George Mason will try to rebound from a loss against South Florida this weekend as they take on Oklahoma in the BB&T Classic. At the Verizon Center Sunday they will be facing the best offense they have seen this season. Oklahoma scores a ton of points and plays a very uptempo style. They’ve only lost to Michigan State so far this season and scored more than 78 points in all but one game. They get to the rim and inside the paint often, exactly what USF did to Mason. They can’t beat the Sooners straight up if it turns into a run and gun type game. Mason has a better chance in the half court set, slowing things down, getting some points from Marko inside and hitting outside shots.
We will really see what this year’s team is made of on Sunday. The loss to USF was a killer because of how it ended. A player got suspended and they lost on a last second shot to a team they were handling for the majority of the time. It was a tough loss mentally for them and they need to be tougher in those situations.
Rebounding is a big key here as Oklahoma doesn’t dominate in the front court. It was interesting how little Jalen Jenkins played in the last game considering how well he did on defense and the boards against URI. I’d expect him to play a lot in this one. Also, Erik Copes needs to stay in the game and be careful with the fouls.
Mason will have to attempt to dictate the flow of this game in order to win. They get to the line more than Oklahoma and have to connect on free-throws when they do. Marquise Moore returns so that may give them a lift on offense, but they need to be smart with their possessions. Early three-point misses are easy Oklahoma points in this one and they need to challenge them in the paint to win.
Kenpom prediction: OKLA 78 GMU 75 (Mason with a 38% chance of winning)