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Bryon Allen says he's coming to George Mason

George Mason Basketball: Bryon Allen says he's coming to George Mason

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bryon Allen says he's coming to George Mason

Last week I talked about the possibly of a former West Virginia commit and Oak Hill academy point guard Bryon Allen coming to George Mason. Allen announced today from St. Thomas More in Connecticut that he plans on committing to the Patriots in April when the signing period begins. He was also considering Siena, but as you know their head coach Fran McCaffery just fled to Iowa for a big payday. Allen is a local DC area kid who started out at Dematha in Maryland and then transferred to the national powerhouse Oak Hill academy. Once at Oak Hill he was able to make solid contributions on roster stacked with talent. He often went against teammate Brandon Jennings in practice who is currently playing for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA. This the point where all the BCS school were all over him and he eventually accepted an offer from Bob Huggins and West Virginia.  Right before his senior year however the Mountaineers had to pull the scholarship offer to Allen because Joe Mazzulla was granted a medical redshirt and would be returning for the 2010-2011 season. This prompted him to take his game elsewhere to somewhere that he could prep his point guard skills and stand out more in a starring role. In an interview with he stated that he chose St. Thomas More because the league they played in used a shot clock and that would help him prepare more as a point guard for college basketball.

Let's break down what kind of impact this will have on the Patriots next season:

They lost a forward and now picked up another guard? Some of you might be scratching your head saying how can this team pick up another guard after losing forward Kevin Foster. The abrupt loss of Foster didn't leave the staff with many options if they wanted to fill the scholarship for next season. Most of the forwards they were looking at along with Jonathan Arledge were already committed to other schools. The Patriots were lucky in how this situation unfolded and obviously went after the best player available to them. A player who looks to be one of the most highly rated prospects ever brought in by this staff.  It also doesn't hurt that they have a roster full of shooting guards and no real point guard.  You can argue Cam Long and Andre Cornelius had their moments running the point last season but I don't think the coaching staff has faith in either one of them running the point next season if they bringing in a guy like Allen who can step in right away and play.

What kind of game does Allen have? At 6'3" 215 pounds Bryon Allen is a strong, physical guard who attacks the lane often. He is an excellent passer who also has a smart understanding of the game making him an all-around better player. His hard-nosed play has made him an excellent rebounder for a guard and solid on the ball defender as some scouting websites have mentioned. Here is a quote from ESPN/Scouts Inc. back in the winter of 2008:
"Allen is an extremely strong and physical guard that repeatedly attacks defenders off the dribble. He is a good athlete that can finish above the rim in transition. Allen is a good ball handler and passer as well. He can penetrate draw and kick but his main objective is score at the rim, where he can finish through contact with ease."
Some of you think he sounds like Sherrod Wright coming out of high school but let's not forget Wright didn't run the point in high school and didn't regularly play against the talent that Allen has seen in his high school career.  Also, Wright wasn't a stunning defensive prospect in any scouting report and as you can see from this past season it took him a little to get used to Coach L's system. As Wright is a big offensive threat Allen is more of a polished player and is much stronger and more prepared for college level in my opinion.  Well shall see though.

Will Allen come in and start right away? I think he will have his chance to earn a starting role right from the start because I don't see how he would have committed to playing for Mason if the staff didn't ensure him of this.  With the kind of talent he went against playing at Oak Hill and his senior year of polishing his skills in the New England prep leagues Allen could vary well earn a starting role early in the season.  It's been rare to see a freshmen start from the early goings under Larranaga and how this kid plays defense will be a huge factor in determining that. The question remains who is going to get less minutes on the current rotation if Allen ends up getting a lot of playing time. Isaiah Tate's days in the starting lineup could be numbered which would be a move no one would argue with.  I don't see how a lineup of Cam Long, Andre Cornelius, and Bryon Allen would work and let's not forget Sherrod Wright proved he deserves a bigger role next season. A realistic scenario at some point in the season as I see it would have Allen at the point along with Cam Long at the two and Cornelius coming off the bench. Sherrod Wright and Luke Hancock are possible starters for that third guard/small forward role along with Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison in the front court.

What role do you think he will have next season?

UPDATE: Some quotes from Zagsblog today:

“I felt it was the best program for me,” Allen said. “I felt real comfortable there.”

"Allen said he hopes to come in and battle for time at point guard."

“Coach [Jim Larranaga] said it’s up to me. I have to give it my all and show my leadership and skills and show what I can do,” he said.

Quotes from

"I visited George Mason two weeks ago,” Allen told “I was supposed to visit SMU this past weekend and I decided I was comfortable with my decision and I chose George Mason."

"The thing about George Mason was playing with Isaiah Tate, Rashad Whack and some of the guys I played against in high school … I enjoyed the team. It’s one big family and we can do damage."

