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What does Mason have to do to win this thing?

George Mason Basketball: What does Mason have to do to win this thing?

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What does Mason have to do to win this thing?

The Patriots are about 72 hours from the start of their CAA title defense and a lot of questions still remain. Free-throw shooting, Pearson's injury, and offensive consistency are some of the main gripes most Mason fans are worried about heading into this weekend. Some are saying this tournament is up for grabs, but I really don't see a repeat of last year and I'd be shocked to not see at least one of the top 3 seeds in the championship. It has been a down year for the CAA in terms of that national recognition that most of us have gotten used to; while the teams have themselves to blame for this outcome. Not to say their won't be upsets this year and that's why I think it was so important for Mason that they locked up a first-round bye. The Patriots will have to rely on stout defense and ball control to end up playing on Monday night. In this year's most impressive win, they have gotten it done by making the opposing squad play their style of basketball. In these games they set the pace and did not let the other guys get into any kind of rhythmn, forcing them to take bad shots and risky passes. Take a look at last year's opponents' FG% who faced Mason in Richmond: Northeastern 35.9, UNCW 28.1, W&M 38. Sure, it would be nice to see the Patriots drain threes all day but there's no way they are going to beat teams this weekend from the behind the arch. And defensive low scoring games can get a lot of players into foul trouble and Ryan Pearson needs to be in the Mason lineup as they will need everyone. No doubt JV and Dre will have to have a good showing on both ends for Mason to be successful this weekend as they are an intrical part to the balanced attack. But you know what your gonna get from those two seniors and with Cam Long you don't. He has shown flashes of brillance at times this season and he gives you the idea that he can take over games if needed, will he?

Don't forget to be here Saturday for the live blogging and chat.

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14 Comments:

Blogger C Hirsch said...

Perimeter defense is my key, that has really been lacking for us lately. Larranaga said he would be working with the team this week to not always jump when ball faked, hopefully it makes an impact.

Old Dominion and VCU scare me, ODU is on a roll lately. Drexel plays great defense but they have no offense. Northeastern is sliding and to me is a prime candidate to be upset.

2:56 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

Guards. It's all about how well they play. Last year the scouting reports said press them hard on the perimeter because they're not going to beat you off the dribble. Make them turn it over and force them to take poor shots. Same thing this year.

The guards must attack on offense against the press and any man D. If teams go zone the guards must make them pay by shooting well.

At the risk of sounding too much like a homer, it's hard to bet against Mason when they play with poise on offense and intensity on defense.

I look for Chris Fleming to provide a spark. Not being sentimental. He can play.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The number of times the D has bought other team's fakes is almost laughable -- if it wasn't so embarassing!

I wish we could play Drexel again. Their coach is nuts and a liability. How he didn't get a technical the last game at GMU is beyond me.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

I agree with the Chris Fleming statement.. he has been here before and knows how to take a charge and draw a spark for the rest of the team.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's just hope that EVERYONE plays his part this weekend and the TEAM comes out aggressively-GREAT DEFENSE for 40 minutes. Must do a better job at breaking the press-Break-aways. Slow and Steady only wins the race if you are a tortoise racing against a hare.

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to play Chris for him to have impact and he would have to shake off the rust of being benched for most of the season. In the Towson game he made one bad pass and got taken out for the game. If you benched for example Monroe for every bad pass then he would never be on the floor. I am not taking anything away from Monroe but I don't understand why Fleming is wasting on the bench after last years tournament performance.

8:45 AM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

Is this board occupied by Chris Fleming's family members or something? The way you guys talk you would think he was Will Thomas or something.

10:25 AM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

I think Chris can a good contributor every now and again. He played really well in the CAA Tournament last year, but if we are relying on him to win games we are going to be in trouble.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nobody ever said we were relying on him to win games Hirsch so chill out..just said he could provide a good spark

10:47 AM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

I'm completely chill. We aren't allowed to have discussions on here?

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, not a family member but the problem is that we don't have a Will Thomas this year.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate Chris had to take the backseat to Pearson and Morrison. But, they have done well. Even when they do not do well, they remain in the game-unlike Coach L of yester-year. But let's not forget, although Chris played in all 30+ games last year, he averaged just 7mins. I think he will get his chance to play during this weekend and plays his butt off!

1:18 AM  
Blogger What Not said...

I think it speaks volumes that we are even discussing Fleming. I think it indicates that plenty of people know he can help the team with some minutes, and has played well in the past.

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris Fleming is my hero and a better basketball player than Michael Jordan ever was!

1:19 PM  

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