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Mason continues to roll at home with win over Loyola (MD)

George Mason Basketball: Mason continues to roll at home with win over Loyola (MD)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Mason continues to roll at home with win over Loyola (MD)

Photo via Flickr
The Patriots finished their homestand 5-0 and improve to 7-2 on the year with Cam Long joining the 1,000 point club at George Mason.  They have won each game during their home stretch by at least 14 points, however Loyola was the first team to shoot higher than 38% from the field against them. Still an impressive game for the Patriots who ended up forcing 17 turnovers and getting 18 points off them. Luke Hancock had another complete game which he started off by assisting on the first four baskets for Mason Their free-throw numbers weren't great but they continue to get to the line more than the opposing team. Defensively they weren't as tough as they have been as the Greyhounds got a little too many open looks in the 1st half. They were also beat on the boards more than I would like to see against a team like this. Some of that was masked by great scoring efforts from Cam Long, Ryan Pearson, and Luke Hancock. The team needs to see more scoring nights like this from Pearson because it can really establish an inside presence.  Long has been consistent and Hancock usually is too but Pearson can be a tough man to guard for opposing teams and we haven't seen the team take advantage of that enough. His spin move to the basket in the 1st half showed how dangerous of a scorer he can be when he's not frustrated. Meanwhile Mike Morrison was a total non-factor and played all of 3 minutes in the first half after two quick fouls. Paris Bennett and Jonathan Arledge got more minutes because of this and Arledge looked good. In the first half he left after it looked like he hurt his shoulder and that opened the door for Johnny Williams who looked pretty awful.  I think all those commenting here asking why he doesn't play much should go back and look at the tape from this game.

After getting a lot of scoring from their bench against UNCW we didn't see anything from Isaiah Tate or Vertrail Vaughns.  Jonathan Arledge looked good off the bench and the coaching staff has be excited about his defense and toughness in the middle.  I think Arledge, who could still use a lot of work on his offensive game, will end up being a solid rebounder for Larranaga. Paris Bennett and Johnny Williams continue to look lost on defense at times which isn't a good thing as the full CAA schedule is just around the corner.  With Morrison on the bench as long as he was you have to wonder what is going to happen against team's like JMU and ODU who have much better front court players than Loyola.

The Patriots do enter these next couple of road games with some confidence as they have showed dominance on offense and defense through their last couple of games.  It will be interesting to see how they do against some better competition away from the Patriot Center.  Rebounding is probably the only area they need to improve on to be successful on the road.  They are shooting the ball better, getting more assists, and forcing more turnovers than they were at this point last season.  Overall they are a more disciplined squad and it seems like more players are comfortable with their roles on the team.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta love Morrison's dunks!!!

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Benti said...

The big thing this year is they actually seem to be running offensive sets. It could be a result of another year of experience, or maybe Larranaga actually hired an offensive consult or something.

With Larranaga always having an emphasis on defense, and with a potentially serviceable offense, the Patriots could be a dangerous team this year.


3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But not his layups that dribble off the rim. Dunk it! Even Hancock was dunking.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that GM boxscores have the forwards and then the guards in ascending order? Why the change in format? Most teams go by ascending number.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First game I've been able to get to this year. Much of the same cast as last year but they look a lot better. If they can resist the temptation to get cute when they get ahead and just keep pouring it on for the full 40 minutes, I think they can go far. Right now, they're better than most teams they've played but they're not flattening them when they have the chance.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will say this about Johnny Williams. He almost reminds me of a Kevin Foster. Whenever he touches the ball you almost know 100% in your head that no matter where he is on the court he is going to shoot the ball. Whether it's a fast break or he is being quadruple teamed he will force it up. That's the kind of stuff as a fan that I can not stand and which is why I dont like seeing him out there.

8:03 AM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

That is my problem with this team and teams of the recent past. They get the lead then let up. If they would just put their foot on the neck of their opponent then their confidence would build and the opponent would fear them a little more. I hate to say it but VCU has always had that mentality no matter who their coach was. This was a nice win with improvement in free throw shooting and assists again. I don't understand how people that comment on this site don't get excited over Hancock. That kat is a true balla. He will be the most complete player in Mason history when it is all said and done. GO MASON!!!!

8:34 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

Check out Luke's career numbers. He's improved significantly in All categories. If we can effictively use Morrison and Pearson more on the inside this team could be dangerous.

10:13 AM  

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