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Is Sherrod Wright becoming the player we hyped him up to be?

George Mason Basketball: Is Sherrod Wright becoming the player we hyped him up to be?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Is Sherrod Wright becoming the player we hyped him up to be?

Before the season started, we had high hopes for Ryan Pearson and what he was capable of doing for this team.  But with Cam Long and Luke Hancock gone we didn't quite know what to expect from back court. A lot of us, including myself, penciled in Sherrod Wright to quickly bounce back from his shoulder injury that sidelined him all of last season, and fill the scoring void.  It was an unfair expectation for a guy who had missed an entire season and who was in a crowded back court his freshman year.  Nevertheless most of us expected big things from him, especially when he started off playing 39 minutes against Rhode Island in the first game of the season scoring 17 points, and then 16 in the next game against FIU. But after a hard fall against Monmouth in the NIT Tip-off, his production started to wind down.

Sherrod missed the next game at FAU due to the injury but returned for the Patriots as they faced a group of weaker non-conference opponents.  At this point Andre Cornelius was still serving his suspension and Wright was getting close to 30 minutes a game.  His production was still going strong, then the Patriots suffered a  disappointing loss to UVA on the road and things changed. In a game that was there only chance to grab a marquee win on the non-conference schedule the Patriots were flat and Wright finished with seven points.  That game was the start of a downward trend for him as he didn't reach double figures in scoring for more than a month after that.  From December 6 through January 12 he averaged only five points a game and was replaced in the starting lineup by Andre Cornelius.  

Since being replaced in the starting lineup he has been averaging about 11 points a game, which has included second half performances against JMU, Hofstra, UNCW, and VCU that were a huge part of the team's victories. Ryan Pearson may be the team's go-to guy but Sherrod Wright is quickly turning into Mr. Clutch. Even before his heroic shot against VCU he has been giving this a team a huge lift off the bench late in games. He was in a slump and is now thriving in his role as the team's sixth man. 

Mason needs Wright to keep this up as games are going to continue to be tight from here on out. Defenses will tighten up, especially in the CAA tournament and beyond, and the Patriots need a go-to man in the back court. His conference leading free-throw shooting and ability to get to the line is a big asset for this team moving forward. The VCU game still has us all on a high but I won't let that cloud my judgement that I believe Wright's best games are still ahead of him.  

[Photo by John Powell]


Anonymous mooky_l3d said...

He is who we thought he is.....and we let him off the hook!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous silent_fanatic said...

He needs to be starting.  He plays with too much energy to see limited minutes every damn game...
Ideal starting lineup:
PG Bryan Allen
SG Andre Cornelius
PF Ryan Pearson 
C Mike Mo
6th man Von Gray (also needs to be on the court more)
7th man Vertrail Vaughn/Eric Copes

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

He got more minutes than anyone but Pearson against VCU, and Vaughns played tremendously and was a huge reason Mason was even in the game late.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Reggie said...

So glad to see all the extra time Sherrod spends in the PC paying off.  This kid is in there late at night getting shots up on the regular.  I fully agree that he is just starting to show signs of his greatness.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous gmubball said...

I think if you look at stats from recent games Wright is getting "starter" minutes.  I know he played more minutes than anyone else in the ODU game (and shut Bazemore down).  Some guys are better coming off the bench - not sure the psychology of it...

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

He scored 18 in one half as a true freshman and you could see he is talented... he is the most explosive scorer on the team... coach needs to stop subbing him out for so long.. .he and Ryan Pearson need to be on the floor as much as possible...

4:23 PM  
Anonymous gmubball said...

I liked the Hewitt hire, but I admit to having doubts about Coach Hewitt hire in December.  After beating ODU twice and VCU at home, he has earned my respect.  He appears to know his personnel, and how to get the best out of them.  If he is not the best Xs and Os guy, he appears to be great game manager.  
I am starting to believe Coach Hewitt may be the reason all the game are close (on purpose).  The result on Tuesday night might be his end goal.  The guys did not panic (w/ no timeouts) and they gave themselves a chance* to win after the turn over (Edwards was only on the court because Allen was hurt).  We should have won the Drexel game (on the road), but the guys panicked did not execute at the end of the game.
Sorry, I know this is a "Wright" thread (see my reply to silent_fanatic), but I have had my "close game" theory on my mind for the past few threads.

We don't see as much of the Freshmen in critical conference games.  Paris has big game experience (Arledge plays like a Freshmen under pressure).  I agree with if it ain't broke don't fix it.
* luck or skill - hitting 3 3s, an offensive rebound, and needing a missed free throw is little bit of both

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Gio said...

Could tell that he was poised for a great year toward the end of his rehab from that injury, and sure enough, all his hard work is paying off for all to see.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

True we coulda won the Drexel game(we held a lead for a long time) but winning at Drexel is tough-they're 12-0 there-and besides Drexel is stronger this year than in years past. I chalked up that game as a loss beforehand-not because I didnt believe in our guys, its just a tough CAA, even in a down year

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Yeah, I am starting to like Hewitt more than I did when I left the Patriot Center after the Duquesne debacle... that was the worst game I have ever seen Mason play... we had better talent, but lost the game... lately the team seems to be responding better to the coach.. the VCU win should help even more... 

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I could go for a line up where Wright starts over VV or Andre.  Dre has better D, VV was good the other night but he has been more hot than cold.  I hope he's on now but not holding my breath.  I could also see Wright and Gray, that's a lot of height, they both handle pretty well. 

As for the close game theory-ummm no!  Those were close b/c we didn't rebound or take care of the ball.  Losing Copes in the Drexel game was a huge change!

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Moses said...

Who cares who starts? It's who finishes. 
To finish I like Wright, Grey, Pearson, Mo and Allen. Tough to account for all of them at once.However, Acorn would replace Grey if we're defending or Copes depending on the match ups. I'm guessing Arledge got sat down for sleep walking out there. Just a guess. 

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Sjones said...

Can't wait for the VCU-GMU game in Richmond.  It took an incredable 3-pointer run (3-consecutive shots made) with just over 60 seconds to play (one at the buzzer) to beat VCU in Fairfax.  Ryan Pearson is a great player and he took VCU to school, but he couldn't do it all without some luck at the end.  And if this game was so hot, how come well over 1,000 seats were not sold?  VCU has sold out EVERY home game this year.  GOT my tickets for the rematch on Feb 25!  Any Mason fans brave enough to head down to Richmond?  VCU had a nice turnout in Fairfax.  It was a great game, see you all in Richmond!

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Ca_dreamin said...

We'll be there!!

1:26 PM  
Anonymous silent_fanatic said...

@Sjones if i'm not mistaken, VCU's stadium is smaller, therefore making it easier to sell out.  Also, the stadium is smack in the middle of the city, and a lot of their fans are basketball fans who love the game and support the team, NOT students or alum.  I'm not taking away from the solidity of their fan base, just stating facts.  You can bet your house on Mason having a solid cheering section there as well.

3:55 AM  
Anonymous Sjones said...

7,500 versus 10,000 --- attendance on 2/14 -- 6,734.  Yes PC is bigger but GMU doesn't fill it even with a terrific team this season.  Richmond pp = 204,389, Fairfax = 1,086,743 (both 2010 US Census Bureau)  Yes, you are correct, VCU fans love basketball.  Seems that GMU should be able to sell out with nearly 5X the local population.  GMU marketing is letting you all down! 

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Sjones said...

Super game tonight down in Richmond.  Even Pearson couldn't pull the game out for Mason.  A nice beat down of the Patriots by VCU.  Go Rams Go!

11:11 PM  

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