George Mason falls short at Princeton

prin 1 2013

To the surprise of no one George Mason came out flat to start another game. The Patriots started out 1-5 from the field in first seven minutes and turned over the ball six times during that span. Defensively they were better but Princeton’s efficient offense was just too much for them to handle. Mason often challenged the Tigers’ shooters but it seems they would always find the open man and nail a shot. Princeton shot 64% in the first half and 62% on the game.  In the end it wasn’t Princeton’s three-point shooting that downed Mason, they only hit six on the night, but just their ability to take advantage of the officiating and the choppiness of the game. Sherrod Wright (27 points) almost single-handedly brought Mason back after being down by as many of 17 but no one else could consistently score for them.

Back to the flow of the game for a second, because I think the way Mason couldn’t take advantage was extremely telling. Mason was coming back and even tied the game in the second half but during that time the referees were calling EVERY touch foul. The pace of the game favored Princeton’s slow offense but Mason should have been able to get to the line nearly every possession and they didn’t. Princeton wasn’t playing great defense and Mason should have taken control at that point. Despite the fact that they never seem to be able to shoot over 68% from the line, they should have continued driving the lane and opening things up for other guys. The offensive game plan of the Paul Hewitt era continues to baffle me at times.

The rotation was interesting. I understand that Hewitt was playing Anali Okoloji more because of Princeton’s size but Patrick Holloway only playing five minutes seems crazy. We also didn’t see much of Jalen Jenkins either. Freshman Marquise Moore was out due to an injury he sustained in practice. Basically only seven guys were used, something we haven’t seen all season, especially when Okoloji had played rarely up until this point. Why not just stick with the regular rotation? Did Princeton’s size alone warrant such a radical lineup change?

Princeton’s isn’t a bad team and yes they did have an exceptional night shooting the ball but these things were known coming in. Mason, once again, just did not look ready to start the game.

 

  • gmu2009

    This team needs to pull their heads out their ass and needs to do it quick. As a team they’re playing like a bunch of underachieving losers. What makes it worse is that we all know the talent and potential is there. They just need to wake up and do some serious soul searching. Copes is officially back now right?

    • Kyle Stegner

      Copes will be back. But it will probably take a few games before he gets comfortable. Mason needs to solve these turnover problems and stop digging themselves into a double digit scoring deficit hole as a result of turnovers. We are not going to beat Umass, St. Louis, VCU, or even Dayton if this continues. If we can’t beat Rhode Island at home, I’m going to be facepalming myself for supporting this team. Alot of the analysts back in August predicted that Mason will finish in 8th, 9th, or 10th in the Atlantic 10. I really hope it does not become a reality. This team has the potential to finish 5th or 6th, but right now they look like a team that will finish in 8th, 9th, or 10th. :(

  • eaymar

    I hate losing to a rival like this, even if they’re just an academic rival.

    • David Houck

      o_O

    • Kyle Stegner

      Winning non conference games is important. It is vital to earn as many wins as you can against non conference and against conference opponents. Pretty much you need 20+ wins to get a at large bid as a A10 team. Right now this team makes silly unforced turnovers (UNFORCED), and have these mental lapses when playing defense. Its only when they are down in double digits that they snap out of it.

    • Ryan Cioppa

      we’re an academic rival with Princeton? LOL maybe in a century or two

    • tommy2

      Do you really think Princeton and GMU are academic rivals? Hahahahahah. That’s funny.

  • Leedy1896

    At least it looks like Allen’s knee is OK. What about Arledge’s back?

    • Kyle Stegner

      There is a possibility of him coming back, there has been no reports of him missing other games in the season. Hopefully the first two losses wil be forgiven by the selection committee if we do end up on the bubble due to injuries to Bryon Allen, Jonathan Arledge, and suspension of Erik Copes. They won’t forgive our mental lapses on denfense and early unforced turnovers though.

      • Ryan Cioppa

        No chance we end up on the bubble or even in the discussion (I hope I’m wrong). With the way this team is playing right now we’ll be lucky to win 4 or 5 games in the A10. Teams like UMass, St. Louis, La Salle, VCU, Dayton will all destroy us. No way we beat Oklahoma or Iowa State playing like this. Our NCAA Tourney resume will be used as toilet paper come March. We suck right now, plain and simple.

        • Kyle Stegner

          I was going to say 7 wins in the A10 and 8th place at best with the way the team plays right now. I hope I’m wrong too. The good news is its still early in the season. Still time to turn things around.

  • Mike

    Another slow start with Edwards starting at point, and then he only plays 18 minutes with a short bench. Hewitt has lost confidence in Edwards, but he keeps starting him expecting something different to happen. I’d like to see the offensive spark Moore or Allen can provide by starting at point. Maybe we wouldn’t immediately dig ourselves into a hole. And maybe with less pressure coming off the bench Edwards can turn his game around.

    • Ryan Cioppa

      I agree that Moore should start, but he was injured and out the last game.

  • Rick Jank

    That was truly a game to get pessimistic over. Yeah, we got back into the game, but solely a result of the athleticism of Wright and to some degree Allen being able to drive to the rim and score and/or get the foul against what is largely a non athletic team. Sadly, it had precious little to do with coaching and game planning. Once again the opposition found the formula they needed to play against us, and once again we seemed stuck for an answer. All night Princeton played with the confidence that they knew they would either get a high percentage shot or a wide open 3, and we did nothing to dent their enthusiasm.

    Heaven help us when we do get to the athletic teams on our calendar. One can only hope that the losses of Arledge and Copes has thrown everyone (even the coaches??) off their game. Otherwise, we have now played our second “burn the tape” game in a row, and if things don’t change we can look forward to a cellar-dwelling season.