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Analysis from last night's exhibition against Bowie State

George Mason Basketball: Analysis from last night's exhibition against Bowie State

Friday, October 26, 2012

Analysis from last night's exhibition against Bowie State

It was great to see Mason basketball back in action last night. However things didn't get off to a great start after Steven Goff of the Washington Post tweeted these two nuggets:
His next tweet stated that Wright would be eligible for the November 9 opener against UVA, which is a relieft. After the game Paul Hewitt didn't seem certain about Bryon Allen's status and said regarding his return, "It could be 3 days, 7 days, 10 days, I don't know". 

But as for the actual game last night, here are my observations:

Turnovers still an issue. I know they were missing two starters from the lineup but this was a Division II team they were playing and still turned over the ball 19 times. Johnny Williams coughed it up five times, but he hasn't played in long time, what's the rest of the team's excuse? This is something we had hoped would have been a point of emphasis in the off-season and needs to be remedied. 

Marko Gujanicic is legit. Both Jonathan Arledge and Marko Gujancic looked impressive last night but Marko stood out the most leading Mason with 16 points. His court vision and overall demeanor will remind Mason fans of Luke Hancock's freshman season. Remember both prepped an extra year after high school and the added basketball IQ shows. He helped out all over the court, with inbounds, breaking the press, on the perimeter, and inside on the boards. His outside shooting, for someone standing 6'8", will be a huge asset for Mason this season and Hewitt has to be pleased with what he saw last night.

Younger players need to tighten up defense. For most of the night we saw Mason's "B team", and they looked pretty awful on defense. Yes, Bowie State had 27 turnovers but you wouldn't remember that considering they had one player score 30 and as a team knocked down 10 three-pointers (Mason only hit 3). Perimeter defense, like last season, was especially concerning as they gave up a ton of open looks. These exhibition games are tune-ups but some of these problems were glaring weaknesses. When your bench players can't cover anyone, you're not as a deep a team as you may think you are on paper.

Where's my uptempo? We didn't really get to see Hewitt's faster offensive last night and that's mostly because they couldn't make enough stops on the defensive end to get things going. There were some impressive breakaways from that included Anali Okoloji and others, including a big time slam down the middle by Erik Copes. When Allen and Wright are back in the lineup things should look much better.

Corey Edwards has progressed. Despite some quick early fouls that sidelined him in the first half, Edwards looked very good out there. He only had two turnovers and dished out eight assists while taking on the full point guard duties. There were a few lapses on defense but overall you can tell he's making strides in his second year.

Johnny Williams returns. Last night we saw J2 play in a Mason game for the first time since 2010 and he had some rust to shake off but was still impressive. Jonathan Arledge started and ended up doing more in less minutes but there's no denying Williams' pure talent and soft jump shot  He hit some beautiful 15-footers that I really hope we see a lot more of this season. I think he will need a few games to get back in the full swing of things but he certainly is looking like he will be a big part of Mason's offense this season.

Discussion on the exhibition game can be found here

[Photo by Stephen Kline].



Anonymous Giomason said...

Marco was great! He has a lot of confidence, and will really help the team in tight spots. We need to come up with some thing to yell in Serbian when he makes a play.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous James Hubbard said...

GMU will get better, I am sure, but how much better is another matter. It's hard to see how the team will play at a faster pace with such weak play at point guard and poor ball handling generally. Edwards will always have slow feet. If he is to be an effective point guard, his decision making will have to become smarter and much faster. I am not hopeful. Bryce Lewis is definitely not Division One material. Vaughans was reasonably effective at point guard, but his skill set does not fit the position. Allen, if his health improves, offers much of the same strengths and weaknesses as Edwards.

Gray, Vaughans, and Marco know how to pass and catch. The rest are still learning.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous BoredInClass said...

 Bryce Lewis is a walk on who spends the majority of his time watching and not playing in practice.. He is naturally better than Corey Edwards, and it would show if he was given a real chance. This is not a friend talking, this is someone who has played extensively with both Corey and Bryce.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Skybud said...

If you are going to be so critical of every move each player makes at least spell the names right.  Its Vaughns not Vaughans.  Do your research next time.

8:03 PM  

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