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Previewing George Mason vs Georgia State in the CAA quarterfinals

George Mason Basketball: Previewing George Mason vs Georgia State in the CAA quarterfinals

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Previewing George Mason vs Georgia State in the CAA quarterfinals

TV: CSN+ find channel here

Time: 8:30 pm

Live Stats


Georgia State quickly dismantled Hofstra last night 85-50, in what was the largest margin of victory by any team in CAA tournament history. It has been a long and tough season for Hofstra but this was still an impressive game for Georgia State as they shot the lights out last night. Wouldn't you know it that George Mason gets paired in the same bracket pairing as the hottest team on Friday. 

Here is breakdown of their night:

-The Panthers shot nearly 60% for the game from the field.
-Scored 48 points int he paint, Eric Buckner had 21
-Scored 23 points off Hofstra turnovers
-And went 20-for-24 from the foul line

Combine that with their shifting zone defenses and this is George Mason's worst nightmare. Granted Mason isn't Hofstra but the Panthers played them tough back in early January at the Patriot Center. Ron Hunter's game plan against Ryan Pearson worked well and his defensive sets confused the Patriots all night long. That time the game was ugly but that won't necessarily be the case tonight. Forward Eric Buckner has been strong on the boards lately and he is a pivotal part to Georgia State's success. 

Here are the keys tonight for George Mason:

Go right at Eric Buckner. They need to get Georgia State's front court in foul trouble and get Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison going right from the start. Morrison had a good night against this team last time out because Pearson was getting so much attention. They need to make Buckner work all night, which will result in a lot of their shots being blocked, but also some easy trips to the foul line. Mason is deeper in the front court than the Panthers and they need to control the paint in order to win. 

Keep turnovers under 14. They cannot play as sloppy against this team tonight as they did back in January or else it will be a quick out for the Patriots. I'm sick of talking about turnovers but it's a reality we need to face for the rest of the the season. They have won a ton of games this season when they have kept the number under 15. Keeping it around 10 or so would be great but at this point I think that is wishful thinking. They need to make things easier for Bryon Allen and Corey Edwards, and get the ball out of their hands quickly before GSU's defense has a chance to set. Hofstra tried to run up and down the court on the Panthers last night and failed miserably. Mason will most likely try to do this as well but they need to be careful with distributing the ball.  

Pump up the up tempo offense. Too often this season other teams have forced Mason to play a half court game, using presses and other traps. They need to use their athleticism and run on this team tonight.  If they can do that they can take Eric Buckner out of the game. This also makes it a lot more difficult for the Panthers to get back in their defensive sets, where they are so good this year. Andre Cornelius, Bryon Allen, and Vertrail Vaughns are key here and they need to push the ball when they have the chance. 

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Anonymous Ben said...

This is a perfect storm of disaster for Mason.  Bad matchup with the
opponent, a team that feasts off turnovers and plays a zone - which always shuts down Mason.  And playing the 2nd game in
the session tonight behind VCU's first game.  The place is sold out
tonight, rare for quarterfinals, meaning the VCU fans will be there in
full throat and cheering for GSU.  So Mason will face a hostile crowd as
well - a nice road game environment for a neutral court game.

GSU wins this tonight be 8-10 points.  Tough way to end the season, but
the way Mason has played the last 7-8 games, it is easy to see this coming.

Overall, Mason did ok this year, better than you could reasonably expect
with a coaching change and loss of 3 players.  Hopefully this will be
something to build on for future success with Hewitt as he gets his own
recruits in place.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

Wow! You're talking as if the game is already over and they lost!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous BP said...

Let's go Mason!!! How bout some positivity! We are a much better scoring team than Hofstra. We ARE first in the CAA in it by the way! We also force teams to shoot low percentages when we decide to play defense. If Mason can contain the ball, and win the battle at the foul line, we can take this game. You know Ryan is gonna be playing tough tonight with a ton of confidence after winning the POY award. 

Let's get it done Patriots! We can talk about all the negatives when the season is over, for now let's focus on supporting our players!

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Coolhead said...

Mr. Ben,

Watch the GMU game tonight and make an appointment with Couch Coach if Mason wins!

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

I think Ben must be using reverse psychology.  He'll be saying "who'da thunk it" after tonight.  BTW, last I checked the oddsmakers had GSU the favorite by 1.  So even the prevailing thinking out there is not going with the seeding but betting against us.  Sounds like good bulletin board material for us to feed off!

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Coolhead said...

Mr. Ben, needs to needs to get on couch coaches couch! 

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Coolhead said...


Mr. Ben, needs to get on couch coaches couch! 

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Coolhead said...

I second the motion! Go Mason! 

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

Halftime at NU-VCU, announcer saying that the Huskies are playing well against "the hometown team".  But what really prompted me to post this is the repulsive onslaught of VCU commercials.  Didn't they spend all their money on their coach?  I guess they're hoping it all results in donations that cover the cost of the commercials and then some.  I doubt it will work, since it's basically the type of student-produced commercial you see at halftime.  It sure turns me off!

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Coolhead said...

Mr Ben,

Mason wins tonight and hope you enjoyed the game!

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

Thanks again for the great hoops web site.  But don't forget to mention that ESPN 360 carries the games on-line, where I just watched it. 

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Dsndsn said...

Those VCU commercials have been running all season, on EVERY CAA broadcast, not just VCU games. It seems to be to be a big waste of money by VCU to run these commercials in that 95% of their potential audience are not a VCU fans and already have a pre-existing bias against VCU. It makes no sense. I would think that the schools promotional budget could be better spent elsewhere. On related note: did I see a "new" promotional video from Mason tonight? Its about time they replaced that promo with the "stiff" Asian student, and the even more "plastic" blond in the lab coat...that promo is a few years old. Also, I think that IT IS time to move the tournament out of really give VCU a hometown advantage to play in their home city on their former home floor. Back in the 80's they used to have the tournament rotate among the schools....I think Mason had it in the 1987-88 time frame. The Richmond Colesium is among the VCU campus (to the extent that you can call a spread-out conglomeration of buildings in a city environment a "campus") so I hardly think it to be fair. Mason and ODU both have large modern facilities....lets spread the wealth and make it a little more fair. The ACC tournament rotates on an irregular basis among Atlanta and D.C. How about in corporating Norfolk and Fairfax ino the rotation, or find some other neutral location.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Dsndsn said...

Oh....lets not forget The Kaplan Arena at William & Mary..the arena was remodeled recently.,,,and as a tourist destination they have an abundance of hotel rooms and restaurants in Williamsburg....and its only about 45 min to an hour down I-64 from Richmond to Williamsburg. The tournament just cannot stay in Richmond, and provide VCU with home court advantage every year!

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

Yeah. Ben must have started on his crow dinner. Dont choke on the feathers, bozo!

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Student said...

Don't ever post this kind of filth on here again

5:57 AM  

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