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George Mason survives a sloppy battle against Boston U

George Mason Basketball: George Mason survives a sloppy battle against Boston U

Saturday, November 24, 2012

George Mason survives a sloppy battle against Boston U

It was a game that left many fans befuddled I'm sure; but the Patriots came out of this sloppy game with a win. Bryon Allen drove to lane and scored (pictured above) while getting fouled with 0.2 seconds remaining. Keep in mind Mason was tied after holding Boston scoreless for the last 3:32 of the game and need Allen's heroics to win 48-45. Mason held the winless Terriers to under 29% shooting from the field while only shooting around 36% themselves. So what happened? Paul Hewitt attempts to explain it in the post game interviews:

“Every once in a while, you come around a team that doesn’t understand just how good they can be. This is one of those teams,” he said. “It’s [the coaching staff’s] job to get them out of it."

“We’ve got a really good basketball team. We’ve got all the pieces, all the parts, but we have our mental lapses. We just don’t do the little things we need to do all the time.”
The Patriots started off awful in this one and never found a rhythm on offense. Only Johnny Williams reached double digits and they only got to the free-throw line for nine attempts. That coupled with 16 turnovers is what usually causes a disaster for Mason. Everyone struggled shooting the ball and not just from long range. It's like there was something in the air at the Patriot Center, just bricks everywhere.

Teams have sloppy, bad shooting nights but what I didn't like in this one was that Mason didn't seem to make any adjustments at half time. That is something that is on the coaching staff. Mason had a real advantage inside and for whatever reason could not get it going. Sherrod Wright not driving the lane and getting to the line in this one was another puzzling thing to watch. Bryon Allen proved in the last remaining seconds how easy it was to penetrate the Terriers' defense and you had to wonder were that had been the whole second half. Not to mention the Patriots barely won the rebounding battle, which is a joke considering how poorly Boston U has done so far this season.

I agree with Hewitt that this team isn't playing to their full potential but the whole "we just don't do the little things" part is on him and his staff. They didn't look prepared for this one and that is a little alarming at this point in the season. Mason in this game and the one against Mercer, were the much more superior team on paper and just didn't seem to play up to it when it was all said and done. Perhaps they are still looking for an identity this year without the veteran seniors they leaned on last season; that excuse will only last so long. Or maybe this team needed a wake up call, especially for the younger players. Better now then during the CAA schedule which could be a dogfight this season.

[Photo by Rafael Suanes]



Anonymous upside2013 said...

Its a W!

10:28 PM  
Anonymous StopWearingPurple said...

Offensive summary:  clank...clank, clank...CLANK...clank.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous upside2013 said...


How is whats left of the CAA looking early on and how does GMU stack up?

9:19 AM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

No team has looked dominant. Drexel has a bunch of early losses and just lost their best player to injury for the season.

I think Delaware has looked very good and probably poses the biggest threat to win the CAA. Northeastern has looked good at times also.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous James Hubbard said...

My impression of Hewitt's tenure at Georgia Tech was not positive at all, but I have trying to maintain an upbeat attitude about his current work at GMU. Nonetheless, GMU looked yesterday like a very badly coached team. I have no idea what they were trying to do on offense, and I suspect that the players didn't either. The spacing was awful. The passes were ill-timed and sloppy. The shot selection was moronic. 
Hewitt's strategy, if he has one, seems to be to wear the opposition by using as many players as possible. At least one problem is that he treats the players as so many interchangeable parts and ignores their strengths and weaknesses. So we have Okoloji taking jump shots; Williams trying to double team in the back court; Vaughans standing in the deep corner while forwards are struggling to get the ball up court; Okoloji guarding much smaller players in the open court. It's nonsensical. Yesterday Williams seemed the only player likely to score. Yet, I don't think GMU ran a single play intended to get him the ball where he could do something with it. Instead we had Allen, Edwards, and Wright dribbling into crowds after almost every pick and roll.
Easy baskets are the key to winning. This GMU team will not generate enough turnovers or defensive stops to fuel a consistent fast break. Therefore it is essential to get the ball inside to someone(Williams, Copes et al) in a position where they score without dribbling or making more than one move. (Please no more running hook shots.) Once that's established, the outside shots will be available. If that means playing slowly or sticking with the same five players (which is probably the case) so be it.
BU on the other hand looked like a well coached team playing above their heads. Their four out, one in offense was particularly effective. Their big guy, Morris, who I suspect is  much less talented than any of the GMU forwards was the beneficiary of several slick plays. If only GMU would do the same.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous StopWearingPurple said...

"I have no idea what they were trying to do on offense"

I said that several times during the game.  I noticed those possessions usually ended with Gujanicic hoisting a three point attempt from the top of the arc.  I am certain that was not the intended outcome.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Zappa9 said...

Notre Dame played down to their competition all season long in football, especially at home.  They are the number 1 ranked team, headed for the championship game, and likely have the coach of the year and Heisman.  Yet the BYU game, Purdue, Pitt  all close games.  Do you see anyone ganging up on Coach Kelly? No.  Yes they are undefeated but its the principle.  Both teams have played down to their competition.  People forget these guys are college kids.  Can you remember what you were doing/focused on in college?  They are kids. Coaches can't play for them or hold their hands.  Also remember this is only year 2 of Hewitt's tenure. He has 4 kids on the team that HE recruited playing for him.  That's like a high school substitute teacher.  Your going to have a few good kids but most won't give you the light of day or at least struggle to believe or trust in you.  I'm not saying the lack of a blow out is anyone's fault, all I'm saying is that we are a team searching for consistency and take control.

1:37 AM  
Anonymous GMURULES said...

Is lack of playing time for Gray just him still trying to get out of dog house?  Do you think he will live up to potential?  Has his 3 ball improved?

12:15 PM  

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