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Mason's home dominance against the CAA comes to an end

George Mason Basketball: Mason's home dominance against the CAA comes to an end

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mason's home dominance against the CAA comes to an end

It was an important game for the Patriots, a win would have locked up a top 4 spot in the conference standings and guarantee them not playing on Friday of the conference tournament. Unfortunately Mason lost 63-60 to the Tribe at home for only the second time this season and had their home winning streak against CAA opponents snapped at 18. This time they weren't battling back from a deficit and had the lead for most of the game. Kevin Foster had a career night, 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks in Mike Morrison's absence but the only problem was he received little help from the rest of the squad. Foster, who by my count has 5 DNPs this season, was aggressive in the front court and helped the Patriots mount an early lead despite not getting much from their top 2 scorers, Cam Long and Ryan Pearson. Long was just plain awful in a high stakes game for Mason as he missed all 6 shots from the field and finished with three points off some late free-throws. Larranaga tries to blame it on late season fatigue:
"There's nothing you can really do when every game is so important: Your best players have to be out there," he said. "They both were less aggressive with the ball than they are normally."
Didn't seem to be much fatigue in the first half when the Patriots were forcing turnovers and getting easy lay-ups off fast breaks. William & Mary however was just a relentless team that never gave up. They were unfazed by the Patriots big plays and answered every move with a strong counter of their own. Local Tribe member Danny Sumner (Fairfax native) was clutch down the stretch and even blocked Cam Long's shot with three seconds remaining. It was a little confusing why the Patriots waited so long to foul when they were down and the seconds were winding down, again you have to question Larranaga's late game strategy. Be that as it may now Mason finds itself holding on to 4th place in the standings with only two conference games remaining.

Here is a video of Kevin Foster's back-to-back alley-oops from Luke Hancock while we wait for Thuc Phan's highlights:

Andre Cornelius' thread the needle pass to Sherrod Wright:



Blogger Brock said...

Tough loss, but considering that we got very little from the starters, what can we expect? I hope Cam gets some sleep over the next 2 days and is well rest for these final three games.

BTW - that blogger calling for Coach's job is a moron.

12:22 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

Did anyone watch the GMU player introductions at the game? Nothing. No life. They just didn't want to be there. They barely cared.

Andre Cornelius who seems to think he's the second coming of Jason Kidd but can't split a double team, glares at the W&M bench after hitting a first half three pointer, as though he just won a game seven.

Luke Hancock can't cover anyone and spends most of the game whining at the refs anytime someone touches him, and dribbles around on the perimeter going nowhere. Pearson had his man pinned on his hip several times and not one guard could make an entry pass.

Pearson worked hard and Foster, who looks like he's 15, can be something. Who knew? Maybe this is why J Williams never left the bench.

This "team" lost to a real team. A team with desire, discipline, and composure. They ran their offense, and then ran it again. They set good picks, got open looks and knocked them down. The smallest guy on the court drove the lane twice for easy layups unchallenged. They defended well.

Why can't the Pats press at all? It's W&M, not Kentucky.

Why didn't they know to foul at the end of the game?

And as much as I like him, Cam was sleep walking. There was no one at the game including W&M that didn't think Long would be taking the last shot. Two guys were waiting to block it.

Tired? Does W&M or any other CAA team have any easier a schedule this time of year? And I think they actually expect the players to study there too. The truth is, they are well conditioned, older and serious about what they're doing. Pats, no. They're young and they're acting it. They're collective attitude stinks. Potential? Sure. But potential is just something that hasn't happened yet. This team didn't look like a Coach L team at all.

One of Coach L's greatest attributes is his patience and decency but honestly it looks like this team (though young) needs a foot up their ass.

5:42 PM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

Well put "What Not." In short, this team is lacking REAL sustainable CHEMISTRY across the board. The coaches do not mesh well with the players and the players do not mesh well amongst themselves; thus a lack of continuity and passion. They are playing like they did before their winning streak-unispired basketball! And lets face it-the offensive sets just do not work!!!!

8:05 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

The sky is not falling people, we have an incredibly young team and are still 11-5 in conference. If you had told me that before the season I would have taken it.

If they are still having these maturity issues a year from now, I will be screaming from the rooftops as well. But any young, talented team is going to have the highest highs and the lowest lows.

10:39 AM  
Blogger True said...

I agree with the comments here and I think the freshmen excuse is getting old. Cam's inconsistency cannot be largely blamed on the freshmen. Sophmores with mediocre talent and superstar attitudes cannot be blamed on the freshmen. The freshmen have much to learn but they will ultimately have to provide a real boost to this team because there are too many gaps with Cam Long and the sophmores. Also, I agree totally with the comment about the chemistry between coaches and players and I have thought the same. Larranaga clearly has no chemistry with this team and talks about the players as if they are misbehaved teenagers he barely can tolerate. The fact Cam long had to ask Larranaga to more or less become the leader speaks volumes. I just think Larranaga is too old world and can't connect to these players, although the sophmores are clearly legends in their mind and unfortunately no where near that on the court. Larranaga also has to get someone more reliable to be the front man next season if Cam lOng persists being so unreliable game after game.

11:17 PM  

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