There are some new rule changes from the NCAA that will go into effect this season, mostly geared towards helping the offense. Coaches are torn over them and it will be interesting to see how some teams adjust to them in November and December. The changes are in place because they want to help the offense out because there were a lot of ugly games last season. But how will these changes affect George Mason this season?
I think it could definitely favor the Patriots if they can continue to attack the rim and play at a fast, uptempo pace. Sure, they didn’t do this well enough for all of last year but we saw it more towards the end of the season. Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen had some terrific moments that prove to me they could be deadly with these new rules being enforced. Mason is by no means a jump shooting team and they are at their best in transition and getting to the free-throw line.
Jon Arledge, who is an excellent free-throw (81.4% in ’12-’13), could also factor into Mason taking advantage of the new rules. He went 8-for-8 from there in the team’s CBI tournament win over Western Michigan. Being more aggressive is what earned Arledge praise from Paul Hewitt and his starting role. I do think his best basketball is still ahead of him and he will be a big factor in Mason’s success this season.
On the flip side of that George Mason was near the bottom of the NCAA in the rate that they sent opposing teams to the free-throw line. They will have to be much more disciplined to not let these new rule changes create more foul trouble for them. I can’t imagine them being worse in that area this season and returning nearly everyone should help them here.
In the end I think the rule changes will benefit them more than it hurts them because this team will win games on offense, not on defense. They didn’t win many games last year by shutting down opposing teams; they won by having a more efficient offense. Any rule changes that favor the offense should favor George Mason this season.
[Photo by John Powell]