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George Mason to face Quinnipiac in final Paradise Jam game

George Mason Basketball: George Mason to face Quinnipiac in final Paradise Jam game

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Monday, November 19, 2012

George Mason to face Quinnipiac in final Paradise Jam game

Not the finish George Mason wanted in this tournament but hopefully the teams' spirits aren't broken as they play Quinnipiac tonight before heading back to Fairfax. Quinnipiac can't be feeling much different, having taken Connecticut to two overtimes last night before eventually falling 89-83. This could be a very tough out for George Mason tonight as the Bobcats rebound well and get to the free-throw line often. They also have shot very well from behind the three-point line in this tournament and Mason is currently struggling to defend such. 

It will be interesting to see how Mason responds from last night: do they come out firing trying to finish on a strong note or do they start off flat and look defeated? Like Mason, Quinnipiac has had their problems with turnovers. They committed 24 against Iona and still won the game by consistently going to the free-throw line. Mason has had a habit of sending other teams to the line often and need to start settling down more on defense. Sometime's the aggressive full court press gets the better of this team and really hampers what they are trying to do. It seems to be a gamble Hewitt is willing to take.  

Mason was hot on their long range shooting last night but what I'd really to see is Johnny Williams continue to score in the post. He was great around the rim last night and they kind of shied away from him on offense in the second half once Sherrod Wright and Patrick Holloway started hitting shots. Last night proved that other forwards Anali Okoloji, Erik Copes, and Jon Arledge just aren't as reliable offensively as Williams. The rest of that group does a lot of things well in the front court but putting points on the board won't be one of them. I think it will be increasingly important going forward this year to get Williams going in the post.

Finishing this tournament strong is something I think will help the team's confidence going forward. The fact that all of their games have been close this season doesn't necessarily worry me, it's not like they have played any terrible squads yet. I'm hoping they don't look disinterested tonight and play a more disciplined game on defense. 

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