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Previewing George Mason at Charleston

George Mason Basketball: Previewing George Mason at Charleston

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Previewing George Mason at Charleston

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George Mason heads to the road for their final non-conference away game of the year at Charleston.  This is probably going to be the highest RPI team they have remaining on the schedule for this year and a win would definitely ease some worries as they are about to head into a tough CAA stretch of games. The Patriots had a big second half to put away Manhattan and they will need that fire once again. Mason really needs to shore up their perimeter defense to have a chance in this game because Charleston has an array of players who can all shoot the three.  They take a lot of long range shots (avg about 23 attempts a game) and nearly upset #4 Louisville last week with their success from behind the arch.  The Patriots' perimeter defense will be improved now that Andre Cornelius has two games under his belt but it will take a team effort on defense to slow down Charleston's back court players. However, like Mason, they cough up the ball a lot, giving the Patriots a chance to win the turnover battle.

On paper it looks as though the Patriots have the edge in the front court but as we saw against Duquesne they don't always capitalize on this advantage.  Mike Morrison's play has been inconsistent but overall is improving from the beginning of the season.  Ryan Pearson has been steady and had his second highest point total of the season against Manhattan.  Freshman Erik Copes continues to block shot after shot in his limited minutes.  The front court though, needs to be this team's strength and that hasn't always been the case so far.  Sherrod Wright and Vertail Vaughns production as starters could be better considering they don't have many other options on the bench. Hopefully Andre Cornelius will begin to add some outside shooting to that rotation.



Anonymous Rmjank said...

Most of all, I'd like to see them win this game for their own confidence.  It seems that the idea that Hewitt's system is not right for the Patriots is starting to gain traction, if only as a "rumor" in an "espn insider" pay-to-view article (no thank you on that payment!).  Relatively speaking, there should be less pressure to win this OOC game, and therefore more willingness to run the system once more before conference play begins, and see if it actually can work.  As much as we are uncomfortable with the system so far, wouldn't it be worse to try to change it in midstream?  Especially with a coach who has doubtful x and o skills to begin with?  Hopefully the system is one of those long term things in which we gel in time for the latter half of the year and a tournament that will produce the CAA's lone entry in the dance.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Bdgg said...

Mason better come to play tonight or this game could be uglier than the UVA beat down. If Mason shoots poorly and sleepwalks through this game as they have most of the season, I expect COC to beat them by 20-25. Right now. COC is only favored by 4; that's a easy cover.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I would care less if it seemed like it was just trying to learn a scheme.  Poor position on defense is not about a system.  Not boxing out is not the result of a system.  Careless passing and not running to meet the pass are not system breakdowns.  It's a lack of emphasis on the fundamentals.  Let's hang some of it on the players too, I didn't make it to D1 ball but I can see what they are not doing so it's not like they shouldn't know better as well.  Here's to hoping we can close the year with a semblence of consistency like we showed in last half of last game!  And take the momentum of just playing well into CAA play-regaurdless of  systems staying or being altered. 

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

I agree with you that we see plenty of letdowns and lackluster play and mental lapses and good old fashioned lack of discipline.  Despite the evidence of that, primarily I still see players just not being comfortable with the system and their role in it.   For example, coaching seems to be telling them to push it up the floor when our guards are not very game tested at seeing the floor at that pace.  And so the turnovers mount quickly, everyone starts to get frustrated and dejected, and here comes the lackluster play and another loss.  I guess it's a chicken and egg sort of thing -- and I'm hoping the way out is that over the long term everyone starts to get comfortable and confident in the system.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Is anybody else not getting the game online?  I've tried and they are having "technical difficulties."  This link at the top just says "the video is not available at the moment."  Anybody know where the game is?

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

I'm getting the same message...

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Granted, I only saw the last 8 minutes of the first half (thanks ESPN!), but I saw NO bad passes, NO turnovers and I didn't yell once "WHAT WAS THAT!?!"  So far, so good.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

I agree, they seemed much more cohesive tonight!  On defense too, though to be fair the CoC shooters just seemed off tonight, from behind the arc, anyway.  And Pearson took over the game down the stretch.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Neeker29 said...

Reminder what I said earlier to be patient with this team as the roles are defined. Tonights huge road win is a nice first step to future success. Say again this team is capable of winning the CAA tourney this year!

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Best game of the season, by far.  No bad passes, made foul shots, limited turnovers, etc.  As I've been saying for 3 months, it's all about FUNDAMENTALS.  Nobody buys a ticket as says "I want to see good boxing out today!"  But, doing those things are what wins games.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

Definately the best game played by the team last night against a quality opponent on the road. Lets hope they turned the corner. Nice to see positive comments about the team. Wonder where all the Hewitt haters are now? Probably hiding under their rocks eating crow.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

I don't want to speak for anybody else, but what I read was that there weren't Hewitt haters, but there was bad basketball haters.  Paul Hewitt is a class act and represents the university well.

Now, if we could only agree that those black VCU-wanna be jerseys we have are nasty and should be burned!  The yellow ones are SHARP!

7:29 AM  
Anonymous GMURULES said...

Great win last night.  Good to see the team come together.  I never was a Hewitt hater, I just questioned the teams lack of fundamentals and not improving.  We have played 3 good halves of basketball.  Great week of hoop coming this week with ODU on Wed at ODU. We should beat W&M and ODU will be a great test as we usually don't perform well at their place.  I hope this positive change will be permanent.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous GMURULES said...

My bad, ODU is Thursday night, with GA State and then Drexel.  It could be a great week.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I don't think there are "haters".  The team has been sloppy and it fair to expect quality and accoutability.  One game doesn't make a season but everyone is hoping the play last night becomes the norm!

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

Never called you or GMURULES a Hewitt hater. Its just that there are some really annoying posters who come on and bash the team and whine about Coach L/Hancock  leaving whenever the team loses. Nobody who posted here today has ever been guilty of that.

9:29 AM  

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