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X-factor Series: Corey Edwards

George Mason Basketball: X-factor Series: Corey Edwards

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

X-factor Series: Corey Edwards

This season we will see one of the deepest George Mason teams in recent history and there is a lot of potential up and down the roster. There will be plenty of opportunity for some of the younger talent to flourish and I wanted to take a look at that with the "X-factor Series". Specifically I'll be looking at some of the players, other than potential starters, who will have a major impact this year for the Patriots.

Previously in this series we have talked about Jonathan Arledge and Vaughn Gray, today we discuss sophomore point guard Corey Edwards. Edwards shared time with Bryon Allen handling the point guard duties. An early season concussion hurt his progress and he had some trouble turning over the ball. Towards the end of the season he was much improved and at times ran the offense more smoothly than Allen did. Paul Hewitt probably favors Edwards over Allen as a passing play-maker and a setup guy.

CAA guru Michael Litos thinks Edwards will overtake Allen at the point guard spot at some point this season. It's an interesting point and something I think Hewitt wants to happen because Bryon Allen is perfectly capable, and better suited in my mind, to play the two guard position. You'd have a very talented lineup with Edwards-Allen-Wright on the floor. Edwards recently said in an interview that he has been working hard this summer on slimming down to be quicker, improving his handle, and having better lateral movement on defense. Right now Edwards may be the better pure point guard over Bryon Allen but Allen is the better overall player on both ends of the court. It will be interesting to watch how Hewitt uses these two guys as Edwards progresses this season.

What makes him an x-factor? He's the best passer and most unselfish player on the roster. Edwards had a couple of games last year where his thread-the-needle type passing skills sparked the offense. His turnovers reduced his minutes but if he cleans that up he will be the assist leader for this team. They have talent at the front court, young guys, but talented and emerging nonetheless. They will need Edwards to get them the ball in places where they can be successful and make plays. Allen did a fine job last season but Edwards could be better in certain situations, especially in transition. His overall quickness will be an asset to the team this season and he will help make the young guys around him better.

Likely role this season: I don't know if I'm ready to say that Edwards will overtake Allen at the point guard spot, at least not right away. Let's not forget Allen played well down the stretch on a team that won 24 games last season. Hewitt doesn't need Edwards to score but his ability to be a true floor general will have him playing a lot more this season. It all depends on his handling of the ball, if he continues to cut down on the turnovers and pull off brilliant passes to guys running through the lane, the potential is very high. Playing an uptempo style of offense will require a lot from your bench players and you need a guy off the bench who can also run the show.


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