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George Mason rounds out NIT with win over Albany

George Mason Basketball: George Mason rounds out NIT with win over Albany

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

George Mason rounds out NIT with win over Albany

Last night's 66-46 victory over Albany was George Mason's best game of the season thus far. They started things off by scoring 12 unanswered points and holding Albany's offense to 1-for-10 from the field in the early minutes.  Defensively the Patriots were tough right from the start, something we had yet to see this season.  In the first half they held Albany to 5-of-28 shooting from the field and forced their uptempo game on them. This is probably more of what Hewitt envisioned for this team.  The most telling stat of the night for what kind of Mason team we can expect this year was points in paint, Mason 52 Albany 22.  The Patriots won't be lighting it up from behind the arch this season but they will be dominating other team's front courts at times. The big three (Morrison, Pearson, and Copes) combined for 43 points and 23 rebounds.

-Turnovers were less of an issue as Corey Edwards got the start again at point guard. Edwards continues to look more and more like a leader out there. Edwards seem to be more vocal out there than Allen, which may be another factor fueling his increasing minutes.  

-Sherrod Wright seems back to full form after his wrist injury, however Vertrail Vaughns had an off night going scoreless. This team's three-point shooting seems to be completely predicated by whether or not Vaughns has a good shooting night.

-Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison showed how dangerous this team can be when they are both producing in the paint.  Morrison finally grabbed more than just a few rebounds and held his ground better than he has been.  Him playing like this only opens things up more for Pearson.

-Jonathan Arledge continues to produce in his limited amount of minutes. Lost in everything is how this kid is getting to the free-throw line and connecting. On the season he is 10-for-12 from there, maybe he should be on the floor during their next overtime.

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Anonymous Yuntaowu88 said...

I just love Corey Edward. He is brilliant in passing balls, which made it so easy for Person to score. Go Corey!  He will be a leader of the team!!

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

I saw the first half last night, Mason should have dominated more than they did.  The defense of Mason was not too bad.  There offense didn't seemed polished enough yet, and Paul H from the sideline had to micromanage the offense a little bit too much.  Mike M should have had more than 13 in that game with his size and skill.  Albany was short and not too athletic.  

#4 for Mason needs some work on his hands and inside game in the paint to be a productive offensive player with the regular season coming around soon.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous ByGeorge06 said...

I saw flashes of Joey Rodriquez in Corey last night minus the shooting part but even better at passing.  He is going to be a vocal floor general for the next 4 years and I am very happy to see that.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

It's a little worrisome that almost all the score came from just three players!

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Guest123 said...

why only 5 people on the court. The ball was distributed to more then half the team.  

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Neeker20 said...

Number 4 is Eric Copes and he is a talented Freshman and has a good shooting touch. It will take time for his offense to develop but he is a big body in the paint is great thing to have! 

12:08 PM  
Anonymous G-n-G said...

Sorry for the repeat, but these apply to both games: 1) Mike was playing

some uninspired basketball through the first half against
Brown, but some

coaching and set plays for him early in the second got him
going and it carried

into the Albany game. 2) Edwards is a much more natural and
fluid point guard

than Allen. The offense is much smoother with him in charge. 3)
Eric has some

impressive touch on his shots, you can see why he was so highly
rated and what

a steal this was for Hewitt and Mason. 4) The team showed its
most fire during

the Albany game, with Ryan and Sherrod in particular getting
emotional. It

seemed like a good sign, but it’s not something that you carry
from one game to

another. 5) Gray definitely is a nice scorer/shooter but
there’s work to be

done on his defense, which is to be expected. 6) In both games
the team made a

concerted effort to get into passing lanes and try to poke the
ball away,

probably in part to generate a few more fast break
opportunities. 7) I wonder

if Vertrail’s ankle was bothering him after playing 3 games in
4 days because

he was hobbling some in the second half of the Albany game and
all of his shots

that half were off. 8) It was nice to see Paris suited up for
the first time

this season, even if he didn’t play against Albany. 

12:14 PM  
Anonymous mooky_l3d said...

I am unsure of why but for some reason when the offense was run to the left side of the court it would result in a score.  I noticed this when Jai Lewis was here as well.  It is like they like the left but will go right just to even it out.  It seemed like the entry pass in the paint were better, post moves were better, and result was better.  Maybe it was just me seeing this.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Bdgg said...

last time I checked, they are in the regular season.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Jayvallance said...

