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Maynor, Sanders help VCU rout Mason in CAA title game

George Mason Basketball: Maynor, Sanders help VCU rout Mason in CAA title game

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maynor, Sanders help VCU rout Mason in CAA title game

At the start of the season I didn't think we could reach this game but somehow the Patriots got it together at certain times to make it happen. A loss to VCU always stings, especially on national TV with an auto-bid to the dance on the line. It wasn't even the fact that Mason lost to a better team, but rather how they lost. trys to say in their headlines that Mason "fell short", but anyone who watched that game knows that was an old fashion butt kicking. VCU controlled the game from the opening tip and the Patriots never had a chance. VCU looked confident and they felt like they could do anything, while the Patriots looked like a deer in headlights for most of the 1st half. Standing and watching in awe as Larry Sanders owned the paint and Eric Maynor was left to run wild. The fact that Larry Sanders was 3 blocked shots away from a triple-double is just embarassing for a team that prides itself on strong defense. Sanders had 13 rebounds in the first half, which really tells the story right there. You knew Maynor was going to get his 20+ points, but containing Sanders and not letting him get those easy dunks was something that should have been a point of emphasis. Mike Morrison stood up to Sanders in the 1st half but it didn't seem like anyone else was up to the task. Monroe and Birdsong combined for 6 points and it wasn't even because they were in foul trouble. Cam Long and JV were just non-factors and helped the Patriots collectively shoot a season-worst 30.5%. Dre Smith's box score might look good but it was mostly threes made in the 2nd half when the game was far out of reach. Once the 2nd half began you thought a small comeback might happen, as the Patriots have been in this position many times before on the road. Instead we saw about five minutes go by without a field goal and Mason actually looked worse. VCU was determined last night and I don't think there was any way Mason could have beaten them even with shots falling. Don't get discouraged, the future is bright and we all know that.

Post Game Video from

NIT hopes:
Looking good, a few websites have us at a #5 seed, which means a home game could be possible if they win in the first round of the tournament. My sophomore year I was lucky enough to see the Patriots beat Tennessee at the Patriot Center in the NIT and I'd love to see another BCS school come to Fairfax in March. It all depends on how the rest of these conferences tournaments end and how the bubble teams get placed.

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Blogger CYork987 said...

Dear = Beloved or loved
Deer = the animal


10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horrible. Where were Vaughan and Monroe? Cam looked scared.

Tate plays horrible D and doesnt shoot well enough to justify more PT. Birdsong took a step back this year.

Looking forward to the Pearson/Morrison era. Cornelius should improve and Cam will learn from last night. Lots to look forward to.

Until next year...

11:17 AM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

Ryan captured basically all my thoughts on the season and the loss to VCU.

As for next year I see our starters being Cam Long, Andre Cornelius, Louis Birdsong, Ryan Pearson, Mike Morrison. We are losing a bunch of starters but at least everyone starting next year will have some experience. I want to see major improvement out of Cornelius, he needs to learn to slow the pace. I am excited about Morrison and Pearson's upsides. PLEASE WORK ON FREE THROW SHOOTING THIS SUMMER!

I also remember that Tennessee game, I was shitfaced drunk, it was St. Patrick's Day, we won at the end and I along with many others stormed the court. Would love to get a home game in the NIT this year.

The new goal, make it to the Garden.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's face it-VCU is the superior team. VCU came in weel-coached and mentally prepared to win a championship We can point fingers at the players all day and all night. But, John Vaughn said it best: "they just beat us all night for 40 minutes."

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that should be well-coached

1:06 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

That Feinstein article on us is top notch. Nice to see someone write about us in a major newspaper that actually understands the team.

1:55 PM  
Blogger's good for you. said...

Ryan, glad you mentioned that Tennessee NIT game. I was at that game with my father, and we had a UT fan cursing the entire game behind us - even with small kids present. I kept talking trash (in a non-cursing way) back to him. After the game, I clapped loudly in his face as he walked by us in the concourse.

I have a bad habit of embarrassing my father at Mason games. Poor guy.

9:31 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

Cornelius has a chance to be a good point guard.

