This page has moved to a new address.

George Mason heads to Northern Iowa trying to remain focused

George Mason Basketball: George Mason heads to Northern Iowa trying to remain focused

Friday, February 18, 2011

George Mason heads to Northern Iowa trying to remain focused

Right now staying focused is the name of the game for Jim Larranaga and his players.  They have been in the spotlight on the national scene with everyone and their mother drawing comparisons to the 2005-2006 team. Last night Chris Caputo and Luke Hancock where on 106.7 The Fan with Bill Rohland and the assistant coach said that he was most impressed with how the team has stayed focused during their winning streak and was not looking ahead past the next game at hand. That is going to be an important quality during these last couple games for the Patriots and it begins Saturday with a game at Northern Iowa for the ESPN Bracketbusters.

Judging from the comments I received a few weeks ago I think most of you will be happy to hear that Dick Vitale will not be calling the game tomorrow night. It's still great to have Mason on ESPN2 right now with how well they are playing.  Northern Iowa has been in a slump since their leading rebounder Lucas O'Rear got injured and have gone 1-3 in their last four games in the MVC. I think the Patriots might have to worry more about these guys distracting them more than the actual team they are playing (kidding):

The game itself might have lost some of it's luster since it was announced a few weeks ago but it is still a solid road test for the Patriots. It's funny how Bracketbusters can be a play-in match for the NCAA tournament one year and a burden of a road trip the next. Currently UNI has an RPI of 75 which is still another Top 100 game for Mason to have under their belts. And I don't think at this point any loss for Mason would not knock them out of the at-large discussions.  If you've been following the Mock Selection on Twitter that the NCAA does every year and has going on now, you'd know that Mason is under strong consideration for the field of 68 by all the experts.

Here is what to expect in this game.  Look for Mason to have a good night shooting from behind the arc, they are one of the best teams in the country shooting from there and Northern Iowa is one of the worst teams defending it.  Andre Cornelius, Cam Long, Isaiah Tate, and Vertrail Vaughns will no doubt get plenty of opportunities for three-point chances and it will most likely end up being the difference in the game.  Also I talked about how UNI lost their leading rebounder but the truth is they weren't a great rebounding team even before O'Rear got hurt.  Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison should help the Patriots control the glass and give plenty of second chances opportunities to the guards.  On defense for Mason senior guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe is a holdover from last season's Sweet 16 team and will be focused on as he leads the team in scoring.



Anonymous Patrick Money said...

Pretty sure all teams like this that have a high school gym can rock a house! Try and fill the patriot center LIKE MASON CAN - then northern Iowa can get all excited

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Kenny Tindal said...

Two things, why don't we have a half time dance and why in gods name don't we have suspenders?!?! Why!?

11:02 AM  
Anonymous c hirsch said...

Charlie, Norther Iowa is a terrible rebounding team. They are 332nd in the nation. In fact, when researching them for my blog post about the game, I discovered that the Panthers are pretty much terrible at everything. They don't score, rebound, pass, or even shoot the ball well. I really have no clue how they are 19-9. The only prayer they have of competing with us is if they can hang around and keep the crowd into it.

I think they hang around in the first half, but Mason will jump on their throats to start the second half, we win by double digits.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

You are right on paper they look sad. What I looked at is the 2 to 3 guys Ahelegbe,james and Koch since their best rebounder O'rear is out. Then I looked at their home games that they won and what they did,at least on paper. Of course we have better Statistics but there are reasons to be concerened there always are. First they shoot almost 140 more Three"s then we do and that affects their rebounding. They really don't turn the ball over that much. Again I do not disagree with anything you said and I expect a win but I just always try to find who,what,where,when,why and how a team wins when they play well. Just my nature. Just win and move on. Guess you can say I am cautiously optimistic but confident.

12:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Blog Counter