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Who is the George Mason's most irreplaceable player this season?

George Mason Basketball: Who is the George Mason's most irreplaceable player this season?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who is the George Mason's most irreplaceable player this season?

While doing a Q & A for's Mike Miller and his Beyond the Arc blog this week I was posed this question. I found it a tough one to ponder based on the way George Mason's season has progressed so far. The Q & A exchange will run tomorrow morning on and I ended up going with Cam Long for a couple of different reasons, however I feel I could have also gone a different way and not have been wrong.  The team is just so balanced and versatile this season that I find it hard to pinpoint one guy.  You can argue that they are so successful because of what they all do together at there as a team and that losing any one of them would severely disrupt the flow. But for arguments sake I tried to nail down the true catalyst of this year's team.

As I just stated Cam Long is the play here due to the fact that he has the best leadership qualities, numerous intangibles and often looks like a floor general out there.  You can really notice him take charge on the court this season and does not try to do to much, something that plagued him last season. Out of all the guys in this year's squad I think Long is the one guy that you can say makes everyone around him play better when he is on the court.  It also doesn't hurt that he is leading the team in scoring and currently posting his best three-point shooting numbers of his career.

After Cam Long I would have to rank Ryan Pearson next on my ranking list of irreplaceable players.  He just does too much on offense and on the boards.  Rebounding was a bit of an issue in the beginning of the season and the Patriots have steadily improved during this winning streak.  Pearson is a big part of that and often times when Mike Morrison is struggling it seems like he is the only rebounding force out there for the Patriots.  He just does too many good things in the low post and I don't think they would have much of a presence there without him. And that's not a knock on Morrison but I just think it would be very difficult for Mason to establish any sort of inside game without Ryan Pearson on the floor.

Next is where some of you might disagree with me.  I'm going with Luke Hancock next on this ranking but it could easily be Andre Cornelius or Isaiah Tate.  Cornelius has had some amazing defensive prowess this season and let's not forget his three-point shooting ability.  Meanwhile Tate has basically been the bench contributions this year and has done everything the coaching staff has asked him to do.  But Luke Hancock is more valuable to be because he represents somewhat of a "glue-guy" holding it all together.  He leads the team in assists and often time looks like a point guard out there.  He handles the ball well and has been setting up his teammates numerous times during some of their best in-game runs this season. Any time the Patriots have gone a serious run in a game Hancock almost always has been involved with a key assists here and there.  While fans might not love his defensive efforts, you can't argue that he is probably the most well-rounded player on the team and his versatility would be very difficult to replace.  

Who do you think is the team's more irreplaceable player?


Anonymous Gio said...

I agree with your ranking here. Cam has been THE guy for us this season, He has such a cool head and doesn't make rash decisions and has been a stud in the scoring dept. Pearson has really outdone himself this season,especially this past month winning back-to-back CAA player of the year honors. Like you said, we would really miss his uncanny post moves if he wasn't on the floor. And it's amazing that he has been able to do this even after suffering a horrific leg injury in 2001. And what I say about Luke that hasn't already been said, "crafty", "deceptively quick", "smart" etc. This guy has been the wild card without a doubt, his assist production and ball handling has gone through the roof, amazing stuff!! And then we have Mike Mo, Andre, Tate, and Vertrail who are all capable of going off on any given day. We're just very deep and gonna be a nightmare for the other teams in the tourney.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous mlanchap said...

Cam for sure. We'll see this more next year bc we will struggle early without that leadership and he is effective everywhere! I think we will still be very good next year but there will be growing pains. RP is definitely close behind but you can really see a difference when things get slow and then Cam comes back in, the team plays better. Vaughns-no way. Nice bevy of 3's of late but he also sat through a host of games but hopefully he continues to emerge. Morrison has played better of late, he is not much of an offensive threat, he rims out a lot from the low post. This is not to say he doesn't add anything but we don't fall apart when he leaves the floor. Really with the depth we don't fall a part when anyone goes but Cam is the catlyst for sure!

7:56 AM  

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