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View from the top

George Mason Basketball: View from the top

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.

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Blogger mooky_l3d said...

Yeah I will agree that the Patriots are resilient and don't let one bad play drag them down. But it just seemed yesterday and through out the season that they let the other teams stay in these games. One bad pass or quick shot by Mason could let the other team make a run and make things uncomfortable for Mason. I just think that against the next two opponents, Mason will have to cut down on the forced passes and quick 3 point shots for airballs.

4:20 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

Next two games are important but they aren't make or break. Winning the CAA regular season championship isn't the goal.

It is great that this team has started so hot, I would be shocked if they can win at both Northeastern and VCU but I would have never believed they would be 7-0 in conference either.

10:36 AM  
Blogger What Not said...

Mason got very lucky when JMU's big man went out with chest pains. He had just pinned Birdsong's dunk and was going to the line at the other end. I could have been much tighter. JMU is not bad and a healthy Madison can do some damage.
I thought D Monroe had a good game even though he didn't shoot it well. He could have been more aggressive offensively but he's rebounding and is always looking to outlet, which is nice with Mason's speed. It's a different team when he plays well. Morrison needs pt but he's just a baby and will (can) get a lot better, I think. Pearson had a good game and sort of explains Vlad being gone.

What I really want to know is:

1. Where were the Masonettes? They weren't there and it ain't right. My halftime routine: watch the Masonettes, take a leak. Not sure there's any connection, but I can't get enough of their funky stuff.

While I'm at it:

The new Mascot is spooky as hell. It ain't workin. They should just give some 6th year History major a musket and a 3 corner hat and call it a day. Maybe the tee shirt gun guy would do it. (Does A Merton shoot the tee shirt out the exit portal every time they give him the gun?)

Speaking of spooky- Doc Nix.
Good bandleader but I keep waiting for him to be led away in handcuffs. Looks like Cheech Marin. And the Doc Nix Bobbleheads? They're really flying off the shelves. Maybe if it was a Doc Nix bobblehead/bong.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa!! Doc Nix has added so much to the game day experience the last couple of years that he gets a 10 yr free pass from being criticized!

And I have my Doc Nix bobblehead right next to Coach L's.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Masonettes and most of the cheerleaders were down at Disney competing at Nationals

9:16 PM  
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6:17 AM  

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