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George Mason takes care of Hofstra to keep pace in the CAA

George Mason Basketball: George Mason takes care of Hofstra to keep pace in the CAA

Thursday, February 09, 2012

George Mason takes care of Hofstra to keep pace in the CAA

Photo by John Powell
George Mason earned another victory last night to remain atop the CAA standings and remain in a three-way tie with VCU and Drexel.  Much like their previous meeting with Hofstra it was an exciting second half, where the Patriots again got a lift from Sherrod Wright. I think we need to start calling him "Mr. Under 5-minutes" because that seems to be when he does his best work.  He converted an alley-oop from an inbounds pass from Corey Edwards (who had seven assists) while being fouled. He hit the resulting free-throw and put the Patriots up by seven to give them the cushion they needed.  I talked briefly yesterday about Paul Hewitt going with Edwards late in these games instead of Bryon Allen at the point guard spot and it seems to be paying off.  The tandem of Allen and Edwards combined for 12 assists and both facilitated some great plays in this one. Both have flourished at different times this season running the point but Edwards has definitely looked more creative with the ball in his hands.  

Mason shot 65% in the second half after another sluggish start. Hewitt went as far as benching the entire starting lineup for a short period to try to create a spark this time. Vertrail Vaughns only played nine minutes and I don't know if he's been battling an injury or something this season but he's been fading fast. Another interesting move from Hewitt was inserting Paris Bennett into the game when Ryan Pearson was in early foul trouble.  Bennett hadn't played in the team's last three games but came in for a few minutes and did all the little things that Hewitt says got the team back on track

Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison combined for only four rebounds in the game and Mason still somehow outrebounded the Pride. Fundamentally they weren't playing great basketball at the start of this game and their poor execution gave Hofstra some early life.  It's becoming a trend that weaker teams are not scared of the Patriots and simply just go right at them from the start.  Mason continues to tighten up in the second half and it's not secret that's where they have played their best basketball this season but it would be nice to see a decisive win from start to finish.


Here's a look at the video boards around the Patriot Center if you haven't seen them live yet. They can play some recorded video but not live replays for some reason.  This picture below is what they display when a player is attempting a free-throw for example.

NCAA Basketball



Anonymous mooky_l3d said...

I was impressed with the composure that Bennett showed during his 4 min.  He didn't look to score everytime he caught or rebounded the ball.  He would make sure that the offense would regroup, did a good job of defending, and breaking up a fast break opportunity.  I know that Copes is the future of the program but somebody has to tell him that forcing shots is not the way to improve his game or this team.  Each of his shots was under pressure and each had a person that was positioned close to either regroup or hit a wide open shooter. The guards need a person like Bennett to get them together.  They are so up and down it is crazy.  During the 4th Edwards was responsible for 2 turnovers back to back, then comes back with 2 really good assists and a bucket.  Allen was much the same forcing drives then making a decent play.  If they could just put together a really good combined  20 minutes that would be a huge improvement.  

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Moses said...

We have real issues at guard. I don't have to defend my fanhood here, so I'll just say I think we're going to get killed if VCU has their typical quickness and defensive tenacity at the 1-2-3 positions. I haven't seen them in person this year, so I don't know but I bet their licking their chops at the prospect of pressing us hard. I do know that our big men- Copes, RP and Mo are the reason we're winning despite very, very, sketchy guard play. Awful perimeter shooting and every time up under pressure is an adventure. If Allen would stop thinking and just release his shots he'd probably start knocking them down again. You could see him squeezing the ball on his shots and short arming it. 
After last night I'd say go with Wright and Grey a lot more- they give size and scoring ability. Grey has great presence and can shoot lights out but needs pt. Wright has really gotten under control. Our smaller guards aren't any better defensively than these guys and can't shoot or pass over a zone. Acorn off the bench gives us some energy defensively.
Copes is working hard all the time and calling for it in the low post. Great to see, even if he's a little out of control. Mike Mo and Pearson are coming through. Not pretty but getting it done. 

11:53 AM  
Anonymous SUOrangeman said...

Mr. Whistles is the reason why VV sat for most of the first half.  It's kinda hard to get into the flow of the game when that many calls are made against you.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous CrunchX said...

When we have Wright and Gray on the wings the game completely changes with their ability to defend and score in different ways making this duo into a very productive 1-2 punch(against Hofstra combined for 20pts and 13rebs) and their height(Gray-6'5"/Wright-6'4") posses a match up problem for the smaller guards in the CAA. Coach Hewitt and the coaching staff saw it last night and that is why the starting back court was on the bench because Edwards,Wright and Gray gives us the best chance to compete in back court down the road. I don't give a damn who starts because all I care about is who finishes in victory and yes Edwards make mistakes but he has better court vision than Allen and the flow of the game is more uptempo. Even the bigs benefit from this back court because there is more spacing on the floor which allows for more 1 on 1 opportunities for Pearson, Morrison and Copes. If you are really watching the games

6:59 PM  
Anonymous StopWearingPurple said...

In the first half it seemed like they knew they were much better than Hofstra and were looking for thunderous dunks and big plays.  As a result they looked disjointed on offense.  They looked better and picked up the intensity.  Even though they have had some wins that were closer than they should have been, you can't accuse them of not hustling.

Also, that was worst officiated game all season.  CAA refs are not the greatest but then tend to shaft the teams equally so it balances out.  Last night they were simply awful.  They call ticky tack fouls on Pearson and he has to sit.  Later on he gets shoved to the ground and nothing is called.

I have been kvetching about the old school scoreboard for the last couple of years (how many T.O.s do we have left?).  The new scoreboard is awesome and having live stats on the video board is great.  Any word on if they plan to show out of town scores? 

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Brentrg said...

Last nights game was just a replay of many games this year.  We are not a dominant team, but have to talent to do so.  Our guards keep learning on the go, and continue to make mistakes of "young" players.  I am starting to like Edwards over Allen as Edwards definitely like to make smart passes and has a knack for getting it in the right spot.  Still makes plenty of dribbling mistakes, but as we all have said, that will only get better.  Also glad to see him hit that open jumper.  I don't think he'll ever average over 10 points a game for us, but if he becomes a great manager of the game i'll be happy.

Overall this years team is just not gelling fast enough.  Crazy thing is, next years team is going to be almost completely different than this years team.  We will add FIVE guys next year with talent the same or better than this year.  It will be like starting all over again.  I hope we get hot at the right time this year, but i'm afraid it's not gonna happen.  GO MASON!

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I've got Williams, Okoloji, Holloway and Gujanicic. Who's the Fifth guy?

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

VCU plays at ODU on Saturday. Who do we cheer for?

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

ODU. I can't imagine pulling for VCU under any circumstances.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous StopWearingPurple said...

The meteor.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Brentrg said...

Yea, I think you are right.  It's only four.  But all four of them could push past Vaughns, Arledge, Bennett, and even Allen.

9:26 PM  

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