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Because we are always looking ahead: Your 2010-2011 George Mason Patriots!

George Mason Basketball: Because we are always looking ahead: Your 2010-2011 George Mason Patriots!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Because we are always looking ahead: Your 2010-2011 George Mason Patriots!

The following is a guest post from Mike Isibel, Mason alum who has been following the program for years. He also has a radio podcast over at We're Just Sayin Radio with two other Mason alumni.

The 2010-2011 George Mason men’s basketball team will be the best team in the program’s history (even if they don’t make the Final Four) and here’s why:

1. Recruiting
Ever since the 2006 Final Four run, Coach Jim Larranaga and his staff have produced exponentially better recruiting classes. The pinnacle (so far) was this offseason when 6 players signed with the program, including 2 players rated 89 overall by (a first for the program). Moreover, Mason isn’t just getting recruits from the DC Metro area, which typically has been the case. Over the past 3 years players have come from Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Tennessee. On top of all that, rated the 2009 George Mason men's basketball recruiting class #1 among non-BCS schools.

2. Experience
One of the best tools to improve a team is by gaining experience, especially against teams generally considered to be better. The Final Four team which had the same core players in 2004-2005 played several tough teams during their out of conference schedule including Memphis, Maryland and Michigan State. Likewise, this year we will be playing Villanova (a top 10 team in the nation) and either Dayton or Georgia Tech on top of last year’s trip to the NIT. Additionally, all the players will have another year to better learn the offense, to better understand one another’s tendencies on the court (only 1 player will graduate from the 2009-10 team). This is something that most big schools fail to provide with players leaving early. The team chemistry in the 2006 run was an extremely underrated intangible.

3. Depth
The Final Four team was essentially only 4 guys required to play nearly the entire game and provide most of the production, that won’t be the case in 2010-11. We already saw 3 of our freshman receive considerable amount of playing time last season. Add with that 6 incoming freshman and 1 redshirt freshman. All of these guys have the potential to score and put up big numbers depending the minutes they see. In 2010-11 we will have 4 guys who can handle the ball and drive and dish (Cornelius, Whack and Vaughns), 4 big men who can rebound, provide defensive pressure and low post scoring (Morrison, Pearson, Williams and Foster) and 4 guys (Long, Bennett, Hancock and Wright) who can spot up and shoot from anywhere on the court. This program has never had so many options.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 10-11 year will definitely be an exciting time for mason, if we can keep recruiting and get more games against reputable teams we will be in a great spot for the following year as well.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to wait that long!!! Ha It will be very exciting to watch them this year and see how well they gel together as a group. The CAA will be tough this year, so it will be a great year of experience.

I still like Mike Morrison as the biggest game changer this year as his defense and offense will be a year better! Not to mention his crazy sick height.


12:47 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

I am cautiously optimistic. We can't assume we will have these things yet, we have to see these freshman play this year and then make judgments.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you C Hirsch-It's not about individual talent, It's about CHEMISTRY. Should be a very interesting season!!!

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Rick said...

This year, whoever emerges from our field of talent will be fun to watch. To my way of thinking, a tourney appearance will be icing, however, since we are so young. What thrills me is the thought that NEXT year we will have so much talent AND experience.

1:21 PM  

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