Our friends over at College Chalktalk are during a series where they are writing a short blurb about each Atlantic 10 conference team and are pointing out one thing to watch.
For George Mason, it is all about finishing games this season:
“What must GMU do to give itself a chance to place in the top half of that range?
The Patriots must finish games.
The inability to close out contests plagued GMU a year ago. Costly turnovers. Defensive breakdowns. Uneven point guard play. The reasons were varied.
There was the November 18th game against eventual NCAA participant New Mexico where Mason led by five with 17 seconds to play. A three-point make, careless turnover and another made long ball by New Mexico’s Tony Snell with 1.8 seconds remaining sent GMU to an anguishing defeat.”
No surprise there and the example of the New Mexico game really illustrated it perfectly. As they also remind us, it wasn’t just any one thing or area that led to their frequent inability to close out games. That was the most frustrating thing about last season, deficiencies in multiple areas.
They improved on a lot of their weaknesses during March and in the CBI tournament but the simple fact is they must not let games get away from them in the closing moments. The experience that this squad will have entering the 2013-14 season will hopefully be a factor in preventing that from happening.
The Patriots have one of the tougher schedules within the Atlantic 10 and the difference between a top 5 finish and bottom 5 finish in the standings could be very marginal. Can they do the little things necessary to avoid having similar mishaps this season will be one of the biggest question marks for them.
[via College Chalktalk]