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Patriots can't slay the Dragons

George Mason Basketball: Patriots can't slay the Dragons

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Patriots can't slay the Dragons

George Mason fell to Drexel yesterday in Philadelphia 73-60 in a loss that now puts them in 2nd place in the CAA. The Patriots have not looked like they have in their recent winning ways during these last two games. It's becoming evident that when Cam Long and Andre Cornelius start off slow so does the rest of the squad. Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison's inside game is important but during Mason's 7-game winning streak we saw the guards of this team open things up early by knocking down outside shots and lately that just hasn't been happening. Cornelius is still shooting over 40% on the season from three-point land but lately he has not been shooting consistent and most have been ill advised. Now that he has been taking over the point guard ball handling duties his success on offense is becoming more and more important. As for the forwards, it continues to be a game by game mystery who else will contribute outside of Ryan Pearson. Yesterday we saw a lot of Kevin Foster early as he scored 5 points and collected 5 rebounds in the first half but Louis Birdsong went scoreless. Johnny Williams, who I had enjoyed seeing more of recently, played 1 minute. In the first half Larranaga went with a line-up of Long, Cornelius, Pearson, Birdsong, and Foster which we have not seen yet this season. I don't know if Larranaga was trying to shake things up with the change but I don't really understand the move. I'd rather see more guards out there then a line-up like that. The team just seems to flow better on offense and defense with a three or four guard line-up. During this line-up experiment the Dragons went on a 21-2 run in the first half.

-Free-throw shooting could have really helped the Patriots late in this one, but we should be used to this, right?

-What's with the three-point attempts by Ryan Pearson? I know he can hit the occasional one but his shot selection was just dumb in this one.

-Commenter Mooky points out how Mason needs to buckle down on the perimeter defense, I couldn't agree more, the Dragons got way too many open looks in the 2nd half when the Patriots were trying to claw back.

-The Drexel bench outscored the Mason bench 34-5

NCAA Basketball Stats



Blogger greenandgold said...

It's the pace of the game that resulted in the last two losses as was the case in every low scoring game loss or near miss this season. This team is extremely athletic. Everyone can and will run the floor! Their energy is derived from running and quick passes. I saw none of that at Georgia or Drexel. When they play a slow deliberate attack- pass the ball to Ryan or Mike and stand around and watch them do whatever(because we know once the ball is in the post it rarely comes back out! )this does nothing for their energy level. There were no screens or picks and quick passes to open up guard shot selection and inside play in either game; and movement was nonexistent. Drexel was killing us from the inside as well as the outside. They are playing now like they did the first 10 games. The same ol' Larranaga offense. Yes, that was successful with a different caliber of players. But it isn't working now! The recipe for Mason's winning streak was/is pretty simple-set screens and picks, MOVE without the ball, RUN, and most importantly SHARE the ball. In other words, ATTACK!!! Kudos to Mike Morrison for hitting about 90% from the field. Making Free Throws is a must and should be a given.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Trent said...

This team is in need of some home cooking. They will be in a bad position if they drop Tuesday's contest. They've managed to go from the league favorite to fighting for a first-round bye in the matter of a week.

But even great teams go through tough stretches. We knew this was coming at some point. Better now than three weeks later.

11:41 PM  

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