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George Mason back in action against Bucknell

George Mason Basketball: George Mason back in action against Bucknell

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

George Mason back in action against Bucknell

Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving, now let's get back to more George Mason basketball.  The Patriots host Bucknell tomorrow night (TV: MASN), who are winners of their last five games.  This Bucknell team presents a different type of challenge, as their leading scorer is Mike Muscala, a 6'11" 234 lb center.  To date this season Mason really hasn't faced a legit threat in the front court and Muscala's ability to get to the free-throw line could thwart the Patriots uptempo offense if they don't stay disciplined on defense. This isn't to say that Bucknell is an inside team, guard Bryson Johnson, second on the team in scoring, has gone 15-for-27 from the three-point line in their last two games. The Bison protect the ball pretty well and shoot 42.1% from behind the arch. Where the Patriots have the edge is rebounding and getting to the free-throw line at an effective rate.  Despite Muscala in the middle Bucknell doesn't rebound that well as a whole and Mason should be able to feast on second chance points like they did against Albany and Brown.

-Mike Morrison is coming off his most productive game of the season (13 points, 9 rebounds) against Albany and they will need more of this from him.  He doesn't need to score double figures every night but they need him getting boards on both ends.

-Will Paris Bennett make his season debut?  The team still could use some discipline on both ends of the court and a guy like Paris could help remedy a few of the problems we have been seeing. A steal here, a rebound there, a tipped pass are just some of things a strong utility player off the bench can bring that keeps everything together.

-#FearTheBeard watch: The current season stat line for Ryan Pearson is 21.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.6 SPG, and 59.3% from the field.

-Will Corey Edwards get the nod again at starting point guard? Edwards and Allen have been playing about the same amount of minutes but to me Edwards seem to stand out a bit more dishing out the ball.  Allen is probably a better scorer and can get to the basket with ease but he doesn't seem to be a pass-first guy where Edwards is.  

-When will Vertrail Vaughns settle down?  Vaughns' streaky play continued against Albany as he went 0-for-5 from behind the arch.  He represents pretty much all of the team's three-point shooting so they can't really afford to have him going scoreless again.  

Note: click the link on the top right sidebar titled '2011-2012 season stats' for George Mason team stats updated daily.



Anonymous Jphubba said...

Bucknell will test Mason's basketball intelligence. Bucknell is very disciplined, like most Patriot League teams, only a bit more athletic than its league rivals. Mason may be too athletic for Bucknell, but if Mason continues to make the mental and physical mistakes they have been making all season, they will be tempting fare. Earlier this year Bucknell led Minnesota in Minneapolis until late in the second half. 

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Bdgg said...

Bucknell will be the first of a couple real strong teams Mason will face.  To date, Mason's opponents are a combined 13-25 on the year, and we could only pull a 4-2 start.  With this game, and then UVA next week after Towson, there is a real good chance we will be 5-4 soon.  And don't look past Towson.  After owning them forever, they'd love to get their first win under their new coach on their crazy new home floor against a CAA bully.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Jayvallance said...

The game is going to be another question if we play defence or continue to struggle under Hewitts "play the way you want" policy. I think we have to wait to the UVA game to get a real idea of where we are in the "ncaa field."

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Matt Cerilli said...

Yeah and UVA is off to a great start at 6-1 and they just beat #15 Michigan pretty good last night.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

Nervous about this game, Mason is great at home, but I have an iffy feeling about this one.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

Looking forward to seeing the team play on actual tv, and in high def (I hope).  It's harder identifying players on the patriotvision feed, especially with the newer faces.  To be able to pause and rewind will be awesome as well.  I'm sure I'll be able to figure out what the team needs to do to improve.  ;)

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Right now, Mason isn't in the top tier mid-major class.  I suspect UVA will rough up GMU pretty bad.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous BatMason said...


1:52 PM  
Anonymous BatMason said...

dislike the wink

1:55 PM  
Anonymous ByGeorge06 said...

Any one have a link to watch this game online?  Unfortunately I wont be able to watch this game on TV.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Neeker20 said...

Don't underestimate GMU because would not be suprised if Mason win at UVA. GMU is improving every game and has enormous talent! Watch out for this team at the end of the year,

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Scottranda said...

Don't underestimate this  years GMU team and coach Hewitt!

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Mkowalick said...

 61-57 go gmu!

11:36 PM  
Anonymous G-n-G said...

This was a nice, hard-earned victory. A few thoughts: 1) it was nice to see Paris out there even for a few minutes, 2) Jonathan has a nice stroke from beyond the arc, 3) their defense was stifling for much of the game, especially when the starters were out there, 4) Corey's absence didn't hurt them tonight but was an unpleasant surprise, 5) Ryan and Sherrod can get to the rim about any time they put their mind to it, 6) that was a great steal and near-basket by Sherrod because it put Bucknell on edge, 7) interesting that when the clock is winding down it's always in Bryon's hands, 8) the lack of consistent 3-point shooting made this closer than it needed to be because they had a number of good looks that they missed, 9) Vertrail had a long night on offense but didn't let it diminish his aggressive defense.

7:17 AM  

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