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George Mason needs Jonathan Arledge to continue being their second scoring option

George Mason Basketball: George Mason needs Jonathan Arledge to continue being their second scoring option

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

George Mason needs Jonathan Arledge to continue being their second scoring option

George Mason has gone through most of the season without a consistent scorer other than Sherrod Wright. Wright has done some incredible things this season and has carried this team on his shoulders at times. On any given night the second scorer could have been Johnny Williams, Marko Gujanicic, Patrick Holloway, or Bryon Allen. Now with only seven conference games left it appears junior forward Jonathan Arledge is emerging as the team's second go-to scoring option. After the ODU win on Monday he became the only other Mason player besides Wright to score 10 or more points in three consecutive games this season. Starting in place of Johnny Williams, who has been out with a concussion, the offense has run a bit smoother and the team is getting to the free-throw line more.

The interesting part about all of this is that Arledge looked to be on this path at the end of last season and played well in the CAA tournament. However, Williams returned from a redshirt season and newcomer Anali Okoloji was an early favorite of Paul Hewitt for some reason. Arledge definitely seems like his larger role in the rotation is best for the team going forward and I think they need him to keep scoring in order to win the league's autobid.

Arledge can hit the 15-foot jumper and also attack the rim while driving through the lane. He's been getting better at the ladder lately and that has been the reason behind his new career scoring highs. If he continues to do this it will open things for Sherrod Wright and the rest of the team. Johnny Williams might return to the lineup on Saturday against Delaware but Arledge should still be starting because he' s much more efficient scorer. Williams has played 121 more minutes than Arledge this season and yet Arledge has scorered 158 total points compared to Williams' 140. That's a pretty telling comparison right there, at least for the offensive efficiency of this team. Also Arledge has been a better rebounder on both ends and that has been a big part of the team's last two wins.

[Photo by John Powell]


Anonymous Mike Beem said...

Arledge needs to games when he gets 20+ minutes he averages just over 12 points and 6 brainer

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Ed Aymar said...

I think Johnny Williams struggled because he's not a true power forward - he's a center. So that led to the fouls and scoring difficulties. Arledge is a true power forward. Sucks for Williams, since he's probably relegated to backing up Copes from here on out, but we might have found something good in Arledge.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

I disagree, to me Williams isn't tough enough to play the post and inside. He shys away from contact and likes to hang around and shoot from a few feet out.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Ed Aymar said...

Part of that may have come from his weight loss, which was probably geared to playing a different position. He didn't seem to mind the contact as much two years ago. Wasn't he brought here to play center? Shooting from a few feet out is pretty much what PFs do.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Matt Cerilli said...

I wish people would stop defending Williams. He really isn't that good in my opinion and the worst part is all he seems to care about our his own personal stats and not team ball. Glad to see Arledge take advantage of the opportunity and hoping Williams takes a back seat with a bench role moving forward.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Keith Thomas Bateman said...

Arledge def needs to start, and have 25+ mins barring foul trouble. Screw the whole substitute pattern, which hurts good players like Jonathan. I like JW2, especially because of his hands. I don't know why people constantly defend Copes. He has maybe the worst hands for a post player in the CAA(I actually feel bad for our guards), and hes a huge liability at the foul line. I don't feel hes a dominating defense presence by any stretch, especially having seen how Richard Ross of ODU played. But players who are getting hot: Corey Edwards, Arledge, Holloway, Allen, and Sherrod need to eat a lot of minutes.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous James Hubbard said...

Arledge's recent success reminds me of how much I dislike Hewitt's substitutions. It's hard to excel in 3-4 minute bits of playing time with a constantly changing set of team mates. It's nice problem to have but GMU has a roster full of players who could contribute, but not enough playing time available for all of them to do well. I would be happier if I thought Hewitt had high expectations for his players and was willing to enforce them (that is, you screw up, you sit) and was a bit more traditional (that is freshmen get to sit until they are clearly better than the upperclass men). That way you could have a 8-man rotation and get some decent teamwork and player development.

12:47 PM  

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