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X-factor Series: Vaughn Gray

George Mason Basketball: X-factor Series: Vaughn Gray

Friday, October 05, 2012

X-factor Series: Vaughn Gray

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.

Yesterday we talked about Jonathan Arledge, today we are featuring sophomore swingman Vaughn Gray. Gray probably has the most potential out of any of the group of young players on this year's team. Last season we saw a few glimpses of his talent, most notably in the win at James Madison when he scored a season-high 19 points on 3-of-5 shooting from behind the arch. He showed more of his talents in that game by getting to the line and converting (8-for-10).

What makes him an x-factor? Gray is one of the best shooters on the team and Paul Hewitt will tell you that himself. He finished last season 17-for-42 (.405) on three-point shooting, best percentage on the team. Impressive work considering he only averaged around 11 minutes. While being an excellent shooter off the bench he also showed last year that he can drive the lane and get to the rim. He will provide an instant spark on offense for the team this season and has the ability to play either shooting guard or small forward. 

Likely role this season: Vertrail Vaughns regressed a bit last season as the teams top sniper and if that continues look for Gray to get a lot of minutes this season. We know Hewitt is high on Gray and wants to see him progress from behind the three-point line. It would not surprise me if Gray eventually becomes the teams' go-to guy from behind the arch. With virtually the front court scoring graduating from last year look for Hewitt to lean on the scoring from Gray, Wright, and Vaughns. Gray still has to prove he can defend at the three spot but I still think he and Jonathan Arledge will be the first options off the bench.


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