problem for the Dukes to contain. Darryl Monroe drew a lot of double-teams but was able to capitalize off it by setting up great low-post assists. Some questionable fouls kept freshman Michael Morrison from getting more minutes but he did look strong in the post and doesn't seem to be afraid to mix it up down low. Dre Smith and John Vaughan had relatively quiet nights offensively only hitting two three-pointers between the two of them. Cam Long continued to run the floor well and adding scoring when the Patriots needed it. His poise is really starting to help the offense run more smoothly. Andre Cornelius was another reason the offense was clicking yesterday as he finished up with 5 points and 5 assists. The Patriots offense seemed to run a lot schemes where the forwards were atop the key and the guards were down low attempting to post up. Cam Long and Dre Smith did this often yesterday and that flexibility on offense helped Mason keep the Dukes guessing on defense.

Mason did a great job defensively and held leading scoring Juwann James in check for most of the game. Yesterday was the fifth consecutive game the Patriots have held an opponent to under 60 points. They have kept numerous teams under 40% shooting from the field and they don't let teams get into any kind of rhythmn on offense even after big shots. If the Patriots turn the ball over and let the other team score off, they don't sit back and sulk they just keep on rolling. A lot of college teams are not disciplined that well and really it has been the reason the Patriots haven't had trouble closing out games this year.

Next up for Mason is a showdown at Northeastern on Wednesday. The Huskies are coming off a loss to Hofstra and this will be the Patriots toughest CAA road game so far. This next game along with the VCU game next Saturday will be the Patriots most important stretch of the season.

pictures from


Friday, January 16, 2009

Previewing JMU...

The Patriots are rolling so far but can they keep the pace against a very confident James Madison squad? The Mason-Madison rivalry is old and while the Patriots have been dominating lately let me say that this isn't your father's Dukes squad. Their young talent is finally starting to mature and they have already put up some impressive road wins so far. Kathy Orton of the WaPo seems to think this is a "trap" game. But if you think Coach L's players are looking past any team in the CAA, then you don't know Coach L's style. Especially after the battle W&M gave the Patriots on Wednesday night it would be hard to think that they would look past any opponent from here on out.

JMU has had no trouble putting up points this year and has the second best FG% in the conference. I'd say their offensive fire-power is pretty even with Mason's but their defense is another story. Mason's defensive effort will have to be the difference if they want to win this one. If it comes down to free-throws the Patriots could be in trouble as JMU leads the CAA in that territory. They have no trouble getting to the line and have three players shooting over 80% from there. Like the Patriots, they do not turn the ball over much but have had trouble rebounding. They rank dead last in offensive rebounds in the CAA. Can Pearson, Monroe, and Birdsong capitalize on this?

The Dukes are led by Juwann James and Kyle Swantson who have been shooting extremely well so far this year. James doesn't even start but he leads the team in scoring despite playing only about 25 minutes a game. His efforts off the bench and the surprise play of freshman Devon Moore have been the backbone to the Dukes early success. Speaking of PG Devon Moore, a JMU blogger thinks he might not be able to go Saturday. Moore's absence would be a great advantage for the Patriots as he has been running the floor so far this season for the Dukes. He averaged 10.3 pts and 5 assists in three games last week as CAA rookie of the week. They will match-up pretty well with the Patriots but I think Louis Birdsong and Ryan Pearson could be the x-factors in this one. Monroe will no doubt be getting a lot of attention and if Pearson and Birdsong can score down low effectively the Dukes might not have an answer. My hope is that the Patriots defense forces the tempo to be more of a grind-it-out kind of game; something the Dukes aren't built for.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

W&M post game media

pictures from Daily Press


From Washington Post:

Coach L: "The Tribe really move without the ball so well,". They read the defender. I know there were times our guys thought they had them covered and, boom, they got a layup."

Cam Long: "That's one team that uses the shot clock completely. As soon as you rest, that's the time they're going to get the ball to that person and he's going to score."

From Daily Press:

Coach L: In Tuesday's practice, Larranaga had his scout team, the Green squad, simulate the Tribe's offense, a blend of motion and backdoor cuts that drains time from the shot clock and requires disciplined help defense.

"They did such a good job that they actually won the game. I think that made our Gold team, the starters, realize, 'Man, this is a tough offense to defend. We better be ready.' "

Dre Smith: "To start off 6-0 in the CAA is a big accomplishment, because every night you've got to bring it. All the teams are good."


Patriots keep on rolling

The Patriots keep their winning streak alive in the CAA last night with a close win at Kaplan Arena. They matched the team's best start in school history that dates back to 1983, but it didn't come easy. W&M's complex offense and zone defense gave Mason problems all night, especially the front court. Ryan Pearson (playing ill) and Louis Birdsong struggled to contribute much on the offensive end. Darryl Monroe missed another double-double by one rebound but still managed 12 points despite many double teams. The first couple of minutes of play was some ugly basketball but the Patriots eventually snapped out of it in the second half. The Tribe out rebounded the Patriots and were able to force a lot of turnovers, something many other opponents haven't had success with. Another well balanced attack from Mason helped them get through this one, with Dre Smith leading the way connecting on four three-pointers. Dre has seemed a lot less erratic lately and has started to make big shots when the team is down. John Vaughan continued to be solid from the outside and made some key free-throws at the games end to seal the victory. Cam Long is leading the offense better with each game so far this year. It is rare that you see him have a miscue or an ill-advised pass anymore.

The view from the top of the CAA sure looks good. Can the Patriots keep this up and will we see two 7-0 teams heading into next Wednesday's game at Boston?


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday links...

