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George Mason survives Delaware and gets some help to secure a top 4 seed

George Mason Basketball: George Mason survives Delaware and gets some help to secure a top 4 seed

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

George Mason survives Delaware and gets some help to secure a top 4 seed

Another road game for the Patriots that could have ended ugly but the team had a few bounces go their way and escaped Delaware with a 61-59 win. The win tonight, coupled with losses by William & Mary and Drexel secure the Patriots a top 4 seed and thus avoiding the Friday games in the CAA tournament. Mason can earn the #3 seed with a win over Northeastern this Saturday or with a William & Mary loss. The win over the Blue Hens was ugly and again the Patriots struggled from the free-throw line despite getting many opportunities. They were so bad from there (53%) that they nearly lost their small lead several times late in the second half. The team got what it needed from Cam Long and Andre Cornelius who both started off the game strong. Mike Morrison looked a little rusty while Kevin Foster and Johnny Williams were invisible. Sherrod Wright scored 8 of his 10 points in the second half and gave Mason the late spark it needed. Ryan Pearson's inside game was needed a bit more but he was strong on the boards.

The Patriots nearly gave the game away with numerous early turnovers, fouls, and poor defense on Delaware's best player Jawan Carter. The second half defense on Carter was much better and it allowed Mason to go on a few runs to establish a lead. The on going problem however is the poor free-throw shooting which is still a big concern. How can we expect this team to beat anyone in the conference tournament when they leave this many points on the table? Those missed opportunities have been killing the Patriots' tempo and it keeps allowing weaker opponents to hang around late in the game.

I hate to say Mason was lucky in this game but let's face it, they were. Luck or not they find themselves in a comfortable position after losing 5 of 6 games. Now with Morrison back the team at least has another game to get back into a rhythm before the conference tournament. I still don't think it's crazy to say this team could go on a run and do some damage in the CAA tournament because they been so up and down the whole year it's nearly impossible to predict anymore of their outcomes.

Notice how from the statsheet.com chart how frequently they got to the free-throw line and didn't take advantage:

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14 Comments:

Blogger Andrew said...

The wild thing about the free throws is only around 4 were taken by morrison. Only Cam really didn't miss many free throws (8 of 12 i believe) but he missed some critical ones too. Wrights FT miss ques can probably be attributed to being a freshmen in a pressure situation.

Refs really needed to swallow their whistles on this one, I'm just glad it hurt them a lot more than it hurt us. (happens when the other team only has 8 real scholarships)

10:10 PM  
Blogger Brent said...

I didn't watch the game, but how in the heck does Johnny Williams get FOUR minutes in the game after dominating by going 10 of 12? He is in my opinion our best low post guy by far who just needs time to become dominant.

I understand Morrison needed to get back into his grove, but how can you not get Williams the experience in a game like this?

Overall, a win is a win and that's what we needed. Crazy to see so many top teams losing tonight to weaker teams. If we beat Northeastern, we would have the same record in the league and overall standings. Who would get the #2 seed?

10:20 PM  
Blogger Trent said...

The #3 seed is a much better draw than #4 simply by the fact you avoid ODU in the semis. So I think a win this Saturday versus Northeastern is important.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Brent,

Northeastern has the tie-breaker over us, if they lose this Saturday and would they would #2 seed. I believe the tie-breaker is winning pct over the top teams in league

10:54 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

I haven't seen this yet but going to a 2 guard set with Pearson, Williams and Morrison might be interesting, putting one of them up high to help with the ball and letting the other 2 work low as they have. Cam and Corny bring it up. Foster, Birdsong and Luke rotate in.

I'm partial to Williams and Foster and I think they can really be something and Morrison's antics open the door for them.

I would not want to be the other coach trying to figure out how to keep a lineup with Pearson, Williams and Foster off the boards. (if Morrison doesn't show up)

Its telling that Mike Mo does not get to the line more. I don't see him working hard enough for the ball in the low post.

7:30 AM  
Blogger March 2006 said...

Cam,Corny, Pearson, Morrison, and Williams would be a wonderful lineup for this point of the season. Throwing a three guard lineup against the top CAA teams deep inside the CAA tourney or the first round of the NCAA (i.e. Notre Dame) most often times leads to a stomping. It will be interesting to see Foster, Hancock, Williams, and Tate fight for that 5th spot in the off season.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

What Not,

It's rare to see a 2 guard set under Larranaga. I don't mind the occasion experiment of those group of guys on the floor but the only thing i don't like about it is that it has too many bad ball handlers out there at once.

8:50 AM  
Blogger What Not said...

Ryan,
I agree. If (and its a big if) he could rely on a big man up high, extending to half court to give ball help to Corny and Cam then it might be feasible, create some back door cuts, etc. Williams appears to have some passing ability and composure, but its a lot to ask of the youngster. They roll the big men out to the perimeter to pick for the guards but rarely to provide ball help.
From what I've seen, within the conference we can create mismatches in the front court but not from our guards except for Cam. I haven't seen NEastern yet though.

10:01 AM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

Great to see Cornelius and Long doing their thing once again (and Wright). An ugly win but a very much needed WIN nontheless. As the toruney nears, Mason has a lot to work out. Fortunately, they are all fundamentals-free throws, reducing turnovers, rebounds, picks/screens. Go Mason!!!

11:24 AM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

Hey Ryan: when do you think you will have the " decades plays" up?

11:25 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Last I heard Thuc was still waiting to receive video to complete the top plays of the decade videos. I am dying to see them as well.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Essay said...

Free Throws are gonna make or break our season. How can something so fundamental be so hard? I'm no athlete and I understand there's pressure but there are no defenders around to harass you either. The players should be making them in their sleep.

11:32 AM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

Nice to get the win, and I agree with some of the other comments about the officiating. Especially in the second half, it seemed like they were calling sneezing and coughing. It did benefit us more than them but it is not like we capitalized on it all that much.

As far as Carter goes that kat is just a baller. I don't care what you throw at him he will get his. He is an exciting player to watch. Just glad that he hit a cold spell at the end.

If we can't get a win an Sat. please just give a great effort. GO MASON!!!!!

11:34 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

Mason has been bad at free throws for as long as I can remember. I have just kind of accepted it at this point.

10:41 AM  

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