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Mason falls to JMU for first time in 5 years

George Mason Basketball: Mason falls to JMU for first time in 5 years

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Mason falls to JMU for first time in 5 years

Although it's not shocking, the Patriots fell to the Dukes this afternoon and final score doesn't show how badly they played. Not only did Mason lose to Madison for the first time in 10 meetings but they did so with them not having their leading scorer in the line-up. Mason did not come out as flat as they usually do on the road but I feel like they were settling for too many three-point attempts in the first half. They tried to get Monroe and Birdsong started but instead they just kept the ball out of Cam Long hands. Long was almost invisible in the first half. Huh? Did I not say yesterday that JMU could give us serious trouble if Kyle Swanston was hitting threes all afternoon? Well he did and granted he played an exceptional game Mason should have known he would be taking more looks, especially without Juwann James playing. They sent Madison (the best free-throw shooting team in the CAA) to line countless times at the end of the second half while struggling to keep a small lead. Discipline. Where was it? Another thing missing was any kind of consistent outside shooting. Dre Smith and Cam Long struggled to find the range and it really kept Mason taking control. Ryan Pearson got going in the second and seemed to draw contact almost every time. A lot of Madison players were in foul trouble, but it means nothing when you can't hit late game free-throws. Probably the most disappointing thing in this game for the Patriots was the fact that Dazz Thornton was a factor late in the game. I'm talking about a 275+ pound guy who struggles to play 15 minutes even with Juwann James sharing the front court. You have three forwards at your deposal who are all vastly more athletic and let this guy who was basically their only inside player available have a career day? Usually when a team gets as many points off turnovers in a game as Mason did, it's a lopsided ordeal. Not the case and the Patriots themselves commited only 8 turnovers. What's most distouraging about Mason's recent road loses have been that they don't seem to make any significant changes at half-time. Swanston was killing it, yet it didn't seem like they were changing their defensive schemes much to thwart him. It's head scratching.

Why do you think Mason has so much trouble on the road?



Blogger Matt Scanlon said...

Laziness, arrogance, and dumb plays cost us this win.

Mason seems to think every team is just going to roll over and die when we come to town.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't hit free throws. Most of our road losses have been less than 4 points. We miss way too many easy points with bad free throw shooting.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we even bother showing up on the road against any semi-decent team?

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't forget that Semenov was also missing the second half which makes it even worse.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not making defensive adjustments? Dre Smith getting a lot of minutes when he was terrible? Morrison sitting out when he would have dominated the big JMU guy? This is on the coach.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It falls back to the coach. He needs to have the team prepared to win these games. They need to come out with the attitude that they can't be beaten. Better defense would help too.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are being too harsh on these guys. I agree they should have won this game and even the ODU game, but our KEY players are sophmores and freshman. I see the problem being experience at the end of games. I mean we were OUT of the game, down by 14, with like 9 to play. They stormed back and didn't give up. Same thing against ODU. Problem is, we have no go-to guy in the final minutes. THAT is why we have lost all our games by 6 points or less. Vaughn should be that guy, but he isn't, or doesn't get the ball.

I love Cam and think he will become that player, but he isn't there yet. And he should have gotten much more involved in the game yesterday. He's a 45% 3 point shooter! Pearson had an off day, but we were dominating in the paint in the second half. Our defense didn't start shutting down their 3 point shooters until like half way through the second half.

We are doing pretty well for still having a shot at the CAA title with such an inexperienced team. As we all know, all that matters is the CAA tourney and our youngsters will be much more seasoned then. Let's just hope they play an entire game of defense!


2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Youngsters?! The starting 5 is: 3 Seniors 1 Junior and a Sophmore(point guard.) The problem is Coach L is simply being out-coached and is losing credibility. Same ol offense and defense: play man-to-man and punch it into the big guy(s)and maybe they will score. Just keep doing it until we're behind by double digits. Okay now let's go into a zone- catch up, go back to man-to-man and now perimeter players, you may shoot us to victory. Definition of Crazy-"doing the same things and getting the same results."

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The loss is not on the coach.

GMU lost because of sloppy, lackadaisical defense.

4:49 PM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

Same story as all season. It comes down to wanting the game more than the other team. How many times this season has Mason lost when the other team has more turnover or more fouls. Why is it that when the last shot comes into play Mason looks like a intramural team at the end of the game, all out of whack and smelling like hot ass and garbage.


8:57 PM  
Blogger Brent and Abigail said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, we have 3 seniors starting, and Vaughn is by far the experienced. Monroe I don't think has even played in NCAA tourney, and Dre is...well very streaky at best. In two years or even next year, our team will be light years better with the talent w e have and the talent coming in.