Mason heads back to the road for a rematch of last year's CAA championship game at W&M. Is it still weird to anyone else that we played W&M in that game? They definitely don't look like they have built much off last year's tourney run this season. But no road game in the CAA can ever be overlooked as we saw Delaware knock off VCU already.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Vlad officially an Eagle

Well Vlad is officially enrolled at American University and will eligible to play for them starting in the spring '10 semester of next season.
"Vlad Moldoveanu, a 6-foot-10 224-pound forward, has been admitted to American and will start classes on Monday. Moldoveanu played in seven games for George Mason this season, averaging 2.3 points and 2.1 rebounds for the Patriots. He will be eligible to play for the Eagles after sitting out this semester as well as the fall semester under NCAA transfer rules. The Romanian native was a first-team All-Met at St. John's College High School in Northwest D.C. He gives American its third 6-10 player on its roster."

Post Game Interviews: ODU

Post game interviews from players and coaches:

Videos from YouTube


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Home Stand

Mason beat the Monarchs Saturday afternoon to remain unbeaten in CAA play and continued one of the school best starts in school history. Darryl Monore had his third straight double-double (14 and 14) to lead the Patriots who collectively shot 50% for the game. Mason capitalized early off the Monarchs flat start and went up by as much as 12 in the early minutes with the freshmen lineup providing the spark. Dre Smith's early three-point air-ball may have made some Mason fans feeling uneasy but he finished with 10 points and played some exceptional defense. Long, Smith, and Vaughan all hit big three-pointers in the 2nd half when the Patriots needed them after the Monarchs started to crawl back into the game. Some questionable fouls and late turnovers down the stretch didn't help Mason but they did not give ODU any easy shots which helped seal the deal. Gerald Lee of ODU got his fourth foul with 10 minutes to go in the 2nd which really hurt the Monarchs. Important thing to take away from this game and some of their other close wins this season is that late in the game when the opposition was mounting a comeback Mason had an answer to every score. That killer instinct is what it's going to take to win some road games in the CAA this year (the Patriots are on the road for 4 of their next 6). Turnovers were in an issue in this one but besides that everything else seem to be clicking for Mason at one point or another. The three-point shooting was on target but too often I feel like they go to it too soon and abandon the low-post even when it's working. Ryan Pearson and Louis Birdsong can find ways to score and the team not runnning plays for either of them is still a mystery to me. Too often these guys only get baskets because they are getting second opportunities with offensive rebounds. But as long as Mason 's guards keep shooting like they have been that argument is a moot point.

Next up for the Patriots is a visit to William & Mary on Wednesday for a rematch of last year's CAA conference championship.

pictures from


Friday, January 09, 2009

Previewing ODU...

Old Dominion visits the Patriot Center this Saturday fresh off a disappointing home loss to James Madison. Although JMU is an improving team on the rise, it's still going to leave the Monarchs hungry in their next CAA match-up. The experience of head coach Blaine Taylor always keeps the Monarchs fighting but this year he is definitely lacking the team unity of which his past teams used to thrive on. Blogger Rich Radford seems to think this year's squad is lacking a killer instinct. I think it's lack of toughness on defense. Against JMU they allowed the Dukes to shoot over 60% from the field despite creating many turnovers. Another area the team is lacking is guard play and outside shooting. They really don't have a do it all point guard running the show despite leading the conference in assists per game as a team. Mason has this with Cam Long and it's been hurting the Monarchs this season to be without it. Despite that, ODU's strength remains in the front court with their size and leader Gerald Lee shooting over 60% on the season. Lee is capable of going 20 and 10 on any given night but his inconsistency keeps him from being a go-to guy late in the game. Monroe will have his hands full with Lee in this game but I think Mason's balanced attack and guard play will be the major difference in this one. The Monarchs won't have an answer for the Patriots if they can hit outside shots early.

Sidenote: Did you know Mason is off to it's best start in 25 seasons?


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Mason takes down Towson

The Patriots improved to 4-0 in CAA play after beating Towson on the road last night and are victorious in six of their last seven games. Mason's offense was in rhythmn right from the start in this one. Dre Smith quickly knocked down two three-pointers in the opening minutes and they never really were challenged after that. Darryl Monroe dominated down low picking up his fourth double-double of the year with 16 points and 10 rebounds (8 offensive). Mason's defense again was the real difference maker late in the game as they held another team under 40% FG shooting. Michael Morrison had another authoritative shot block and Isaiah Tate somehow managed two points, three assists, and a steal in five minutes off the bench. The team would really profit off having another regular contributor off the bench outside of Cornelius and Pearson. After playing three games in five days the Patriots don't look tired and in fact they seem to be playing their best basketball yet this year. Saturdays showdown with Old Dominion should be interesting after watching the Monarchs fall to James Madision last night. ODU is one of the few CAA teams that seem to play well at the Patriot Center.


The Washington Post is reporting that Vlad Moldoveanu might be going to American University:
"Patriots Notes: Vlad Moldoveanu, a 6-foot-10 sophomore forward from Romania who left the program two weeks ago, might end up at American University"


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Georgia State post game media

Photos taken by Allen Clark (

Video from


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Mason holds on against GSU

Mason rallied late in the 2nd half last night to defeat Georgia State and remain at the top of the CAA standings. Cam Long had a stellar game scoring 18 points and grabbing 9 rebounds while Darryl Monroe picked up his third double-double of the season. The game was a defensive battle and forwards Louis Birdsong and Ryan Pearson had trouble creating any kind of scoring opportunities. The Patriots limited their turnovers and seniors Dre Smith and J0hn Vaughan made some key baskets down the stretch to keep the Patriots unbeaten at home. Larranaga used a four-guard line up which sparked a 13-2 run late in the second, after which the Patriots never looked back. I think we will see more four-guard lineups as the CAA schedule continues, especially against the smaller more athletic teams.

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