George Mason can’t steal win at UNI
George Mason falls to ODU
George Mason wins on Jenkins’ 75-foot Buzzer Beater
George Mason goes 0-for-Puerto Rico

Erik Copes leaves program

Fordham v George Mason

George Mason defeated division II Catawba tonight 99-69 but the more interesting news of the evening is that senior Erik Copes is leaving the program for “personal reasons”. Copes has been disciplined by Paul Hewitt numerous times in the past and some of that was rumored to be because of poor grades, is that what the case here? Either way, Copes was a major disappointment at Mason on and off the court. At the time of his arrival he was the highest rated recruit to come to Fairfax and fans had lofty expectations. It never materialized as Copes struggled to stay in games due to injuries, foul trouble, and an extremely limited offensive game.

This preseason story on Copes from the Washington Times shows he was working hard and obvious some off the court activity is keeping him from finishing his eligibility. The team’s front court was supposed to be the strength this season and they just lost some depth, luckily they have newcomers to help fill the void.

George Mason hosts Division II Catawba tonight

George Mason will host division II Catawba tonight at the RAC. Why they have a mid-season game on the schedule against a non-division I is a curious move for program that isn’t a BCS school. Catawba has this game listed as an exhibition on their schedule so am I wondering if Mason is treating it as such. For RPI and other ranking systems though games against non-division I opponents are not factored in but that doesn’t really matter given how this season is looking. The most interesting thing about this game is the possible repercussions that could result if they lose. I would have to think Paul Hewitt’s hot seat status would be projected to a more national story line. In theory they should take care of this team as they did against Shenadoah but that was a DIII school and it’s worth noting a couple of other teams have lost to non-division I opponents this season.

What is interesting about this game being on the schedule is how much of a drop in competition it is compared to the rest of their non-conference slate. Mason has already played a handful of teams that at one point or another we’re in the top 25 and still have to face #15 Oklahoma on December 31. Obviously you have to balance out the schedule but this a major drop-off that seems strange to me. Could they simply not schedule a lower division I school? What is to gain from this, seems like a lose-lose situation. But hey there’s not a lot Hewitt has done here that has made sense to us in terms of running this program.

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George Mason can’t steal win at UNI

UNI HOL 2014-15

Credit is due to George Mason as they took Norther Iowa to overtime and forced them into one of their worst offensive performances of the season. Only problem being that they still found a way to lose despite it being a low scoring game. To put it simply, they need to win games like this. At the end of regulation the score was tied at 59 and both teams were shooting around 38%, normal for Mason but not for UNI. If they can’t grind out a win with their style in an ugly game like this, I don’t know what games they actually can win this season. Marquise Moore was again the star for Mason but once again they could have used assists from him instead of points.

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Previewing George Mason at Northern Iowa

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George Mason heads to Northern Iowa this Saturday for their first true road game. Mason’s win over them last year was their best victory but this year’s UNI team is better and currently sitting at 7-0. They have been shooting the well extremely well and holding their opponents to low efficiency numbers on offense. This will be a tough task for the Patriots, who already struggle to put points on the board despite not going up against a great defensive team yet. UNI will be the toughest defense they faced so far this season and they will have to get multiple guys going on offense early in order to stay in this one.

On defense Mason will have to defend well against a balanced attack from UNI who have a lot of good perimeter shooters. Up front there’s Seth Tuttle, who gave Mason problems last year and gets to the free-throw line often. With more size this year, that is hopefully an area they can control better. For all the talk about the size advantage of this year’s team we haven’t seen them dominate the paint.

George Mason falls to ODU

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George Mason failed to build off their win against Manhattan and allowed Old Dominion to win at the Patriot Center for the first time since 2007. Marquise Moore had a big night scoring a career high 22 points and going 10-for-10 at the free-throw line. However Mason couldn’t stop ODU when it needed to and the Monarchs made a few big shots down the stretch to seal the victory. Paul Hewitt’s post game quotes were very telling of what to expect for the rest of the season:

““I am not sure we can play better basketball,” Patriots Coach Paul Hewitt said. “Just a couple of immature plays at the end.”

I agree, I don’t think they can play much better than what we saw last night. Low turnovers, points in the paint and at the free-throw line. They typically only have one guy scoring in most games and don’t move the ball around well resulting in low assists. Seven games in and this team has failed to break the 70 point mark. The end of the game was poorly coached as Corey Edwards cut to the basket for a quick two when the team needed a three-pointer and then a foul to have any chance of winning. This team never looks like they have a good play coming out of a timeout or stoppage. It is why they lost close games last year and why they simply wouldn’t be in games this year.

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Previewing George Mason – Old Dominion

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Riding their high of a long range buzzer-beater, George Mason will host familiar foe Old Dominion Wednesday night. Jeff Jones has turned around the Monarchs in a hurry and this season they have wins against LSU, Richmond, and most recently VCU. ODU plays excellent defense, doesn’t turnover the ball, and has shot well from behind the arch. Former Patriot Jon Arledge is averaging 7 and 6 for them and should make for an interesting return to the Patriot Center.

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George Mason wins on Jenkins’ 75-foot Buzzer Beater

George Mason was due for some luck and they got it Saturday night against Manhattan with Jalen Jenkins hitting a hail mary shot. The game itself was one of the Patriots better efforts as Patrick Holloway, Jenkins, and Marquise Moore had great games. The issue though was that they got little help from the rest of the group and Shevon Thompson was held scoreless. They had the advantage on the boards and got plenty of good looks at the rim but finished shooting 36% from the field. A win is a win and this group certainly needed the lift.

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George Mason looks to regroup against Manhattan

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So the Puerto Rico tip-off didn’t go great and now the Patriots are back home for the next two games. Don’t be surprised if we see some big changes in this game as whatever they were doing in Puerto Rico wasn’t working. It looks like Julian Royal will again be replacing Jalen Jenkins in the starting lineup. That certainly doesn’t ease much concern as Jenkins started every conference game for this team last year and a big key this year is his development. The rotation itself hasn’t been unbalanced, to put it nicely, and never seemed to stabilize during the last few games.

Shevon Thompson has been the lone bright spot so far this season and I would expect him to be the focal part of this offense going forward. His overall progress has to be leaps and bounds ahead of what the coaching staff thought his immediate impact would be. Now they have to build on that. Getting Thompson established down low will open things up for Patrick Holloway, who struggled a bit in Puerto Rico trying to carry the team when they got down.

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George Mason goes 0-for-Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico George Mason College of Charleston

Paul Hewitt and George Mason couldn’t leave Puerto Rico with a win as they lost a close game to Charleston Sunday morning. The Patriots’ anemic offense again went though long scoring droughts and overall dysfunction, with the only constant being center Shevon Thompson. Throughout the whole tournament Mason looked over-matched and confused. The end of the Sunday’s final game summed everything up perfectly, Yahoo Sports Jeff Eisenberg details it well here:

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