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VCU eliminates George Mason from the CAA tournament once again

George Mason Basketball: VCU eliminates George Mason from the CAA tournament once again

Monday, March 05, 2012

VCU eliminates George Mason from the CAA tournament once again

Don't try to blame this embarrassing loss on the fact that the tournament is annually held in Richmond. Mason didn't come out ready to play this game, something we have seen at many other times this season and VCU take advantage. This marks the sixth time since 2004 that VCU has eliminated George Mason from the CAA tournament. The game started off with a 22-0 run by VCU with Bradford Burgess dropping three-pointer bombs left and right. It got as bad as 32-4 and body language for the Patriots didn't look good. Mike Morrison helped rally the team and cut the lead down to 16 at the half, a minor miracle. His energy must have been infectious in the locker room because the Patriots did mount somewhat of a comeback in the second half. And they did have their chances to bring it to a one possession game but Vertrail Vaughns and Jonathan Arledge both missed key three-pointers down the stretch. I had in my tournament previews that this team would need to lean on their veterans players and Mike Morrison and Andre Cornelius helped make this game more respectable for Mason but Ryan Pearson was a total disappointment this weekend.

It was just amazing to watch how poorly Mason executed to start the game, turnover after and turnover, all of which VCU turned into points. Then they started hoisting up three-pointers, an area of the game they have been atrocious from all season. They really needed something more from Ryan Pearson as it was a sad way for the CAA player of the year to go out. I do applaud the team for not giving up and fighting until the end but it should never have come to this, especially in the conference tournament with the chance for an NCAA bid on the line.

The Patriots most glaring weakness this season was the struggles at the point guard position. Towards the end of this game Paul Hewitt had Cornelius bringing the ball up instead of Bryon Allen, something he hadn't done much at all this season. That doesn't bode well for the future at this position for George Mason. Corey Edwards played one minute last night, which was not encouraging. Bryon Allen is great scorer but I don't know if he is the answer at the point. Hewitt still has a scholarship available, might he bring in someone else?

Something positive to take from this weekend is what we saw out of sophomore Jonathan Arledge. He got a lot of minutes in this one with Erik Copes out due to a hip injury. We already know he has a decent outside shot but he showed some toughness inside against the Rams that I hope to see more of next season. 

Now Mason waits to see if they can earn a low seed in the NIT or entry into a third-tier post season tournament. To help cheer us all up let's watch the Green Machine play "Moves like Jagger" from this weekend:

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Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

Surprised to see we might actually be in consideration for an NIT bid. Just based on recent history the NIT hasn't seemed all that enthused with the CAA.

Glad to see you say that the loss had nothing to do with it being in Richmond. This hex just keeps looming larger and larger, it is something Mason will have to break to move forward as a program. Hurts to say, but it is clear VCU has lapped us as the power of the CAA.

Very rough way for Ryan to go out, just completely disappeared the whole weekend, and most of our run back was done without him.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous GM of the U said...

no solid point guard = no shot @ beating VCU (no matter what conference you're in). VCU is a very good basketball team. it starts on the bench with SS and the intensity/craziness that they call practice in Richmond. if drexel & vcu played in the BigEast this year they would finish anywhere between #5-#10. Arledge did look promising & too bad Morrison couldn't bring that swagger to the hardword on a nightly basis, or we would def. being hearing our name called next sunday evening. lets hope we can sneak into the NIT!

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

We wouldn't have won yesterday's game regardless of where we played, and there's no question that complaining about the tournament location sounds like whining...but, as a friend of mine pointed out while I was whining about it this weekend, Mason doesn't lose at home. One home loss in two years points to the obvious fact that we'd have a HUGE advantage if the tournament was played locally. I'm not asking that it be played at the Patriot Center, but a location rotation would be nice. That's not something we should give up.

Sad for Pearson - he deserves to go out better than this. I wonder what happened to him this weekend. Hopefully, he has a chance to get a few more games in, and take out his frustration against some "power" conference teams in the NIT. It would be nice for him to get more points than fouls. I believe.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Matt said... was painful.  Noise didn't cause turnovers, poor prep and handling did.  Notice when we pressed, VCU set picks on the pressure to open the floor a bit and make the next pass.  We just tried to dribble through and eventually brought Mike back and I thought he passed well.  He had a great game and stepped up when most would have guessed an emotional meltdown!  Too big of a hole to get out of but at least we dug in.  A great point guard prospect at this point in the year with the last scholarship doesn't seem plausible but we need something to change.

