George Mason handles ODU for the last time as a CAA foe

Jonathan Arledge posted another career-high last night, 21 points, and helped George Mason complete the season sweep of Old Dominion. With the Monarchs headed to Conference USA next year this was the last meeting of the two programs as CAA opponents, although I imagine they will keep the series alive. The Patriots won this one by dominating the boards and their efforts since the disaster against Drexel have been much improved. As bad as ODU has been this season it was still very encouraging to see Mason’s sometimes choppy offense build a big lead in the second half without much of anything from Sherrod Wright. And while Wright didn’t reach double digits for only the third time this season, Mason may have found their prime second scoring option in Arledge. Last night Arledge became the only other Mason player besides Wright this season to score 10 or more points in three consecutive games. He can be tough to defend when he gets going, his long arms allow him to score from multiple sports on the floor and in transition. He’s also one of the reasons for the Patriots big success from the foul line recently. Over the last three games Mason has gone 57 for 68 from the line (83.8%), with Arledge going a perfect 17-17 from there in that span. I’ve been saying all season that their biggest strength on offense is getting to the line often and converting and they will need to keep this up to have any chance of winning the CAA this season.

Sherrod Wright might have only scored nine points but he was a big part of the Mason’s rebounding margin. He had nine rebounds, of which five were on the offensive glass, helping to set the tone for the Patriots. It was encouraging to see them not give up on any possession and out-work the Monarchs all night long. Also on offense Corey Edwards and Bryon Allen shared the court for lot of minutes and combined for 13 assists on the night. A lot of them were to Patrick Holloway who once again found his shooting stroke, let’s hope it lasts. Corey Edwards also shot the ball more, which is a very good thing as he’s been shooting over 60% from behind the three-point line this year.

It was a good confidence booster for Mason as they now take on Delaware at home and Drexel on the road for their next two. Their best bet going forward will be trying to secure the #2 or #3 seed in the CAA tournament. Winning these next two will be important as the standing are becoming a bit of a log jam after Northeastern. The road wins this year have been great but Mason needs to take care of business on their home court in the next couple of weeks.

In related news it appears Blaine Taylor is out at ODU:

#odu has scheduled press conference for today to announce departure of coach Blaine Taylor, per source.
— Ed Miller (@edmillervp) February 5, 2013

Official release from ODU on Taylor’s firing. It was about more than just wins and losses apparently but they won’t comment further.

  • Christopher Hirsch

    Happy for the win, and really happy with the emergence of Arledge.

    Amazing how far and fast ODU has fallen. I think there might have been 20 people in the stands last night.

  • GMURULES

    I did not see the game. From the box score, Hewitt seems to be shrinking his subsitution pattern to primarily 8 the last two games. How is Williams? Gray, after thought at this point? Will the kid transfer as we have the exact same team next year.

  • Christopher Hirsch

    Williams is expected to be back Saturday for Delaware.

  • gmuhoops

    The rotation is getting shorter and Okoloji is playing less. All good things if you ask me.

  • GMURULES

    Disappointed by Okoloji, Great kid, but I thought he was going to be a beast on court, esp. in CAA.

  • John G

    I was really glad to see the energy both the players and Hewitt had in this game. Even when they were up by a considerable margin, they kept the intensity and did not allow (for the most part) ODU to make any real runs on offense. Hopefully the Drexel loss was a reality check, and they will continue to play hard for the entirety of each game moving forward.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rick-Jank/1663980095 Rick Jank

    Has Arledge been stopping at Starbucks on the way to the Patriot Center? Whatever it is, I hope he keeps it up. He seems like he knows what to do with himself on the floor lately. His play gives me more optimism heading into what I think is a tough matchup with Delaware.

    Sad to see Taylor go. He always seemed a gruff old school type guy you couldn’t help but like. I wonder if behind the firing was the feeling that basketball at ODU was going to take a real back seat to football.

  • Matt_LC

    Blaine is out, wow! He gave that university many competitive years. Personally I’ve always disliked him, there was a year after our Final Four where he got in and someone else should have (Maybe Drex.) and he was asked if they should have made it and he said he could really only speak for his team. I thought it was lame he didn’t pump the conference. Larranaga did a great job pumping the CAA. So too bad for Blaine but I hope they have a good reason beyond just this lame duck CAA year anyhow!

  • Greg Mclardie

    A good game here, we should encourage the student and support them more to participate in this sports to produce a good player in the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1562790787 Keith Thomas Bateman