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Previewing the season opener against Harvard

George Mason Basketball: Previewing the season opener against Harvard

Friday, November 12, 2010

Previewing the season opener against Harvard

Oliver McNally
The season officially gets underway this tomorrow at 4pm as George Mason hosts Harvard. We have talked about this year's George Mason squad in detail already, now it's time to see what they are up against. Harvard was picked to finish 2nd in the Ivy this year despite losing their best player from last season Jeremy Lin (now in the NBA on the Golden State Warriors). Cornell's tournament run last season and then Lin making an NBA roster gives the Ivy league some respect around the NCAA and proves they have teams that can be just as dangerous as other quality mid-majors. The Crimson got a taste for the post season last year in the tournament and will be wanting to build off that.  

However, Harvard won't be at full strength this Saturday against Mason as their reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year Kyle Casey is injured with a broken foot. He most likely won't return until December for the Crimson which will leave the team's front court a little thin.  With Casey out the team will be relying heavily on guards Oliver McNally and Brandyn Curry, both of which had a few games last season in which they led in scoring.  Both are also very good three-point shooters so let's hope the Patriots' perimeter defense has improved.  The Crimson's guards are not huge playmakers but they do have the ability to make Mason pay if they get sloppy on defense.

The Crimson's front court is a different story.  The absence of Kyle Casey leaves them with no depth up front leaving junior Andrew Van Nest having to start alongside center Keith Wright.  Wright was hobbled by injuries all last season and Van Nest struggles with his interior defense. Forwards Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson should not have trouble scoring down low. Mason should be able to take advantage enough here to give their guards plenty of open looks.  

I don't think the Patriots will have trouble with the Crimson if they cover the perimeter well. However no lead is safe when a team can stroke the three from four different players on the court at any time.  I don't doubt Mason's ability to score points in this one but I am curious to see if the team's defense has improved over last season.  Not saying we will see the scramble defense in full force but look to see Larranaga be more aggressive since he will have the better athletes on the court.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should crush them go Mason!

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as they don't give up too many threes they should be fine. Excited to see how the chemistry is with these guys

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Brent said...

As you said I am just worried them dropping threes on us.

Also, with Pearson still injured will he be limited?

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pearson will play, he would have played against Bowie St if it wasn't an exhibition.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detailed preview!

1:34 PM  

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