I really feel like when teams clamped down on Ryan and our guards rarely played well enough to pull teams out of that, we never seem to run anything that would eventually get Ryan touches-that's frustrating!I'm not sure which team losing tonight stands a better shot at an at large but I think we need to hope for that so that NIT shot is possible.  If Drexel loses and doesn't get an at large we may not get into the NIT.  But Drexel playing so short I don't know if the committe will want them as an at large.  Has VCU done enough to warrant an at large?  Man an NIT run would be a lot nicer than CBI/CIT!

10:56 AM  
Anonymous BoredInClass said...

Joe McDonald 2012 6'1 190lbs #43 PG according to ESPN.. He is from Lorton, VA.. His scouting report highlights his decision making, taking care of the ball as well as his rebounding. Open scholarship.........

11:19 AM  
Anonymous stephen said...

Yes the team played poorly in the beginning, pretty much as bad as it can get. But i'm sorry the game was pretty much a home game for VCU. It had them fired up helping get those shots one after another and made our team play worse (we do it all the time away from home).

If we played  a better first half, we had this game even being away from home. 

11:28 AM  
Anonymous BoredInClass said...

He played on Team Takeover with Patrick Holloway

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

Only comment I have is next year can not come fast enough. It is a house in progress and there is work to do. No such thing as a moral victory but it did help to see some worried looks on the VCU section. The league as a whole will be very good next year. Do hope we get 2 in plus an NIT bid for us.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

no need for a tournament rotation, just a real neutral court.  Somewhere like Baltimore.  Forget about how we feel, think about the people coming from Northeastern, Wilmington, Georgia, and Long Island every year.  Have to plan travel days, and hotels, and a lot of extra costs that VCU, ODU, and even us don't have to incur if we don't want to.  I don't know what the answer is, but I know what it isn't, Richmond 2 miles from VCU is just a joke.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous bdgg said...

To me it is very sad this team played the same way all year and could never overcome it.  Lots of turnovers, out of control play, did I mention lots of turnovers?  They had big runs is most games that was usually enough to win despite an opponent going on 32-4 runs.  Usually, they were way ahead (Towson, JMU, Lamar, etc) and were able to survive the onslaughts and were saved by the buzzer, yesterday the run was flipped and VCU did it to start the game rather than finish it.

To me the season is over, I'm not jazzed about watching a third tier tournament.  This was not a great team this year, beating up on a very weak schedule does not usually get you an NIT, especially from the CAA.  (Just look at Hofstra as the 3 seed last year, no NIT invite and played in the CBI)  Going 6-4 and playing really bad basketball in the last 10 games is a black eye as well.

all this aside, I'm so tired of losing to VCU in the tournament.  0-6, really?  Come on guys.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

Sitting in the Coliseum during the first half of this game was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life (non I'm not exaggerating). We played miserably and there are no excuses for it. If we had shown up for the first 10 minutes of the game, we would've stood a chance. In the end I was proud of the comeback, but also sad because it shows that we can be a good team and pull it out... but it was too little too late.

I think it's all mental with us when we come to Richmond... and then the fact that the arena was 75 - 80% VCU fans doesn't help. It's no excuse for the poor performance, but the atmosphere really does kill any shred of pride when a team when they are down. I felt like complete crap in the stands... I can't imagine how the players felt.

It would be nice to see these teams (VCU and Mason) play on a more neutral court and see what happens then. Wishful thinking of course. I was glad to see that the refs seemed to be calling on both teams instead of what we saw at the Siegel Center when Mason was getting called for every minute thing and VCU was getting called for NOTHING.

Oh and I definitely saw the items being hurled from the seating behind our Pep Band and Student section. Classy behavior from VCU fans as always. That and the guy sitting behind me who was yelling "Pearson is a piece of sh*t" and other choice phrases made me want to utilize my middle fingers, but I restrained myself so as to not stoop to their level.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous daveshac said...

If there's one thing we know Hewitt is focused on, it's recruiting and developing talent.  Implementing "system" schemes and in-game decision making are clearly secondary to Hewitt.  You can see clearly what Coach Houston was able to do with Mike Morrison and Jon Arledge this year to develop and maximize their abilities.  