"They see me being a point guard. I think I’m ready for that. This whole year I played point guard at St. Thomas More and that was the first time I played the whole year there. I think I did pretty good at it."



Blogger Trent said...

Awesome signing. Great news.

11:38 AM  
Blogger eaymar said...

This is a terrific signing, kudos to the coaching staff!

But it does make our lineup jumbled. Here's how I have it figured, with starters in first and bench players behind them:

PG - Andre Cornelius, Rashad Whack, Vertrail Vaughns

SG - Cam Long, Sherrod Wright, Bryon Allan

SF - Luke Hancock, Isaish Tate

PF - Ryan Pearson, Paris Bennett

C - Mike Morrison, Johnny Williams, Jonathon Arledge

I think you have to move Allen to the SG spot, especially since he's been a scoring guard through high school and has, as you suggested, a game similar to Sherrod Wright. That doesn't mean he can't handle the ball - he might be similar to a Folarin Campbell or Erik Herring, a bigger guard who brings the ball up.

This does leave us a little thin in the frontcourt. Morrison and Williams are going to have to play solid defense and limit their foul problems, so that Arledge can get in the game comfortably. Larranaga's best teams have always had tremendous post players, starting with the Sarge, and then Lewis and Thomas. I honestly think both Morrison and Williams can be that good, and they're certainly going to have the game minutes to prove themselves. I hope we can round out to a consistent starting five this season, with solid contributions and minutes for the bench players - a staple of our basketball program when it's at it's best.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I see DreCorn running the point and Allen easing in as he learns. Dre will see more action at SG as that goes along. Cam will start at SG and do spot duty at the point. Sherrod will back up at the point but perhaps do more duty at SF behind Luke, as Mason shows a little more 3 guard action on the floor next year.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

I meant Sherrod will back up at SG.

12:47 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

I refuse to get excited about any recruit until they actually play a college game.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...


Considering how much Division I talent this guy has already played against, I think it's ok to get a little excited.

I know I gush over all our recruits but this kid really has the most impressive resume coming into Mason I've ever seen during the Larranaga days.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

Only time will tell. Last year, the most unheralded fresman (Hancock) was, by far, the main frosh contributor.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

Hope it works out well for Bryon and all of the players.

3:38 PM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

We will see. Sounds like GM is still in need of a TRUE point guard. I'm glad Allen is getting to play close to home.

7:09 PM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

My thinking is that one of the other guards will get an attitude and transfer with fear of losing minutes. Instead of working their ass of to insure a position, they will most likely just leave. I would not be suprised if this happens. Mr. Allen is concerned, I hope he is the real-deal-Mike Tyson bit his ear off-Holyfield. Nothing would be better for a team than a true point and one that can play D.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

That's my fear too Mookie, but if that happens what can you do? The staff had an opportunity to land a stud and they did.

Even if some of you aren't jumping on the bandwagon early can you at least admit it's nice to have another option at PG?

7:14 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

Same as last year, Corn and Cam bringing it up, easing Allen in over time, pulling him if he turns it over.

Very nice to have him.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Ryan said... describes Allen as "a strong and powerful guard who is absolutely tough as nails. He has become more of a true point guard within the last year as he's improved his ability to see the floor and distribute the ball, but is still an aggressive playmaking guard."

8:30 PM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

So glad he is aboard... but let us not expect too much. He is not even ranked within the top fifty point or shooting guards according to Scout. He is at number 42 on one rating system and two stars (out of five) on Scout. He got a NR (no ranking.) I hope he is great, but I would be truly surprised if he beat Cam for the starting pg spot. Give him a year or so to season. It is all about hard work. Hope he can help right off... odds against it. Gotta stock up for the future, however.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Brent said...

This is ABSOLUTELY what we needed. DreCorn (it fits for now) is much more of a SG than a PG. In the game that mattered most this past season (VCU in the tourney) only Cam and Luke brought the ball up! What does that say? DreCorn is fast, can shoot the 3, excels in the fast break, but is too small to penetrate and score in the half court setting. He doesn't have the desire to be an assists guy at this point.

I love Cam, but he was a turnover machine the last half of the season when he was forced to bring up the ball due to DreCorn's inabilities. The ONE thing we need right now is a PG who can bring up the ball, penetrate, and either pass or score. At 6'3 he will be the defensive stud we need to guard the perimeter (our big weakness this past year).

Some of you have talked about needing more big men. I disagree. Morrison and Pearson will do fine as they can now be called "veterans." I think Johnny Williams will be better than both of them, and I'd love/expect him to get many more minutes next year. With Arledge coming, we DON'T need any more bigs. We need a PG.. maybe even a few.

