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George Mason Basketball

George Mason Basketball: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

George Mason's CAA schedule so far for 2010-2011

CAA schools are starting to release their men's basketball schedules for the 2010-2011 season. As we await Mason's to be fully released let's fill in what we know:

December 4: UNCW
January 8: at ODU
January 12: at Northeastern
February 5: ODU
February 9: at UNCW
February 23: Northeastern

You find Mason's out of conference schedule here.

Thanks to CAA Full Court Press for their up keeping of a composite CAA schedule.


Friday, August 27, 2010

CAA conference scheduling update: Mason to play UNCW Dec. 4 (home) & Feb. 9 (road)

UNCW was first to release their portion of the CAA conference schedule for 2010-2011.  They will travel to Fairfax December 4th and the Patriots will travel to the Trask Coliseum on February 9th of 2011. has a breakdown:

Nov. 13: Harvard
Nov. 18-19, 21: at Charleston Classic (with Charlotte, East Carolina, Georgetown, N.C. State, Wofford and two teams TBA)
Nov. 24: Radford
Nov. 27: Florida Atlantic

Dec. 1: George Washington
Dec. 4: UNC Wilmington
Dec. 8: Loyola
Dec. 11: at Liberty
Dec. 22: at Duquesne
Dec. 29: at Dayton

Feb. 9: at UNC Wilmington
Feb. 19: at Bracket Buster

TBA: Delaware
TBA: Drexel
TBA: Georgia State
TBA: Hofstra
TBA: James Madison
TBA: Northeastern
TBA: Old Dominion
TBA: Towson
TBA: at Delaware
TBA: at Georgia State
TBA: at Hofstra
TBA: at James Madison
TBA: at Northeastern
TBA: at Old Dominion
TBA: at Virginia Commonwealth
TBA: at William and Mary


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vertrail Vaughns competing in dance off against the Italians (Video)

Apparently the 108-38 beat down Mason handed out to GMV Ghezzano was just a prelude to the real action that night:

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George Mason's last game in Italy canceled because of court condition

It seems Mason's final game in Italy was cut short because "the court was too slippery" and they didn't want to risk any injuries.  Kind of a shame but I am sure the team is ready to head back to the US and prepare for the 2010-2011 season after bonding together as a team during this trip. Here is a picture of the court before the game by Coach Konkol:


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pictures and Coach Larranaga interview from the George Mason vs Forli game

Some pictures from today's 83-78 win over Forli and a post game interview with Coach Larranaga, unnecessarily close for some reason:

[pictures via romagnaoggi]

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George Mason defeats Forli in Italy 83-78, Mike Morrison scores 15 to lead Patriots

The Patriots faced their toughest opponent in Italy today against Forli and edged out a victory to the tune of 83-78.  A much more evenly played matched compared to what we have seen so far on this trip. The top scorers for Mason were Mike Morrsion (15), Cam Long (12), and Ryan Pearson (10).  It should be no surprise that this victory came from a balanced Patriots attack on offense. They spread the ball around a lot in this one which probably what we will see a lot of this season.  Bryon Allen picked up 8 points and Luke Hancock added 9, showing how close the Patriots came to having five players in double figures.  I would loved to see what kind of defense Forli was sporting in this one because I doubt it's much like anything the Patriots will see in the CAA this season but hopefully they had to use some muscle to close this one out.  


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pictures from the George Mason vs GMV Ghezzano game

We received a few pictures today from the game yesterday against GMV Ghezzano. As you can tell from the score (108-38) it was a blowout and that is why I am not surprised the pictures are all basically of Mason players dunking on the Italians.

The team plays Forli next at Lake Como, who lost to the U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by only 3 on Saturday.  Coach Konkol says they are a physical squad and should be a tough opponent for the Patriots.

[Pictures by Social Basket Livorno]


Monday, August 23, 2010

George Mason beats up on GMV Ghezzano, exchange gifts, pasta, and steak

Today's game against GMV Ghezzano in Livorno proves my point further from my post yesterday. They beat GMV Ghezzano 108-38 and after the game the people in Livorno "could not have been nicer".  Here's a quote from assistant coach Chris Caputo:
"After the game and gift exchange they invited us to a social club for pasta and steak. Our whole travel party went to the dinner along with their players, cheerleaders, and some fans of their team. Our guys really had a great time socializing with everyone and sat with the cheerleaders for dinner. Vertrail competed in a dance off with one of the fans that had the whole place going wild! The people of Livorno could not have been more hospitable."
Larranaga says tomorrow their game in Florence should be their toughest.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

George Mason trip to Italy more about bonding than basketball

Make no mistake, the trip to Italy for the George Mason basketball team is focused around basketball but really the experience that is only allowed every four years is about the bonding and team unity.  The team's 98-65 win over Lombardia shows they aren't playing against top European talent.  Remember this is the preseason time for those leagues as well.  Very few players Mason faced yesterday were Division I type talent and some guys where simply there trying out for the Italian team. 

The Patriots are not the only NCAA team in Italy this summer. Wisconsin-Milwaukee played Lombardia on Wednesday and beat them 84-50. So you can see the competition is a little watered down. 

