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George Mason Basketball

George Mason Basketball: August 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

George Mason will host a closed scrimmage against Marquette November 5

Looks like the Patriots have another scrimmaging partner this year, per the Journal Sentinel:
"The Marquette Golden Eagles have already landed a replacement for the closed workout/scrimmage that they lost recently when USC backed out.

MU will now practice at George Mason on Nov. 5."
Mason used to have an annual closed door scrimmage against Georgetown but most recently they had one with Richmond.  Marquette coming to Fairfax will be a great early test for this revamped George Mason squad and hopefully Jeff Goodman or someone will provide some details again this year. You won't hear much from it because only athletic department staff are allowed to watch the scrimmage and stats are not supposed to be kept. 

Per NCAA rules Division I teams get any combination of two preseason contests, either closed scrimmages or public exhibitions.  Some schools, like Mason, have a combination of the two while most bigger programs go with two public exhibitions in their home arena.

Washington Post writer Steven Goff explains how the arrangement came about:
"Sat. closed scrimmage with Marquette came about when Southern Cal withdrew from game with Big East team. GMU will go to Milwaukee next Oct"


Monday, August 29, 2011

Doesn't seem like all the George Mason players agreed with Larranaga's coaching style

Last week ran a feature on next year's George Mason basketball outlook, as part of their summer buzz collection. Another article by Dana O'Neil seems to be high on Paul Hewitt's chances to succeed during this "fresh start".  But the most interesting one from the mix was featured on the Insiders page.  It talks about the different coaching styles between Jim Larranaga and Hewitt and how it can have an impact on next year's team.  Seems Ryan Pearson and some other players weren't too fond of Larranaga's substitution style. Here is the excerpt:
"GMU will be one of the most experienced teams in the Colonial Athletic Association next season, and the coaching styles of Hewitt and Larranaga are on different ends of the spectrum. For example, the Patriots have rarely depended on their bench; last season, only six players were on the floor for more than 50 percent of Mason's minutes played. According to Ken Pomeroy's metrics, Mason's bench was underused. (It's worth pointing out that so was every bench in the CAA; after Georgia State and William & Mary, the drop-off was pretty severe.) With Hewitt at the helm, Georgia Tech was known for its hockey-style substitution patterns. Besides Glen Rice, Iman Shumpert and Brian Oliver, the rest of the Yellow Jackets saw a fairly even number of minutes, and their bench enjoyed one of the highest percentage of minutes played in the nation. Ask senior Ryan Pearson, though, and the forward suggests that Mason needed a change. 

"Coach Larranaga had a six- or seven-man rotation, and I didn't think it was good -- but we did win 27 games, so it worked for us," Pearson says. "We have 10 guys who can play, and it'll make guys happier that when they kill in practice, they then actually get to play."
It's hard to argue with Larranaga's results because fans will remember that the Final Four run was basically the result of a 6-man rotation, much like this past season's 27 win campaign. However it's interesting to see one of the players, especially one that played the most during the year, complaining about it and insinuating that it may have hurt team chemistry.  We could witness the returning players warming up to the new coach right away once the season starts and making the transition a much more smooth process.

Another point I wanted to share from the article was about next season's back court.  We already know the strength the front court will have with returning senior starters Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson coupled with the addition of the highly touted freshman Erik Copes. The back court has a few more question marks, especially in the starting line-up.  Matt Giles seems to be high on both Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen making an impact this year:
"At the moment, it's unclear what the rotation will be, but senior Andre Cornelius probably will start at the point. The potential surprise could be sophomore Bryon Allen, who averaged 5.8 minutes per game last season. "I've been working a lot with Bryon, and he's been doing a good job of working on his shot. With his size, he can play the 1 or the 2, get in the lane and create," Wright says. If Hewitt decides to go with a more guard-heavy lineup, a backcourt of Wright, Allen and Cornelius could cause some interesting matchup problems."
I have to say the mention of that Wright, Allen, and Cornelius line-up is intriguing.  Wright and Allen probably have the most potential to make big strides next season and fans are going to be eager to see them worked into the rotation often.  