I love the signing and think it's the best thing that could of happened.

I am also an extreme optimist, so we'll see what happens!!

9:38 PM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

Brent... it is a wonderful signing. Don't expect much this coming year, however. Be hard to beat out Cam. Re: bigs... we still need another 6'7 or 6'8 that is athletic and can shoot and board. I realize the pickings are slim now. Just look, however, at how much we got outrebounded in the second half. Does that not tell you something? Not saying Dre would be the point... but how can you second guess his desire? Like I said, Foster will be missed. Sure hope it works out great. Love my Pats!!!

9:57 PM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

Oh I am excited that Mason will get a true point I don't think I said that. I just think that this should drive people to do better not get all selfish and transfer. I feel that is what will happen.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Brent said...

Beach Dreams: Very true... we were out rebounded most games and that hurt. I just think we need to groom the guys we have. Morrison and Pearson are showing promise after only their sophmore years. I think Johnny could be a great one as he has a post-up move and showed he can hit a pull up jumper as well. Bringing in any new bigs will only have them on the bench for at least TWO years and by then we've wasted their development.

Morrison is still eratic, but down the stretch he had at least 3 or 4 games of solid double digit scoring. He could really emerge dominant next year and his shot blocking is second to none (okay Sanders!) Foster was good, but how was he EVER going to get minutes? Would you want to see Foster take Johnny's minutes?

As far as DreCorn... just look at his statistics. His assists/to ratio was HORRIBLE and there were games he didn't even have ONE assist! Statistics don't lie, he'd rather shoot than pass.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

Stats don't lie... but we can never second guess what a player is willing to do. Also, we cannot judge their competitive nature. I said, a ways back, Mason needs to land a junior college big. I like the bigs of Mason. Too much pressure on them, however. Did you not see how many o boards other teams got? I am not saying to replace these guys. I love em... think they can all be good. But this team has no tweeners other than Luke and no other "proven" forwards. I do think losing Foster will hurt. We needed him along with Williams. Don't underestimate Foster. He had some very, very nice moments and he could play.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

Brent....are you suggesting Arledge will be on the bench for two years? I don't know. Just curious.

10:34 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

Since we're back on the issue of bigs and bounds (and it is a great discussion, thanks), I've kind of broken it down. As a former kinda big I see two things.

First, there's offensive end and production from the bigs. This has everything to do with the PG in particular and the guards in general. The PG must initiate the offense, penetrate, and/or get it to the wings to feed the big men. Last year, actually the last 2, our guards were unable to do this, turned it over when doubled and that is highly frustrating to the big men. I've seen Pearson (mostly) many times get a guy pinned on his hip but our guards can't make the entry. And you know who else posts people up really well? Cam. He puts that big ass on people and can work them over. But he can't get there if he can't work low, get to the baseline.

Then there's the defensive end. Our big men don't block out consistently and are oftentimes out of position to rebound. That's back to desire, hustle, all that old school stuff. One of the factors too is that our guards would fly out at people and they'd get driven by forcing our frontcourt to help, leave their man. This doesn't help the rebounding stats. When we went zone a few times late in the season we rebounded better. I think there's a correlation.

Brent, I could not agree more with your post. If Allen is the real deal then everything changes, but it's not going to be overnight.
Beach, you touched on something that has been really overlooked and that's a pure shooter, an off the bench spot up three guy that. We do not have that.

Nice to chop it up with you all.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Gary Rodriguez said...

Whether he plays well, we shall see. But what's most important to me is how he behaves. He seems like a well-rounded kid, so I hope he doesn't land himself into trouble. That's what plagued our team, in my opnion: off-court/behavioral issues. Let's hope our guys can get their heads straight and focus on basketball. Good pickup for the team.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

What Not,

You touched on a very important point with the comment on entry passes to our front court guys. This was really an issue last year and hopefully Allen is a guy who protects the ball well and knows how to feed our forwards when they are in position. If Allen develops into anything close to a true PG this will do wonders for the offense and everything will flow better.

As far as the Arledge comments, I don't know if he will ride the bench for two years but he definitely won't see too much action next season, he is a very raw player.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may not know much, but this much I do know and get excited about is a rotation that includes upfront: Morrison, Pearson, Arledge, and Williams and a 3 guard set of our athletes with Allan or Hancock bringing the ball up court with Corn and Cam, Wright and Tate shooting. It reminds me of the 2006 and 2008 teams (Thomas and Lewis up front with Campbell, Norwood, Butler/Vaugh shooting/driving). I like it, I like it a lot!

