So here we are, the last game of the season for George Mason. Win or lose tonight I think it’s safe to say that playing in this tournament was beneficial to the Patriots. In this final game that will determine the CBI champion I think we will see a much closer one than the previous two. I don’t expect Santa Clara to come out as flat as they did on Wednesday night. Kevin Foster having only two first half points was a big reason why Mason maintained a lead for the entire game. The Patriots did a better job not giving them as many open looks on the perimeter and not fouling as much. The Broncos will no doubt come out firing tonight, keep in mind they have a few seniors who are playing in their final game. Mason can’t get behind early like they did at Santa Clara on Monday night.
The big difference for Mason between games one and two was how much they got to the free-throw line. On Wednesday night they got 43 attempts, their highest amount of the season by a big margin. They are tough to stop when Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen are constantly driving the lane. The Broncos have been leaving the lane open a lot on defense during this series and the Patriots need to continue to attack there. Where they can get into trouble is if they start trying to trade three-pointers, that’s a battle they won’t win.
Mason didn’t get much from Jonathan Arledge in the last game after his big night in game one but they will most likely need him tonight. Erik Copes continues to run hot and cold on offense, mostly cold. Arledge can provide inside scoring in a variety of ways. The Broncos game plan on defense has to be heavily focused on Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen. This could provide an opportunity for Arledge tonight.
What I really want to see tonight from Mason, more than anything, is a solid effort on defense. That was their main problem all season and I’d like to see them finish strong in that area.
[Photo by John Powell]