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X-factor Series: Jonathan Arledge

George Mason Basketball: X-factor Series: Jonathan Arledge

Thursday, October 04, 2012

X-factor Series: Jonathan Arledge

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.

First in the series is junior forward Jonathan Arledge, who had his moments last season and finished strong. He was behind some talented players in the front court rotation but still managed to make his mark. His outside shooting is still coming along at the college level and I think that is an area he will show progression in during this season.

What makes him an x-factor? His versatility to play both outside and inside will get him a lot of minutes this season. He will cause match-up problems for the other teams at the three spot but can also play well at the four. Last year his rebounding and shot blocking improved as the season went on and he developed a soft touch around the rim. Paul Hewitt has to like him in the transition game this year and he will be a nice piece in their uptempo offense. Depth will be a major strength this season for Mason and Arledge's play off the bench will certainly be a big part of that.

Likely role this season: I see Arledge being one of the first guys off the bench this season. A lot depends on how Johnny Williams does after sitting out a year and if Erik Copes has developed any kind of offensive game. And while Arledge is a bit more athletic than those two, he doesn't nearly have as much experience playing and defending in the low post. Unlike last year this is no longer an area of strength for the Patriots, at least right now anyway. Also, depending on who they are playing he could be a better option in the front court than a big bruiser like Copes. Hewitt will have that type of flexibility this year that he didn't last year with seniors Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison being mainstays in the front court. Look for Arledge to in the running for this season's sixth man spot.


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