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Patriot Center is finally getting a new scoreboard, just not with video

It was getting to the point where we thought it was never going to happen. But in a surprise move today the university released a statement saying an upgraded scoreboard is in the works and will be ready at some point during the 2011-2012 season. Sadly it seems having video in this scoreboard upgrade is not something Mason fans can look forward to right away, from
One element, as a result of facility and resource limitations, that will not be part of the new center-hung scoreboard will be video capabilities. The Patriot Center, which will celebrate its 26th season of operation in October, would require, in accordance with building codes, a multi-million dollar roof renovation in order to install a video board.
Sad that even UNCW is going to have a video scoreboard in an arena much smaller than the Patriot Center, I mean just how weak is that roof? Of course this doesn't mean we still couldn't have video screens somewhere in the corners of the arena, like say above the entrance portals.  Regardless of the absence of video it will nice to finally have a scoreboard that has players' names illuminated correctly. I'm pretty sure Cam Long didn't change his name to Cam "Lung" throughout his career, even if the scoreboard displayed such.

[Image via]

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You vs Them

Looks like Thuc Phan just can't keep himself from putting together another great Mason Basketball video tribute:

[via MasonBasketball YouTube]


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Richmond Coliseum to host holiday doubleheaders in '12 and '13. George Mason will play Richmond in 2012

Finally the state of Virginia; which in recent years has started to evolve as a hotbed for college hoops; will feature more intrastate competition beginning in December 2012.  David Teel of the Daily Press is reporting that the Richmond Coliseum will be hosting one-night holiday doubleheaders in 2012 and 2013 featuring eight Virginia schools.  The eight schools involved are George Mason, ODU, UVA, JMU, Hampton, Virginia Tech, Richmond, and VCU.  Mason is slated to play Richmond in December of 2012 along with UVA against ODU.  The Patriots haven't tip-offed against the Spiders since they were last in the CAA in 2001. UVA will be Mason's second Virginia school on the non-conference schedule for 2012 with UVA coming to Fairfax.  

Hopefully this will evolve into something bigger that features even more Virginia schools in a tournament-style setting. And oh yes a different venue would be nice.

[Official press release]


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Paul Hewitt and his staff pick up commitment from 2012 SG Patrick Holloway

Not too long ago I wrote about Paul Hewitt appearing to look outside of the DMV area for recruits, looks like I was dead wrong as they picked up a verbal from Patrick Holloway of Paul VI high school in Fairfax. This is George Mason's first commitment for the 2012 class and Paul Hewitt's first recruit as new head coach. Holloway has been  playing for Team Takeover in the AAU circuit in DC and been written up as an excellent shooter.  It was obvious from most of the recruiting sites that Hewitt and his staff were looking to bring in a shooter as the team currently lacks a knockdown three-point shooter outside of senior Andre Cornelius. He's on the small side at 6'1" 160 lbs but ESPN says "he's got the look of a young Steph Curry" and that sounds just fine to me.  The write-up on him seems to suggest that he isn't just a pure shooter and has the ability to handle the ball and create.  Obviously he will have to hit the weight room but that's something most high school players have to face when moving on to Division I.

Members of the CAAZone have already begun to pull up info and video on Holloway, including this article from his hometown newspaper where his high school coach says he's the best shooter he's ever coached:
After transferring from Colonial Forge after his freshman season, the 6-foot guard has averaged 15 and 17 points per game in consecutive seasons for Paul VI.

He's made 190 3-pointers, the most in the Washington area.

"He's the best shooter I've ever had and I've had over 50 Division I players and a couple of NBA guys," Paul VI coach Glenn Farello said. "He's as good as it gets shooting the ball."
He's again compared to Stephen Curry towards the end of the article. His stock rose over the summer as he has been showing off his "sweet stroke" from the outside.

Some video of Holloway (#10 in white) while playing for his AAU squad Team Takeover:

From December 2010 Paul VI vs Bendictine (#10 black):

Also here's interviewing him at the Pitt Jam Fest, guess who he says he compares to on the court:

See also the write-up from the Washington Post

[Photo via Reza Marvashti/The Free Lance-Star]


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