Coach must clearly see the issue at PG, it's as clear as day.  (Corey Edwards almost joined Club Trillion if it wasn't for his lone turnover!  Yeesh.)  If we can't land a PG talent with our last scholarship, it wouldn't surprise me to see GMU hire the Roland Houston equivalent for the point guard position.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Jphubba said...

Playing in the Coliseum against VCU is a challenge, but that's not why GMU lost. Just watch tonight when Drexel dismantles VCU.  Once a team neutralizes VCU's press and puts a hand in Burgess' face on the perimeter, VCU becomes a very ordinary team. Look what happened after Mason had Cornelius bring the ball up (and gave him some help). Unless VCU wins tonight (and I doubt that they will) they are destined for the NIT because the NCAA selectors recognize that they are not a strong team.

As for Mason, it's all about coaching. Again look at Drexel -- a team with decent talent, but exceptional execution -- crisp movement and passing on offense, careful footwork and lots of muscle on defense. Mason, on the other hand, still runs its offense like it's late December, sloppy passing, hesitant cuts, lots of standing around holding the ball. On defense, too much slapping at the ball and not enough of quick footwork.

Part of the answer is Hewitt's failure to settle on the best five on the floor. Admittedly he had some handicaps -- three seniors who expected to start and no natural point guard, but that's what coaching is all about. I remember the year that Jon Laranaga ran the point, surely not the textbook approach, but you have to find the right combination. Hewitt's rotation was often 11 deep -- probably to many.

A second piece of the puzzle is Hewitt's unwillingness to recognize that, despite all the talent, he didn't have the makings of a fast paced team. Again see the point guard situation, but also consider the league Mason is in.  The good teams are physical and focus on defense. A running team is not likely to beat them consistently.

Finally, Hewitt was not tough enough. You can't ignore bad decisions and persistent mistakes. Letting Pearson run around on offense was a particularly bad idea. It may have worked against the weak clubs, but the good teams solved it easily enough.  Good basketball players simplify their games over time, concentrating on what they do best -- see players like Jai Lewis or Will Thomas.

Hewitt and his coaches had some successes -- the preparation for Georgia State on Saturday was excellent, but I continue to doubt that they have what it takes to win outside the MAAC.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous GMURULES said...

Even Shaka said in an interview I saw either Sat or yesterday, we are excited about having the fan support and even though some coaches don't like it (having it in Richmond), we will enjoy it.  I would like a more neutral court than Richmond if we could, or at least rotate it to different places.  I don't know the answer but having at same place, 2 miles from one of the schools, every year, is not right.  Now does it make it more painful it is close to VCU, heck yes.  They are our rival and play high energy game and feed off fans.  Also, as someone said, look at our home record last 2 years, 1 loss.  We dug a HUGE hole yesterday, not because it was in Richmond, but it sure did not hurt VCU having it there.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Haveagreatdaynowyahear said...

Maybe YOU'RE embarrassed but I respect a team that fought back from a 28 point deficit to bring it within 6 points late in the second half. VCU is a faster, longer, more athletically talented team than Mason with one of the brightest young coaches in the nation. This is a flat out good basketball team and mark my words, they WILL make noise in the NCAA Tournament again (my prediction, Sweet Sixteen this time before a hard fought bow out against an upper tier major conference power). The only thing I was embarrassed about was the lack of poise shown by Mason at the beginning of the game. It wouldn't have been that bad under Coach L, he had a special talent at keeping his team focused and relaxed under periods of intense pressure. However, I'm still proud that Mason hung in and nearly completed a historic comeback and gave VCU all it could handle. Both VCU and Drexel are excellent sides that should get berths and should win at least one game apiece in the Tournament. Mason had a good but hardly great year and after all was said and done probably got the result they deserved in the CAA Tournament. I wish VCU and Drexel well tonight and hope they both get into the Tournament and make the conference proud.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Gio said...

