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

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

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.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not up to Long to be "selfish." It is up to the team to play Team ball. Long did well when the team was sharing the ball and looking for him and other open players. Long did poorly when the "team" regressed to selfish behavior. Long definitely needs to assert himself and yes-put up Maynor-like numbers if he or this team wants to go places.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous latest sports news said...

I agree with the comment above. Its a team effort so you cant just blame 1 person.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

I don't think the whole season hinges on Cam, either. Mason will be at its best when every position is a threat to score, and every position has team depth, which is a thing we easily can achieve. I am very optimistic about this season. That said, I do think it would be a huge plus if Cam can be the go-to guy and the one that opposing defenses feel they have to focus on no matter what, which would free the rest up to do their thing.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cam Long sucked last year, they better not be hoping he will lead them to a CAA championship. Guys like Sherrod Wright and others will need to step up

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the kind of potential this team has recruited over the last couple of years you never know how much these guys have developed over this off season. I am willing to bet that we have much better depth at all positions and that a couple of these guys will have hot hands. Cam having a solid season will be huge but not a make or break factor.

2:25 PM  

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