The young team moniker has to end this year - three starters will be at least into their third year in the program and have to dominate and 3-4 freshman (those that end up staying) all got decent playing time this year. Next year and 2011 will be key - if the off the court/immaturity issues continue then that's a bigger sign of problems, but I see no reason why this can't be a at large bid team.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Random follow up comments:
I think our lack of defensive rebounds has something to do with our focus on contesting shots -- seems to result in less presence under the hoop.

Dre's lack of assists correlates to the fact that he is not great at penetrating, at least not yet. Defenders don't seem to fear him penetrating.

So... I hope Allen is as good at penetrating as his eyes are. Going by his profile pic, dude's got some piercing eyes! Not sure I'd wanna take a charge from him!

7:22 PM  
Blogger Essay said...

Welcome to George Mason kid!! Best piece of news I've heard all day. Lots of potential there.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

Ryan, at what point in the year did Paris Bennett get hurt? I never really saw him on the court. Do you know why? Thanks in advance. Oh, yea, looks like a 96 team field is coming for next year.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...


Paris, despite having early season knee problems was available to play for most of the season but just didn't get many minutes. I believe at the end of January he had a wrist injury that shelved him for the rest of the year.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Brent said...

Quick question...

Ryan, don't know if you have any insider on this... but if Bryon was so highly touted and signed with WVU one of the top Big East schools, why didn't he get much interest once dropped? Guys almost always get better their senior years, and Sienna/ SMU were the best schools to go after him besides us? There must be more to this story. Surely a low tier Big East or ACC team would have come after him.

10:34 PM  
Blogger What Not said...


I don't know what Ryan may know but (just to mix it up a bit) 3 high schools? Parental involvement? Hmmmm...

I like how he uses his left hand, though...

7:38 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...


Allen was hurt by the timing of his lost scholarship opportunity at WVU. A lot of upper tier coaches that would have went after him simply didn't have the scholarships open or were heavily invested in another recruits at that point in the recruiting period.

Also I think after improving his skills at PG at St. Thomas More he wanted to go to a school were he can run the show at PG. He could have mostly likely played at a big east or acc but would not have had a chance to play as much as he would at Siena or Mason. Judging by his comments after the verbal I think the reason comes down to that he thinks he has developed into a better player since his junior year. Playing with guys at Oak Hill who go off to BCS programs regularly he probably shunned the mid-majors until he realized they would be a better fit for his game.

What Not,

The three high schools isn't something to be concerned about. A lot of elite players do this to constantly play against better competition when they get the chance. He had a great year at DeMatha and got the attentnion of Oak Hill. Who can resist the lure of a basketball factory like Oak Hill? But obviously Oak Hill comes with some shadiness and lot of recruiting scandals happen. His mother was also part of the reason he left Oak Hill but it was also because he wanted a starring role somewhere for his senior year, he was a bench player at Oak Hill.

There's most likely more to the story on both issues but that is how I see it.

8:52 AM  
Blogger What Not said...


Thanks. I follow Gonzaga and DeMatha pretty closely but I don't remember him. But with the team DeMatha had this year I can imagine even a very good player getting lost in the shuffle. Can't blame him for wanting to play.

11:30 AM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

Ryan- Based on what I have read online,this guy was never REALLY highly recruited by BCS or any other schools for that matter. If the upper tier coaches really wanted him, they would have gone after him early on like Huggins did. Personally, I am glad he isn't/wasn't highly recruited. Perhaps he will make everyone on this team worker harder and smarter and Step Up their game.

The reasons why Allen chose Mason are pretty obvious:
1) Close to home
2)He had very few options
3)Whack and Tate
4)Playing Time

Thanks for keeping this blogsight updated and interesting. How about the remaining Plays of the Decade?

10:08 AM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

Oh my, is VCU loading up or what? Amazing how many starred recruits they are getting and others that are still considering VCU. Time for Mason's upcoming sophs to produce more, and I believe they will. They better, or the next few years could be very, very tough vs. VCU. BTW, what is the big draw to VCU?

10:18 PM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

Still hoping Roland Brown picks GMU.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Beach, you are so right about VCU...they have just recruited some amazing talent and frankly I think the best CAA talent this year, which is curious because VCU is not a particularly desirable school in reputation or basketball. Something is working very strong in VCU's recruitment program, maybe it's the ability of the staff to establish great personal chemistry with the recruits, but it is something that is more than coincidence. VCU is going to continue to be a force to reckon with not only considering their current squad but their ability to keep getting great players year after year.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

Joe... so true... so true.

3:16 AM  
Blogger Beach Dreams said...

Joe.... I hear ya. Apparently, coach Shaka Smart of VCU is a wicked recruiter. Guess he is doing his thing. Should be interesting.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone else looking forward to a possible matchup with NC State and their new freshmen?

Check out this highlight reel of them


4:55 PM  

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