Man oh man, what a horrific start. The Rams players came out more intense and we just couldn't buy a bucket and to top it all off we turned the ball over so many times in such a short period of time despite knowing that VCU thrives on turnovers. Once we settled down though we were the better team. Mike Mo was inspirational to watch and his drive and energy will be missed for sure. As you mentioned in your post, it was very discouraging to see A Corn bring up the ball for the majority of the game as I'm sure it was a bit too much for Allen to handle the VCU attention. Also, Edwards getting just one minute of playing time was concerning too. Arledge stepped up big time when needed (Ryan was just out of it this weekend for some reason) We could've used Copes' presence on defense a couple times, specially early on. All in all, the fightback was admirable and even though they didn't win, they battled to the end and made it a bit more respectable. Go GMU! Go Dragons! (just for today)

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

Mason is in CAA. Not MAAC.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Ralph said...

thank god this season is over.  Mason played the ugliest basketball I've ever seen from a winning team this year.  But they were winning so, eh, can't say too much without being called a whiner.  But reality hit them hard down the stretch.  Losing 3 of 4, 4 out of 9. They played with fire all year and just barely beat bad teams.  Hate to break the news to everyone, but this team could have easily have been 16-15.  the reality is, they played like a 16-15 team all year which is a shame with the talent they had.

And I'm still in shock at the disappearance of Pearson.  What happened?  In my 20 years of watching the CAA tournament, I can't remember another year the POY just disappeared and was a non-factor.  Mind boggling.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

I am sorry to say these things, because I am a GMU season ticket holder, alumnus, and fan but...

1.  The point guard situation was botched all season by coaching, and it predictably came back to bite us.  I wondered why Allen was playing point from the git go... and wondered more and more as he would be repeatedly stripped of the ball while dribbling upcourt, etc.  The kid has talent, but he is not a point guard.  AC would have been better all season.  He finally showed up yesterday... but he languished on the bench too much (see next comment, too).   
2.  Sherrod Wright should have been used MUCH more. The sixth man role was not enough for him.
3. The inability to solve the VCU press was somewhat shocking for a Div. 1 college program which has talented players. To continuously ask players to do things they simply could not execute was a failure of coaching.  For example, Corey Edwards and Bryon Allen cannot, by themselves or with little to no help, dribble through the VCU press.
4.  To allow the game to be completely lost within the first few minutes was simply inexcusable.  The coaches needed to at least TRY to stop the momentum through timeouts, different schemes, etc. If they did, then the players did not execute... but the players stayed the same, until the second half when AC picked it up...
5.  Morrison is also talented.  Witness yesterday.. also too much time on bench for him this year...
6.  The coach switched up personnel combinations all season, to the detriment of team cohesion and continued improvement.
7.  Hewitt seems like a casual observer of the game... rather than the coach who can motivate and inspire his team during the game...
8.  Not sure what Larranaga saw in Corey Edwards... he needs to develop a whole lot to be worth a scolarship... but that was Larranaga, so Hewitt gets a pass on the selection of him, but no pass on the utilization and teaching of him...
9.  Who will play point next year????? I think Patrick Holloway is a #2.
10. There are still many talented players on the team for next year, but we need a better plan than this year or we will be in even deeper trouble than we already are... and we have a tenuous fan base as it is..

I am a optimistic guy, but I am having a hard time with this...


4:33 PM  
Anonymous cali_dreamin said...

The tournament being held in Richmond ABSOLUTELY makes a difference.  Take the emotion out of it (frustration at the team, etc.) and just look at the numbers.  Sitting in the Coliseum, I couldn't help but notice all the championship banners that said either "Richmond" or "VCU," and looked up the tourney history just out of curiosity.  From 1983-2011, either Richmond or VCU were tourney champions 9/29 times (31%); further, these local teams have won either 1st or 2nd place 14/29 times (48%).  So, for the entire duration of the tournament history, a team located in Richmond has been champion or runner-up almost fifty percent of the time. If the tourney location wasn't an advantage, the stats would be more equitably distributed.  If it was a location that was truly fair and neutral, there wouldn't be ANY fans who could simply take a stroll to the arena.

As for last night's game, for what it's worth we were sitting in a section surrounded by thugs devoid of any manners or class whatsoever -- sorry, I mean, VCU fans -- and, despite the loss, we were thoroughly entertained watching them get increasingly quiet and very, very worried.  When we came to within 6 points, they all starting literally squirming in their seats; either they were terrified that ultimately THEY may be the embarrassed ones, or they collectively **** a brick.  Either way, that at least was quite fun to watch. 


4:44 PM  
Anonymous lou said...

