Previewing George Mason at Princeton

iona 2013 1

The Patriots look to bounce back from an awful performance at Iona this weekend as they head to Princeton tonight. Princeton, although being in the Ivy ranks and not named Harvard, will not be an easy opponent tonight for George Mason. They almost upset Butler on the road earlier this year, have a ton of size, don’t turn the ball over and are a very good three-point shooting team. They are in fact one of the tallest teams in the country and also have a very efficient offense to go along with that. The Tigers don’t exactly play uptempo offense and often their best defense is to lull opposing team’s to sleep offensively.

The broken record continues for George Mason as perimeter defense will again be a big key in this game. Against Iona they left the front door open around the basket and as a result the Gaels walked in for easy buckets. Princeton is by no means as athletic at attacking the rim but they do have size inside and can score just as easy if Mason plays that way again. But from what we have seen the Patriots also have a tendency to leave the perimeter wide open in the beginning of games. We saw it against American and St. Francis (PA) and those teams weren’t exactly a group of three-point shooting snipers. They have let opposing teams set the tempo of the game early and they can’t let Princeton do that tonight. If they let this team jack up threes right from the tip it could be a long night.

Turning over the ball is the Patriots’ biggest problem right now. Currently Kenpom has their turnover percentage (turnovers divided by possessions) ranked #338 out of 351 teams. Bryon Allen back for his second straight game should hopefully help settle this issue. However, guys like Marko Gujanicic, Johnny Williams, and Jalen Jenkins really need to handle the ball better in the post because it’s killing them.

For George Mason to win tonight they need to force their tempo on Princeton and attack the basket while continuing to hit the offensive glass. If they try to trade three-point shots in a low scoring game I don’t think they will escape with a victory. Mason has a big athletic advantage with their offense going against Princeton’s defense. They just need to play smarter basketball and not dig themselves into an early hole again.

  • David Houck

    I think that Marquise Moore has to be on the floor and much more aggressive in order for this team to succeed. His ability to drive the lane will allow Sherrod to hang out on the wing for a kick out, which if successful will stretch out the defense. Sherrod and BA can’t be the only two guys driving the lane because teams will stack the lane like Iona did and force us to beat them from the outside. Sherrod is probably our 2nd most consistent 3 point shooter behind Patrick. Also, another way to stretch out the defense is driving and kicking to Johnny for a 10-15 foot baseline jumper, which he typically makes. It would also help if Marko made a 3 when it actually matters.
    The lineup I’d like to see the most of tonight would consist of Moore, BA, Sherrod, Johnny/Marko and Jalen. Jalen needs to get nasty on the boards and not worry about being an offensive threat. Marko and Johnny are pretty much the same player with Marko being a little better on the perimeter and Johnny having better post moves. But I will go back to it, Marquise Moore HAS to be more aggressive for this team to succeed now and in the A10.

    • Kyle Stegner

      Corey Edwards is not the same player we saw in the CBI tournament. Not sure whats happening to him, but its probably for the best to have Marquise Moore be the starter. Corey Edwards needs to sit on the bench until he gets his focus back. Anyone know if Princeton will stream thier game live for free?

      • Bill Aldacushion

        I’m going to try tuning in here:

        Not sure if it’s fee or free:

        • Chris Hirsch

          I remember that glorious time last season when almost all of our games were on TV… sigh.

          • Daniel Wu

            This is a trade off we are going to have to deal with. Now that we are part of the A-10 we get more big TV network coverage for our games. Local tv networks no longer have dibs on our in conference games, so they see no point in covering all our games. They get to cover our non conference games in the later season though.

        • Ryan Cioppa

          Looks like the feed will cost $9.95 for the game. Not happy about it.

        • Ryan Cioppa

          The A10 Digital Network also shows our game under the “Live Events” section. Not sure if it’ll work or not, but if it does, it’s $3 less than the Princeton 24 hour pass.