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Homecoming, Bracketbusters, and the CAA tournament

George Mason Basketball: Homecoming, Bracketbusters, and the CAA tournament

Friday, February 19, 2010

Homecoming, Bracketbusters, and the CAA tournament

I am sure I am not the only one who, from a basketball sense, isn't too excited about Saturday's game against College of Charleston. The homecoming tailgating, drinking for 8 hours and being in a sell-out crowd at the Patriot Center are things I am looking forward to but now after how this season has unfolded we have a basically meaningless game right in the middle of an important stretch run to the conference tournament. Maybe it is just the fact that ESPN Bracketbusters could be so much more, like involving the BCS conferences. Yeah that won't happen. However, I love the fact that the Patriots get another ESPN2 game, that does wonders for recruiting, but how exactly will Mason approach this game? Charleston isn't going to be considered for an at-large either but they are 1st in their conference and want to keep their winning streak going. Will Patriots rest certain guys, like Ryan Pearson with the banged up thumb and probably Rashad Whack who has not returned since dislocated his shoulder? The game notes show Cornelius, Long, Tate, Pearson, and "TBA". Kevin Foster and Louis Birdsong will most likely fill this "TBA" and get a lot of minutes in this one while Luke Hancock will probably also get around 30 minutes. But if they limit guys like Pearson they will not be left with much on the bench and I don't think you want your best guys to not be fresh with two CAA remaining they will determine whether or not they are playing a Friday game in the conference tournament. I am curious to see Larranaga's strategy in this one.

The Patriots enter this game having lost four of their last five while Charleston has won five of their last six. The Cougars are a very similar team to William & Mary, they shoot the ball very well and don't commit many turnovers. At times they can be deadly from behind the three-point line, currently they are ranked third in the nation in three-pointers made. Their star player Andrew Goudelock has been shooting about 40% from there on the year and they have two other players shooting over 38%. As a team they average over 25 three-point attempts a game, so once again the Patriots weak perimeter defense will be put to the test. Mason is a slightly better rebounding team believe it or not and does a better job getting to the free-throw line. If they can take advantage in those two areas and weather the early storm of three-pointers they can win this one.

ESPN broadcasters will gush over the head coaches relationship, they go way back, so be prepared if your watching this one from home.

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Blogger variaban said...

I don't know, I think a win here would be a nice mental boost for these guys will giving them another chance to make up for all the non-con losses they've had this year.

12:14 PM  
Blogger eaymar said...

Don't be too hard on the team this season. They've overperformed expectations, and the season isn't over yet, but this is really a rebuilding year. We didn't start the season expecting a conference title or post-season play, and our mid-year success was a surprise, and a peek at potential. Just enjoy the nice moments and expect to weather the rough times, and be prepared for an outstanding team next year and the year after.

12:59 PM  
Blogger variaban said...

Honestly, I think we can expect great teams from here on out.

Maybe this is wishful thinking but I think Coach L has an opportunity to make George Mason similar to what Gonzaga is to the WCC or what Butler is in the Horizon, an awesome team no matter who is lost from graduation or deflection.

2:35 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

Talent does not a team make. They were picked 4th preseason and that looks accurate. Pats are very young and it will be fun watching them meld and develop- if they do. I believe they will (because of coaching) but there are no guarantees. I see some serious 'tudes on the team and there will be defections in the off season, which might be a good thing.
What I don't see on the team right now is a Will Thomas type that just works and works and leads. Cam does in his own way. Maybe Pearson?
Tonight could be ugly or they could roll. Which team shows up?

7:57 AM  
Blogger Brent said...

I have read a lot of comments lately about this team having attitudes and playing selfish.

I think these guys are young and very eager to win. They came to this program because they expected big things. Morrison and Pearson have big hearts and are very passionate. They get in trouble in the heat of the moment. They are team players and are learning. I think some of the off court stuff is just immaturity.

True, they need to look to pass a little more, but I don't think they have bad attitudes, just over zealous ones.

Let me say this..... If Cam Long doesn't have this MAJOR shooting slump, I guarantee you we would be tied or in first place by ourselves. This team is so talented and on the verge. We were unstoppable during our run, and Cam has gone South in a COLD COLD way.

If he can get his mojo back by the tournament, we could win this thing. Just sayin....

10:03 AM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

This is a Very Good Team when they play as a Team. When you recruit nothing but scorers that's all you're going to get-soph and freshmen class are scorers. Hopefully, they will learn the importance of executing the fundamentals. If they do that, this team can compete at a very high level for the entire season next year. But for now, I just hope they end the regular season 3-0. Cam will get out of this shooting slump tonight!

3:59 PM  
Blogger True said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:28 PM  
Blogger True said...

I am having a hard time being overly optimistic that utopia awaits next year. Yes, the freshmen will be further along but what about the inconsistency issues with Cam Long. When Cam Long gets 2 or 3 points per game (which is getting to be many, many games), there goes the game. The sophomores also are showing no improvement. Ironically, the freshmen are showing improvement. So in my mind, what will determine whether there is more room for hope next year will be the extent that the freshman get their act together. I predict Cam Long will remain at 12/13 pt average throughout his career. I think we really have to look at the issues and what is hurting this team before we expect miracles. As discussed here, we have sophomores with huge attitude (bet GMU could have won if MM had been playing for W&M0, a high scorer who can't stay consistent. I expect some improvement but something's got to give here for this to be a real team capable of serious performance.

11:32 PM  

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