Great season though, given the lack of a real leader, a la Maynor. JV stepped up reluctantly and Smith gave it all he had, all the time. I kept waiting for Monroe to get really passionate but he seems to be one of these guys that doesn't have that extra gear, or desire, or something. Morrison should develop and be all league. He wants it. As does Pearson. They need guards who can get them the ball. And we need a true spot up shooter like Brett Blizzard. Maybe Birdsong on more a of a wing. He can shoot and he sure doesn't want to play physical down low, though he can jump out the gym. Move him wider and let Pearson and Morrison bang.

VCU is clearly the class of the CAA. Excellent coach and Grant gets talent to match or exceed Mason's.

6:36 AM  
Blogger's good for you. said...'re exactly on target about Birdsong. I've always been frustrated by his lack of enthusiasm for play down low, but maybe that's just not his fit. Now that we have two guys in Pearson and Morrison who are willing to mix it up down low (plus, maybe redshirt Kevin Foster and freshman Johnny Williams from Memphis next year), he could be a better player on the wing.

We have a 3-pt., Blizzard-type in Luke Hancock coming in next year, too. I've been waiting years for Larranaga to get this type of player, so let's hope he's a good fit, too.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although VCU totally out played us and won I just can't stand their style of play. It just makes you hate them all the more. It is brutish, they take cheap shots and taunt. I don't think it is the style of play and type of players that the League wants promoting it. If Grant is such a great coach why does he promote this type of behavior on the court. Their two best players (Maynor and Sanders) are the biggest offenders. I was glad some of our team started retaliating, It was getting completely ridiculous that the refs were not calling any of it. Not that calling the fouls would have changed the end result, but it could have eliminated some of the Thug Ball that was happening on the court.

Sorry but I can't bring myself to cheer on VCU in the Tourney. Anyone else I would probably cheer as much as Mason.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just checked the NIT bracket projection and it has us playing Notre Dame again. It would be nice to pay them back by knocking them out of the first round.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are losing some talent with our seniors but with them goes the leadership vacuum. Next years team will have a whole new identity, it will be young and talented. I always thought that this season Birdsong was going to have a break out year but if he does not find his fit I am not sure he will stay in the starting line up.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous JD said...

As much as I hate to say it as a Mason fan, I'm happy for VCU in the sense that they have a much better shot at winning a NCAA game than we would have. This has been the most inconsistent season I can remember and although I'm proud of our guys they were really outclassed Monday night.

The NIT is not a bad thing, there will be OOC teams that are on our level and like many have said, the opportunity for a home game would reward us all.

Here's a prediction: Mason will break the top 25 rankings in 2-3 years.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Trent said...

The bitching and moaning is really...quite pathetic. VCU kicked their butt on that particular night...OK, congratulations.

Can we try to move past it and focus on what's immediately ahead, i.e. the NIT? For all the complaining about not getting the chance to play a power conference...well, here it is. Focus people! It's not like this is a lost season folks...come on.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NIT looking forward to the games. Next year should be very interesting...more adjustments with still a very young team. I love Ryan and Mike's enthusiasm. Cam will run the show and take the leadership role. Louis will have to fight for his starting role and do a lot more than he did this year.

12:34 AM  
Blogger What Not said...

Birdsong is real tweener. Not a guy to play on the blocks but he has an exceptional touch and ca truly leap. But so what if he doesn't play with passion.

Some players are just quiet types but always where they should be and quietly kill ya. But Louis has to get aggressive. Sometimes I think that Coach L gets these guys so locked into playing their team role that they don't assert themselves when they should. Cam Long is another. He should be all over the place all the time. They just seem (and it's only an impression) too nice. it's why Morrison is such a breath of fresh air. He has to be smarter but I'll take his passion and try to restrain him versus trying to light a fire under nice passive guys. Every good team has its muscle, its guys who will mic it up and not just out of frustration late in a blow out.

I didn't think VCU was thuggish. I thought they were dominating and intimidating and tough and got Mason down and kicked them once they got them there. Didn't like that and it is a reflection on the coaching staff. But I think they want to dominate the CAA for a long time and that sort of thing stays in the heads of the other programs. If Mason doesn't come out completely spitting fire when they play them next year, something is very wrong.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

VCU is losing a very unique player when Maynard graduates and they will not be the same team next year. Paybacks can be painful and the Pats are going to be looking for payback. No mistake about it, VCU not JMU is our main rival and next years rematch will be fun to watch.

2:05 PM  

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