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Mike Morrison will be a big factor in George Mason's success this season

George Mason Basketball: Mike Morrison will be a big factor in George Mason's success this season

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mike Morrison will be a big factor in George Mason's success this season

Although Cam Long continues to get the preseason press clippings, I feel Mike Morrison will most likely end being just as big of a factor this season for the Patriots. Jake Whitacre of SB Nation will agree with me on this one. It's often difficult for mid-major teams to find tough inside players to battle with the big boys and Morrison's improvement over last season could give the Patriots a much improved inside prescence in the CAA.  Ryan Pearson is a consistent scoring threat at forward but he's still undersized for the position.  Morrison becoming a terror in the middle only helps Pearson's game while also giving plenty of scoring chances for the team's stellar guards.  Larranaga's best teams always had strong forwards/centers, think George Evans, Jesse Young, Jai Lewis, and Will Thomas.  All those guys were coached up by Larranaga into low post machines, except maybe for Evans who was just a flat out beast. But can Morrison get to the same level as those guys? I think so.

Morrison will benefit from being surrounded by a lot of talent this season, talent that also won't be going though as much growing pains. The reason why Morrison's improvement will be so important this season is that it will strengthen a weak area for the Patriots.  While him and Pearson certainly didn't have awful years last season, they did have games where they got abused by better big men in and out of the CAA.  The game against Radford was probably the most telling as the Highlanders scored at will inside all game long.  Larry Sanders (VCU), Gerald Lee (ODU), and Nkem Ojougboh (NU) are just some of the forwards in the CAA that gave the Patriots trouble last year, however they are gone now.  As a whole I don't think the CAA is as deep at the forward position this season,  which opens the door for Morrison. 

Free-throw shooting will probably still be an issue this season for him and he will still need to learn how to stay in games longer by not getting into foul trouble.  This is where it's obvious how important he will be to the team's success frankly because the group just isn't that deep at forward.  If Morrison gets into early foul trouble the team won't have the benefit of subbing in a senior at that position like with Louis Birdsong last year.  While working on those areas, he should be a much improved rebounder and defender this season without a doubt.  His rebounding will play a large part in letting others take more three-point attempts, something Coach Larranaga wants to see.  I think fans will be very pleased by his offseason work ethic and how he will be more aggressive in the middle this year.

[Photo Credit: George Mason Athletics]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Morrison owned sanders in the regular season game. Bowles is the biggest target for Morrison this year, not much of a defender but he can put up the points like crazy.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bowles will be a beast this year, definitely a 1st team all-caa

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

The old rule of thumb is that the junior year is when your players make their biggest leap forward. I hope that's the case with Mr. Mo and with Pearson.

9:32 AM  

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