 You seem to forget that last year's team (which was better than this year's) lost to VCU by 16 in the CAA tournament and 1 game later got their doors blown off by 30+ pts by Ohio St in the NCAAs
Coach L was a good coach, but the last game he coached for us was pretty humiliating as well

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

I need to settle down and then I'll share.  I will say the positives: Arledge was a beast.  Morrison was incredible.  Andre ran the point with poise, intelligence and LIMITED TURNING THE BALL OVER!

As for tonight, if anybody here isn't pulling for Drexel they should be banned from ever posting on this site again (hear that webmaster!)


The best news of the weekend, however, was seeing Luke Hancock at the game Saturday wearing a George Mason shirt.  He was cheering the team on and clapping and yelling.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous BP said...

Man, you hit the nail for sure. I totally agree about Sherrod needing to be used a lot more. I think he's one of our smartest players and makes very few mistakes. He's excellent at penetrating defenses and getting to the hoop. I agree about Hewitt, I don't think he prepared our team well enough. After that disaster at the Siegel Center you would think he would gameplan for the press. And do we even HAVE offensive plays. How come every time we have the ball our players look so lost? Too much standing around and watching the ball carrier do something. Morrison definitely picks up the slack when Pearson is cold, wouldnt it be nice to have them BOTH play well? That happened only a few times this season. I agree with #7 too. Hewitt doesnt do enough actual coaching, like I said, players just standing around like it's a pickup game or something. Biggest question is who will step up next year and be the leader for this team? My vote goes to Sherrod.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous BP said...

Real classy fans for sure. They threw a water bottle that landed right behind me in the student section.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

Is "winning" second place in a conference tournament like kissing your sister?

Also, I would like to know what Richmond and VCU's seeds and records were to really have any context. Its not like they have been finishing 8th or 9th and then winning the thing because its local.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

So realistically will we get him?

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Unless we're the second team, I hope not.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

All year.  You hit the nail right on the head.  And why was it not fixed November 12 after the Rhode Island game?  Or November 15 after the Florida International game?  Or Florida Atlantic?  Or Bucknell?

5:17 PM  
Anonymous cali_dreamin said...

Yeah, clearly, these are just rough calculations... obviously there are a lot of factors that would play into it, such as seeds, records, teams coming & going from the CAA, and so forth.  It was just something I was curious about, and when I looked it up, a quick run of the numbers does seem lopsided.  It would be interesting to have more depth/info to look into (also, I am looking at these numbers assuming the tourney has always been in Richmond -- and perhaps that isn't even the case.)    BUT...regardless... the phenomenon of the home court/field advantage IS accepted and acknowledged as a significant contributing factor in all sports and at all levels.  So it is weird for the CAA to choose to ignore it. 

5:39 PM  
Anonymous stephen said...

He's not saying they are a bad team, because they simply aren't. He's saying you can't have a tournament in a local town for a team who participates and is regularly a good team - because they are going to play better.  The tournament should be in a completely neutral location, nobody is saying move it to Fairfax or even D.C. 

5:40 PM  
Anonymous stephen said...

Nice, didn't see that...wish we still had him. 

Go Drexel! 

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

Its all about the money.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

That was against the NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE COUNTRY!  That's a whole different ballgame altoghther.  And I don't recall being down 32-4 against ODU.  I didn't feel one OUNCE of humiliation losing to Ohio State and Sullinger.  Nothing to be ashamed of in that.  Being one of the final 32 teams standing in the tournament at the end of the year is nothing to be ashamed of.  By the way, how is that Larranaga guy doing nowadays, anyways?

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Ralph said...

 It was nice to see Luke... but then again it just made me wonder what could have been if he would have been on this team all year.  I think they would have been a LOT better; better than Drexel.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Ralph said...

Coach L got ripped by a great Ohio St. team and a final four bound VCU team; lets keep that in mind. In between VCU and Ohio St last year, he beat a Big East Villanova team.... so let's keep it real.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Mooky_l3d said...

This was a frustrating season for many fans of this team.  I think if all of us went back and looked at the post from the year you would see the same types of post over and over.  This game was a testament to each and everyone of those.  The turnovers, inconsistent play of starters, poor coaching, lack of basic basketball fundamentals, general lackadaisical play for an entire game.  Yes there were bright spots and yes Mason won a lot of games, yet almost all of the wins left a bad taste in my mouth.  Hoping for more play in the postseason but not looking for any changes in the results.  

