The first meeting between the two teams didn’t go as well for Mason, and Damion Lee had a field day with the Patriots poor perimeter defense. Aside from a scoring burst against ODU, which everyone did this season, Lee hasn’t been on fire from behind the three-point line. However, he’s capable of going off on any night and they will need to limit his open looks. In that loss at the Patriot Center they were shuffling nearly everyone on Lee in a effort to thwart this shooting. It didn’t work and their game plan should include staying out of that situation again. It all starts with defense for Mason and they need to start out strong and not dig themselves into a hole early.
Rebounding is another obvious key in this game and the tournament for Mason. Paul Hewitt has been harping on it lately so it looks like we should see a good effort on the glass in Richmond. Erik Copes has been a force and they will need him to stay out of foul trouble, with or without Johnny Williams in the lineup. In their last two games rebounding wasn’t the problem and this is an area they have improved on.
Drexel has sent more guys to the foul line than any other CAA team in conference play this season. Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen need to take advantage here. Speaking of Wright, we found out yesterday that he’s been battling a foot injury for much of the season. That might explain why he’s looked a bit worn out lately. Nevertheless they need him to be a threat from all angles in this tournament.
Drexel plays a physical game and both Erik Copes and Jonathan Arledge will need to be aggressive in the front court. Lately they have been solid scoring options for Mason and I think this could carry over nicely into the tournament. Teams can’t key in as much on Wright when either of these two are hitting shots. Arledge has emerged as a more regular second scorer and he will have an opportunity this weekend to really prove his worth.