 I hear talk about Corey as if he is going to be Spudd Webb or something. I think he is a good point but he lacks the build and power to be a strong point. He is not as fast as Tony Skinn i.e. I think we should have dominated more. I wouldnt take anything from the game except we have to see how we do against the other CAA teams which I think are going to play very strong Defence against us Drexel, VCU, and ODU. We are  not a very big team and CAA teams are known to try and establish themselves on the defensive ends and assert themselves with size.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

Joe, Coach Hewitt needs to Micromanage for now. This team is still learning. They're getting better though.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

9 guys plays substantial minutes, 6 played 22 or more, the other three played 18, 10 and 9.  Of those 9 Pearson, Morrison, Wright-scroed 49 of 66 points.  Against Albany more people couldn't score??  If it's a tight game and a tough opponent and it's just those three fine but I think more people have netted legit points.  VV and VG no points! Edwards I"m lovin anf his job it to distribute but only two?  MAkes me nervous.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Jphubba said...

Better than the Brown game -- more intensity on defense, better help defense, fewer turnovers (but not by much), better rebounding (at least on the defensive end) shot selection was much better

Points to ponder -- defensive rebounding remains a problem especially with Morrison in the game. The Albany center had 7 offensive rebounds -- totally unacceptable. Boxing out needs to be practice priority.

Albany adopted tactics that Mason will see a lot this year -- token press to slow the game and force Mason to walk the ball up the court, zone defense to force Mason to shoot from the outside or work hard to get the ball into the paint.  Mason's outside shooting was poor but somehow managed to get the ball inside despite the zone. After Albany narrowed the gap to 11, Mason scored three or four baskets in a row from the paint -- by Copes and Pearson -- a good effort but you have to wonder whether they could repeat the performance against a good CAA team. 

4:51 PM  
Anonymous BoredInClass said...

Corey has won the starting point guard position, and he deserves it. He is the only pass first pg and that this team has, and that is very important. What will be interesting is what happens with the minutes once DJ comes back. I do not think he will come in and start right away because he shouldn't. However, if Edwards continues to play well and Vertrail continues to score (disregarding last night), I could see DJ and Bryan Allen coming off the bench together to spell Edwards and Vertrail. Sherrod seems to have taken hold of the 3 guard and it will be up to Hewitt is Vaughan Gray or Paris Bennett are first off the bench to come in for him. I think Bennett compliments the DJ and Bryan rotation because he is not a primary scorer, so he can be a type of point forward for those two scorers. Things seem to be falling into place, happy to see it

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Corey Edwards could be a solid PG for the next 4 years.  There is such a huge difference with him running things.  Some of his passes were questionable at times, but that can easily be corrected.  Just let him run point and be done with it!

Sherrod Wright is plain legit.  He has 2012-2013 CAA Player of the Year written all over him.

Pearson is the man. Nothing more to say on that.

One thing that worried me was the lack of boxing out.   Old school, basketball fundamentals won't get on Sportscenter, but they win games.  Smart passing, smart shots, boxing out, getting back on defense, etc.

The other thing that bothered me is that it took us 8-9 seconds to get the ball across half court against a basic Albany press.  It was not a special press by any means, and we can't take forever to get the ball across.  At one point, they pressed us and the ball went out of bounds with 25 seconds left on the shot clock.  So, technically, we had 1 second left.  Any way you cut it, we need to fix that problem before we play ODU, Drexel and VCU.

But what impressed me is that during one time out Hewitt *talked* to Copes, simply teaching him about something in the game.  He didn't yell or anything like that, he simply stood there and taught him calmly about a situation.  I was really impressed with that.  It showed class.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Neeker20 said...

I think coach Hewitt likes the players and is very interested in their devlopment! Coach and his staff dress and look first class which set a great example for the team. In six games have seen steady improvement in each player on the team which will translate into big wins down the road! 

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Agreed.  Now if we can just get the bench players in ties (ACorn, Anali, Williams) we'll be set.  But at least they are in collared shirts.

Hewitt, like Larranaga, exudes class.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

I completely agree.  He, at least against Albany, had superior size against its bigs.  Hes got a big ol butt, and somewhat of a good shooting touch.  He needs just a little more discipline, and at the same time, aggressiveness on offense.  He could go to cut about 10 pounds and put on a little more muscle.  Should not be too tall of an order.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

I'm as big of a GMU homer as it gets (Patriot Club, Alumni Association, etc.), but...

I watched VCU-Alabama the other night, and the way VCU plays defense was very impressive.  It reminded me of Georgetown 25 years ago.

Now, granted it is still early in the season.  But it is just as early in their season as ours, and they have just as much time to improve as we do.  If we are going to win, we are going to do it on the defensive end.  It's not glamorous, but scoring 90 points/game and having a 15-15 record isn't glamorous, either.

Like the old basketball saying goes, offense puts people in the seats but defense wins games.  Does anybody remember the attendance in the 2006 season?  Or do we remember WINNING games to get to the Final Four?

12:44 PM  

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