All I can think is what Pedro Martinez said about the Yankees " I guess the Yankees are my Daddy"

Right now VCU is our tournament daddy.  With them being the 9th youngest team in D1 I don't see that changing unless Mason gets a point and coaches get to coaching on how to break a press.

GO MASON FOR LIFE no matter what!

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

What point guard can we get for next season this late in the game?  They can be junior college transfers, I don't care.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous BoredInClass said...

I was just pointing out a possible target who is from the area and has played with a current recruit.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Brentrg said...

Plenty of good points from all these posts.  Something that's been mentioned only briefly is Sherrod Wright as the 6th man.  In most of the games we lost, and in many of the games we won, we were down EARLY and won the games in the second half.  Against VCU our slow start obviously cost us.  My beef is why Sherrod didn't come in earlier.  I watched the whole game, and VCU was up close to 20 by the time he EVEN ENTERED THE GAME???  Are you kidding me?  He is our best penetrator, best defender, and maybe most athletic player.  And he was ON THE BENCH!!  In other games this year he didn't come in until 5 minutes or more had passed.  That is just ridiculous.  Thank God he will be a starter next year and play from the beginning.  I still can't beliefe it all.

I won't dwell any more on the negative, but was very impressed by Arledge as well.  He has actually played much more physical as the season has wore on.  He could really be our best post player next year which is actually scary.  Williams who will be back likes to pull up for short jump shots as opposed to posting up. 

My thought on VCU is their length is soooo huge.  Their long arms and tall guys on the ball force so many turnovers.  Who do we have?   DJ, Corey, are extremely short, and Allen is barely over 6.  That is one of the big reasons we can't beat their press.

I look forward to seeing up play in "some" post season as I think it will say a lot for how hard our guys want to succeed and really grow for next year.  GO MASON

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Mooky_l3d said...

Oh yeah and don't think that Burgess didn't take it personal that Pearson won Player of the Year.  Even though Burgess was an inconsistent player really only coming on towards the end of the season he used that as motivation against Pearson.  With his record of most wins in VCU, most consecutive games played, and the slight for his Senior Night he took it all out on Pearson.  Man I hate VCU. Worst is being a GMU fan in Richmond. No I have to watch,listen, and see this VCU crap for at least another couple weeks.  Hears to teaching my kid "BOOOO VCU"

9:15 PM  
Anonymous stephen said...

Drexel had like 200 fans at a game with 11,000 people last night again I'm sorry but this tournament was bullshit. It's a completely unfair advantage and Drexel better get into the tournament. 

9:24 PM  
Anonymous BP said...

this season was torture! every game so freakin close! just like the giants the year after winning the world series.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous BP said...

How old is Burgess? That dude looks like he's 40!

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

Season isnt over. We have one more game left. Probably NIT.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Brobro said...

We need a PG that can take it too the hoop, not another Corey Edwards who afraid to take a shot.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous BroBor said...

We absolutely lack the leadership at the Pg position, and it scared me for next year. You have to have guards that can break a press and push the ball up with the "ability" to drop 15 pts a game. Mason doesnt have that now, and doesn't have that coming in. Ryan Pearson not showing up this weekend showed a problem that the team has had all-season, not playing as a unit and not wanting it as bad as their opponent. You could tell by the VCU's players eyes in the first few minutes they wanted a turnover on every play, and Mason just backed down. Luckily Mike used his emotion, which has gotten him into trouble this season on the court, to turn us around. I love that Mike brought us back, but you cant play bi-polar in big games. 

Lets not kid ourselves, VCU's defense and Press isnt top 25 team worth. Team wasnt prepared and didn't fight. I was 1 row away and saw the laziness of the passes. VCU has Zero post players, yet we played man to man and allowed Burgess to burn defenders instead of switching to a 3-2. VCU beat us with hustle, when we had the talent. It will continue until we get our head out of our A** and start playing like we want every game to be a blowout. Real Sad, but I will always be watching for the day we rise back again.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

That sounds like a 2 guards to me, we have some of those, streaky albeit.  Corey was supposed to be a legit ball handler and distributor.  He may still be but I think he looked better and more confident in Nov than he did in Feb and that is not a good sign.  Turnovers can change but for a guy who was supposed to be our first real 1 in ages he picks up his dribble often and in horrible place i.e. the back court!  Does Joe McDonald not have any offers?

