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The key to George Mason's success this season? They are following Jim Larranaga's "Ten Commitments"

George Mason Basketball: The key to George Mason's success this season? They are following Jim Larranaga's "Ten Commitments"

Friday, March 04, 2011

The key to George Mason's success this season? They are following Jim Larranaga's "Ten Commitments"

Jim Larranaga has a unique brand of coaching and while it might not fit every players' style, you'll see success like we are this season if he has a team full of guys buying into it.  I came across the above YouTube video and it really lays out how this year's Patriots effectively ran through the CAA this season.

In the video Larranaga explains each one of his "Ten Commitments" which he has laid out at every practice. If you are a long time Mason fan you can probably guess what most of them are.  After going through them you can really see how this year's team continues to play Larranaga-branded basketball and how they performed well in almost all of his commitments.

Here is a breakdown of the Ten Commitments:
  1. We will set our defense every time 
  2. -We haven't seen the Patriots get caught out of position on defense much this season. It was really only an issue in their game against NC State in the Charleston Classic and their game at Hofstra.
  3. We will pressure the man with the ball
  4. -Larranaga's patented "scramble defense" is based on the premise of putting maximum pressure on the ball handler.  The Patriots held the rest of the CAA to an average 0.82 assist-to-turnover ratio.  A good recent example of them doing this well was in the game against VCU, where Joey Rodriguez had only one assist; three days later he had 11 against Wichita State.
  5. We will pack the lane to prevent penetration
  6. -Here is an area they really improved on from the beginning of the season but could still use some work. When they prevent slashing guards from going to the hoop is when they can really start to dictate the tempo of the game.
  7. We will contest all shots hands high, without fouling
  8. -Although they have had guys foul out in the recent Northeastern and Northern Iowa games, they done a much better job at reducing overall fouls.  Mike Morrison, who at the beginning of the year struggled to stay in the game during most 1st halves has been a lot more disciplined. The team's overall opponents shooting percentage numbers really reflect how well they contend almost every shot on a nightly basis.   
  9. We will block out, rebound and run
  10. -Another area that the Patriots have improved on and while their rebounding numbers won't blow you away they have been getting the job done in order to close out games. It has been no surprise to witness how well this team has ended a defensive possession with a rebound and then parlayed that into fast break points.
  11. We will run for lay-ups and open threes
  12. -Not much to mention here that I'm sure most fans and observers haven't already taken notice.  This is how Mason has been averaging a CAA best 73.9 points a game, they can beat you with a fast break points and they can efficiently knock down shots from the outside.
  13. We will share the ball
  14. -One of the Patriots biggest strengths is their balance on offense.  They have four starters averaging at least 10 or more points a game and have had 6 different leading scorers so far this season. They are 2nd in the CAA in assists and are 13-0 this season when they record 16 or more in a game.
  15. We will penetrate the defense
  16. -Here is a commitment that shows why most teams can't play zone against Mason. Long, Cornelius, and Hancock are just too good at either getting to the basket or getting to the foul line. Their ability to do this well creates open shots for their perimeter game as well (example: Vertrail Vaughns).
  17. We will create good shots both inside and outside
  18. -What sets this team apart from a lot of other teams around the country is their ability to establish both an inside and outside game.  Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison can draw in defenders and then kick out the ball to their perimeter shooters. It makes them difficult to prepare against because you don't always know where the offensive power is coming from.  Just when you think Ryan Pearson is heating up down low he will kick out to Vertrail Vaughns or Andre Cornelius for an open look three.
  19. We will attack the offensive boards
  20. -This is one commitment where some work can done.  Right now they are middle of the pack in this category in the CAA. It has not really doomed them in any games this season but it has definitely allowed some teams to keep games closer than they should have been.  Mike Morrison could be doing better in this area.



Anonymous overrated14 said...

GO Mason!! Congrats to all the Mason players for a VERY successful 2010-2011 season. Another 120minutes of Mason ball and you will have it all-CAA Championship!!! Go Mason!

10:27 PM  

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