I agree with everything else you guys said. I have been frustrated with the coaching too. There is no doubt we have athletic and quick guys, so why don't we full court press more? We did it against JMU and thats what started our big run to catch up. I would be pressing at least 5 minutes each half. Laranaga needs to get more out of these guys. Yes they are one of the better defensive teams statistically, but they only play defense when they want to and its rarely the entire game! I mean, we've really blown some teams out this year, but against the better competition we just play "parts" of a game. They need to learn they gotta play hard ALL game. Let's hope they wake up in time for the tournament.


9:50 PM  
Blogger Vish said...

Hah... I twas at the game at JMU 5 years ago as a freshman when JMU stormed back to take it to OT and then beat us by like a handful of points (if not just 2 or 3) in OT. It was depressing, especially because mundane victories like that are all the JMU fans need to storm the court.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much as I think the road is a huge problem for us, this one I think just has to be chalked up as “one of those games.” On our side, nobody could sink a three until late. Pearson and the rest simply could not make a bunny shot or a tip in to save their lives. It was like there was cellophane over our rim. On their side, when we zoned them out to the arc, they made their threes (even the reserves). When we manned up, their big guys suddenly found the shooter’s touch, and the guards drove the lane and finger-rolled shots perfectly off the glass. After getting no offensive boards in the first half, just when they needed to they started collecting them. Thornton should have fouled out early, but other defenders attracted the whistle just before his foul.
I could fault Coach L for not returning to the press when it was successful, but other than that it seemed like he was on top of things but every option he tried backfired (although not using Morrison during Monroe’s benchtime may have been another mistake). It was just a no-mojo game.
The one lingering thing trend we should take from this game: nobody can make the clutch shot at the end of the game!

12:04 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

Annoying loss, but really we are just playing out the string at this point, as long as we finish top 4 then we have a good shot at the CAA tournament.

However, if we lose on the road to atrocious Delaware on Thursday, then I will be pissed.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This team does not have leadership, no go-to guy and that is a major reason why they play poorly on the road. The seniors are supposed to take that role but Vaughn, Smith and Monroe are not cut out for it. Long probably has the best potential for filling this role but that will be next year. I hate to say it but with the freshman class of this year still maturing and the talent players coming in this fall, this season may just be a warm up.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Trent said...

Wow, the level of dumbass comments on this post is amazing. Btw...this team is 16-7 and 9-4 with a #3 seed in the tournament...and look at the bitching!?! Coach L should be lauded for the job he has done with this bunch. The freshmen have made amazing strides during the course of the season. He has these guys coached up...they're on the cusp. Yes, they've had some disappointing losses, but give 'em a break.

9:13 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

Soft soft soft. Pats are too nice and show little grit.

That, and a lot of people seem to think GMU is loaded with talent. I don't see it. Hitting some 3's on your home court does not make you Johnny Dawkins. And our big men are afraid to brawl. Not literally, but body up, hard foul take it to them.

Soft, soft, soft. Too nice, like Coach L.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

off the subject a little-What's up with Chris Fleming? Why no playing time. Perhaps he can bring a little toughness in the middle once in a while

3:32 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

Maybe, although if he has toughness he has been hiding it for 3 years.

4:41 PM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

Give the guys a break, they are in third place. Freshmen this, Coach L that. Look when you have every opportunity to be a great team not a number three team but a great team if you take care of the ball, shoot smart shots, play defense, have a sense of offense when the clock is running down, hitting free throws.

I would not be so upset with this team if they did what a basketball team is supposed to do. In highschool you are taught the basics. In college you are supposed to be refined. I don't see any refinement from the begining of the year to now. They are still doing the same things.

6:31 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

Fleming banged the boards, played with emotion and gave them quality minutes last year.

I'd like to see him get enough pt to get in some kind of groove. He has helped them in the past.

The bigger picture is that its a long season and hard to keep team wide intensity up. Northestern at home will be a good test.

If I'm a bettin man and I am, I like JMU as the darkhorse going in to the tourney.

1:32 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

I'd also like to see Mason press more. Much of their past success was predicated on lots of pressure. They have the quickness to do it but serious full court trapping- I don't see it as much anymore. It's as thought they're relying on scoring bursts and perimeter shooting.

It's not always about steals but waking them up mentally, getting a much tougher defensive mentality.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This team is on the cusp of being a very good team but I am not sure if the break through will be soon enough for this season. I also agree that Coach L has done a very good job with the players that he has.

4:13 PM  
Blogger CYork987 said...

Wow, 24 posts, do you think this game upset us some? I can't say I was surprised with this game, but I'm still as frustrated as everyone else. Why not use the press until we get burned on it? At that point it allowed us to storm back from 14 down, we were already playing with house money...

Here's a question, is it that we can't win on the road, or that we can't win in close games?

Also, Ryan Pearson ALMOST hit that half court shot, that would have been incredible...

Last point, how lame was it that they rushed the court after the game...come on! JMU leads the all time head-to-head against Mason...give me a break.

5:58 PM  

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