This page has moved to a new address.

George Mason heads to Richmond for CAA showdown with VCU

George Mason Basketball: George Mason heads to Richmond for CAA showdown with VCU

Monday, February 14, 2011

George Mason heads to Richmond for CAA showdown with VCU

Top 25 polls were just released today: George Mason ranks 26th in the Coaches Poll (30 votes) and 30th in the AP Poll (28 votes). 

The Patriots travel down to Richmond to face VCU in what could end up determining 1st place in the CAA standings.  Mason faced a bit of adversity on Saturday in there victory over JMU which I think will help them in this game against the Rams.  I say that because they will need contributions from their bench tomorrow night, guys like Vertrail Vaughns, Johnny Williams, and Rashad Whack will have play at a high level again.  On paper VCU is a deeper team than Mason and that could make this a very up tempo fast paced game with the last team standing getting the victory.  The Patriots haven't won at the Siegel Center since 2005-2006 and recently they have had trouble with the Rams full court pressure down in Richmond.  Although nothing seems to faze the Patriots these days and the Rams are coming a pretty poor performance against ODU at home you can't discount how tough of a game this may still end up being.

VCU's struggles on Saturday highlight some areas the Patriots can take advantage of tomorrow night.  Aside from the fact that none of their starters finished in double figures it would painfully obvious their lack of front court power.  ODU's Frank Hassell, how the Patriots kept to 9 points a week ago, erupted for 18 against the Rams and had 11 boards.  As a team ODU dominated VCU on the boards and almost had as many offensive rebounds as the Rams had total. The Patriots have been steadily improving on the glass at both ends of the court and this could a facet of the game where Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison should hopefully continue to roll.  I thought the two did a good job defensively on JMU's Denzel Bowles; VCU has no front court player of the same caliber as Bowles. I don't really think the Rams will have an answer for Ryan Pearson's inside game so that will be something to watch.

The Rams might not dominate in the front court but they can beat you in similar ways the Patriots do.  They have quick talented guards in Joey Rodriguez and Bradford Burgess who can both hit threes from the outside and make plays in transition.  As Mason leads the CAA in points per possession the Rams are #2 right now and also lead the conference in assists.  They can be very dangerous when they start rolling but they take a lot of shots to get to their point totals. When the early shots don't fall you end up having a game like they did against ODU.  

Mason has let the atmosphere get to them in the beginning of their last couple of games, most notably against ODU and JMU at home.  They can't afford to let that happen at the Siegel Center, which can be a tough venue to play.  If they get behind early it will be much more difficult to mount a comeback with the way VCU plays. The Rams get to the free-throw often and the Patriots were a little foul happy on Saturday.  In the end this one will all come down to rebounding and defense, two areas the Patriots are doing better in at the moment. 



Anonymous Charlie T said...

Its funny this year the top 6 teams have both different and similar styles. ODU,JMU,and Drexel like to go inside while VCU,Hofstra and GMU have more of an outside game. Simply what has seperated us from everyone thus far has been our complete defense and a certain tempo. Big men do not like to run plus they really do not like guards who penetrate so we have had success with Cam and Luke getting inside. VCU depends on defense,turnovers and outside shooting much like us. To win we must value possessions and the ball. The winner in this game should come down to turnovers and assists. Who leads in one and not the other should come out OK. Only other thing (Well I worry about everything) is the bench. I would hope they can come in in normal rotation and not because of starters foul trouble. I know we will be ready.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous mkaufman1 said...

I like our chances this year. All the other teams that Mason has had, it always seemed like we'd be so different on the road than at home. This team just seems different. I think if we can keep composure, and break their press which will rattle them, we should be able to take care of it. The turning point of the year showing that this team was different overall to me was when they got down 8 (or so) at JMU and turned it around with a 17-2 run.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Dperot said...

Odu stayed in zone defense most of the game. And it seemed pretty effective. I wonder if coach L will use that during the game.

10:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Blog Counter