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Two in may be the only way we get into the NIT, screw it, keeping the conference in is still some exposure for all and if they advance all of the conference gets some money so maybe O'Connor can make good on old promises and build a basketball facility!

11:42 PM  
Anonymous anon said...

John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. It is an hour from both VCU and JMU, 2 hours from us, and the ACC won't be using it for their tournament.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Jphubba said...

Hewitt had his initial success at Sienna (that is in the MAAC). His methods seem better suited to that league

10:09 AM  
Anonymous HardHead said...

Like I said two weeks ago 80% of the bloggers on this site don't know a damn thing about this game and business that goes with it. I was the first to mention that coach h was not an x's and o's coach(only winning 58% @ GT) so with that being said GM for the next 3-4 years will be in the middle of the pact in the CAA. This team is a mess and it starts from the top...coaching and from watching VCU destroy this team it is quite evident that the back court coach or coaches don't even know how to break a full court in the hell can a coaching staff watch this team go down 22pts and not put the players or find a combination of players that could stop the bleeding but like I said two weeks ago coach h has a big ego as we saw on Sunday. Welcome to the business of B-Ball because when all is said and's about coaching.

Cope: Big Time-Big if used correctly?
Allen: No disrespect but you will never be a serviceable pt guard...period.
Aldridge: Big upside if he can get stronger and bigger....
Vaughns: Too short and struggles on D because of his size.
Edwards: Your game will continue to regress under this coach...
Benett: Plays with passion somewhat old-school...
Wright: Plays with his motor in top gear and has the ability to take over a game..
Gray: Talent is off the chart and was under used...why was this kid on the bench? Wise words: Transfer

Ps: This team has talent to win but the coaching is a joke and if you don't think so then replay Sunday's massacre.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

What is the record for comments? Seems like everything has been covered from our guards,coaches,Ryan,Richmond and our overall play oh plus what our record should be. Great site it is like IMDB with its reviews. It goes to show when you are a public entity such as the Mason Basketball team you are subject to opinion. This is great since some of us or maybe all can remember losing in the play in game. At least then we all shared the same opinion. Right now I like 24.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Gumby69467 said...

Is that why he was ACC Coach of the Year and reached the National Final @ GT?

10:49 AM  
Anonymous BoredInClass said...

No offers according to ESPN. 

11:07 AM  
Anonymous BoredInClass said...

Damn I just checked rivals, already committed to GW. Should have done my research.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

I disagree. Hewitt has a track record of developing NBA caliber players.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous BP said...

ughhh how long are we gonna be stuck with Hewitt???

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Moses said...

Already looking forward to next year with the guards getting more experience and age, and J Williams and Cope beating up on folks, and then Arledge and Wright and Vaughn and ....woops, that's more than 5. Who's going to be disgruntled? Good problems to have.

GMU did well with mediocre guard play. Defense wins championships and VCU has it, we don't. Good luck to Shaka and I hope Buster gets a bid too. They're both tough teams and well coached.

I'm not going to bash PH (yet) but next year's team needs to be hardmen- both ends of the court. Too soft this year. USE your athleticism.    

3:32 PM  
Anonymous just a fan said...

I can't comment on Hewitt's offense since I am not qualified. However, I still remember what a UVA blogger said prior to the GMU-UVA game late last year. He analyzed Mason's offense plan based on his familiarity with Hewitt's time with Ga Tech (both are ACC teams), and he basically said he could not figure out what Hewitt's offense plan is, as I recall.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

There have been 59 comments on here so far.  I guarantee for every comment there are 100 other people who feel the same way, they just don't know about the site or don't go on blog or do other stuff.  

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

 If we get in the NIT (big if) I say we just play AC at point, start Morrison and Arledge, let Pearson play 3, and start Sherrod at the 2.  Have Vertrail, Paris and Vaughn G. come off the bench.  There's your 8 man rotation. 

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Basketball facility?  Who are you kidding?  We have to build another parking deck.  Maybe another dorm.  Matt, you act like we're a division 1 school and are in the 9th largest market and the 2nd wealthiest county in America.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Rick said...