This trip is a great opportunity for the young guys on the team to bond with some of the older players and for the team as a whole to come together and play much earlier than midnight madness.  The coaches do this trip mostly because they are able to hold practices when they normally would not be allowed to by NCAA rules.  This type of trip also lets you see your team in action, especially the freshmen.  Sure the guys play in summer league games but those are basically background street ball games with no defense, plus the coaches can't give instruction during them.  This whole experience will pay off for Mason this season and should help them find their identity much earlier in the season; unlike last year.   


Friday, August 20, 2010

Team wins first game in Italy against Lombardio 98-65

Don't know much but the team won their first game today against Lombardio by 33. Looks like the gelato didn't slow them down a bit.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Team is enjoying lots of gelato in Italy so far

The team arrived in Italy and is already taking in all the beautiful country has to offer. has a blog from Coach L which contains the schedule for the trip and Coach Konkol is already busting out the photos on twitter:


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wizards training camp will be held at the Patriot Center

It seems the Washington Wizards will indeed be holding their training camp at the Patriot Center in Fairfax this year as previously rumored.  Wizards Extreme broke the news today

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Michael Litos shares his Blue Ribbon Yearbook preview for George Mason 2010-11

Michael Litos has posted a preview of some of his work for the CAA on this year's Blue Ribbon Yearbook that he contributes to annually for college basketball. Here is what he had to say for George Mason, see if you agree:
"What Matters: Boldness. Really, this is all about Cam Long. The kid has got to be that guy, both on and off the court. When Mason was its best Long was a selfish ballhog, and we mean that in a good way. Long must show up, and demand things of his teammates. Luke Hancock taking the frosh to soph jump is important, too, but a distant second.
It’s Good If: Long yells at a teammate during an early season game (then hits a three); Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson become a consistent Batman and Robin combination on the baseline; Johnny Williams provides a measure of bulk.
It’s Not Good If: Mason has six different leading scorers in its first eight games. Mason is the ultimate in expect the unexpected, and that’s not good; Andre Cornelius starts the season slowly. Jim Larranaga defers to upperclassmen, and the coach will have a decision to make if Sherrod Wright or Bryon Allen are outplaying ACorn. 
Look Out For: Wright. He didn’t shoot it well and his assist-to-turnover ratio was horrible (14/34). But that’s typical freshman stuff. I see consistent minutes and three double-figures games down the stretch, when most freshman have hit the wall. 
One Stat: Mason played five games against the top three teams (ODU, NU, Pugs). The Patriots were 1-4 in those games, and Cam Long scored 27 total points (5.4ppg), never getting more than seven in any one game. He missed 11 of 12 threes. 
Jim Larranaga: “(Freshman) Bryon (Allen) is a powerful guard who can score at the rim and from the perimeter as well as create for his teammates.” 
In Summary: The only thing I’m certain of is that Mason will finish somewhere between first and 12th. I have them third based on talent level and coaching acumen, but nothing would surprise me out of this group. Maturity may tell the tale. Vegas builds casinos on people who think they’ve got a team like Mason figured out."
I agree with the fact that Cam Long is going to be important to this teams success, but will his leadership determine whether this is a 1st place CAA team or a 5th place one? I'm not so sure it's going to be that cut and dry.  Larranaga always produces a balanced squad on offense and I don't think Long needs to be Eric Maynor-like in order for the Patriots to get to the NCAAs this season.  The stat from Long's play against the top three CAA teams last season proves that Long would have to almost make a 180 this season in terms of consistency. Will that happen? I doubt it. It's not surprise that the team flourished when Long was more selfish with the ball, but I feel like he has more to lean on this season. If Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson continue to produce up front Long won't have to put up 20 points to beat ODU or VCU.

I do agree that Coach L might have to make a decision about Sherrod Wright or Bryon Allen if they are outplaying Andre Cornelius. This is something I could see happening sooner rather than later, especially if Allen displays some natural point guard skills.  Cornelius was wildly inconsistent last season but still remained the teams' best long range shooter (43% from 3pt).  This combined with his defense should keep him in the starting lineup but for how long I don't know.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Coach Larranaga getting a visit from a big time recruit this week

Jeff Goodman from Fox Sports posted on twitter yesterday that George Mason will be getting a visit from a big time recruit Naadir Tharpe this week. Tharpe is ranked the #17 PG in the country by and #8 PG by ESPN (#52 overall).


Thursday, August 05, 2010

The final two teams in the Charleston Classic field still not finalized

ESPN today announced the matchups for their early season college basketball events. However, the Charleston Classic which the Patriots are playing in this November was not mentioned. Andy Katz reveils that it is because the last two teams are not yet finalized.

After speaking with the media relations people overseeing the Charleston Classic, it is believed that the remaining two teams will be announced sometime this month.

The current teams in the tournament are Charlotte, ECU, Georgetown, George Mason, NC State, and Wofford.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Teams George Mason will be playing while in Italy

During the team's tour of Italy they will play the following teams:

Lombardia, Livorno, Vemsistemi Forli, and Paffoni Omenga

As you can see I only found a link for two of the teams because the other two are city names in Italy. But we do know that all the teams the Patriots will be facing are professional and will be an excellent test. The other benefit of this trip is that the team gets to hold regular practices (as we posted yesterday) when they normally would not be allowed to before they depart for Italy.  Teams are only allowed to do this type of deal once every four years.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

George Mason basketball begins first practice before their trip to Italy

Here is some video of the team's first practice as they prepare for their trip to Italy this month.

Read more about the team's trip to Italy here.

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