CBI, not a NIT caliber team

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Mooky_l3d said...

The biggest improvement this year over the past 14 with Coach L was FREE THROWS!!!!!  I don't think and I haven't checked but I have to believe this team really improved with those this year.  Morrison went from a 30-40% to 50-60% and hits some huge ones this season.  Mason even had the leagues best in Wright.  Tell me the last time that happened. 

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Mooky_l3d said...

He has that Greg Odem/Lebron James Old Ass Face Syndrome.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Tony Skinn was a JUCO transfer!

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

I agree with you on all points... we see the same things...

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

I completely share your frustration with seeing Sherrod Wright on the bench.... I was saying the same thing...are you kidding me?????!!!!! Get him on the GD FLOOR!!!!!!!!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Can't disagree with anything you said except, please don't encourage our best players to transfer!!!  Are you a GMU fan?

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

I don't think anybody is blasting the city of Richmond, per se.  I think everybody agrees (or should) that the Richmond Coliseum is a dump.  I hate to be blunt, but it is.  The bathrooms looked like a gas stations.  When you sat down your feet stuck to the floor like a movie theatre.  The concourse felt like walking through a high school hallway.

Also, we want to get the tourney out of Richmond because it gives an unfair advantage to one team.  It would be the same as the tourney being at the Patriot Center every year.  It's just not fair.  Now the bottom line of it all comes down to money.  Richmond offers more to the CAA (money, rent, etc.) than any other city.  For better or worse, Richmond has hotels, restaurants and other ameninties other places don't.  Charlottesville would be great, as one person suggested, however there aren't the hotels or restaurants within walking distance.  Logistically it would be a pain.  The games would be great, it's just everything else would suffer.

I spoke with an ODU fan this last weekend and he told me the only schools in the CAA that travel to games are ODU, VCU and us.  So, putting the tournament in Atlanta, where far fewer would attend, is not an option, even though they have everything Richmond has and then some.  Maybe DC does, I'm not sure.  Maybe Baltimore. 

It looks like for now, at least, we are stuck in Richmond.  Until fans stop going, and we know the VCU fans will pack the place no matter what, nothing is going to change.

Sorry for being a downer.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

 Personally, I could care less about the NIT.  Our problems can't be solved in an extra couple of games.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

We could have played the game on Mars, we still wouldn't know how to break a press, we would still take timeouts in the middle of our own run, we still wouldn't actually have an offense.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

I could care less about developing NBA caliber players.  That's not what we're paying him for.  I want to develop CAA caliber players!

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

 And there are still some that maintain we're better off without Larranaga...

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

Do we know who the assistants will be next year?  I think Houston has done an excellent job with the big men.  But I do agree, we need somebody who can coach guards.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

After last weekend, honestly, who cares about the NIT.  We're a Final Four school, and now we're looking forward to "hopefully" getting in the NIT?  We've fallen that far?

5:16 PM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

Did someone get fired? Why would we have any new assistants, it"s Hewiit's first year

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Jd2913 said...

One surprising thought I had during the game was that Hewitt made the right decision in benching Pearson.  And not for his lack of production on the offensive end. His inability to defend Burgess was the icing on the cake for VCU.  He simply was not up to par with Burgess and the lack of speed and defensive pressure was evident. Burgess hit 4-5 threes easily because of the lack of pressure.  I'm not sure who was guarding Burgess while Pearson was out, but his scoring dropped dramatically. Another minor detail was the appropriate timing of the timeouts called by Hewitt, helping to spur a potential comeback.
Overall the energy of VCU and lack of preparation to break the press was too much to overcome and we all know what happened. While I'm sure we're all disappointed, I'm still looking forward to next year and trying to figure out who our starting 5 will be.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

I agree re Burgess against Preason, however, Pearson should have stayed in the game, and simply switched the defense to a 3-2 zone, as suggested above. He was the team leader... on the bench??  If I was VCU and I saw that, well it's virtually game over...  and preparation to break a press should have happened before the season even began...   

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Mooky_l3d said...

Lets not forget that the CAA is based in Richmond.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Dsndsn said...

Yeah, but JPJ is in Bum F**K.... especially if you are Northeastern or Hofstra, I would "scream bloody murder" I was from Atlanta, Boston, or upstate N.Y. if this was proposed.

8:17 AM  

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