Oklahoma routs George Mason at the BB&T Classic

George Mason was outplayed yesterday by Oklahoma in nearly every facet of the game. The Patriots got down early due to turnovers and never got closer than seven points which was early in the second half. At halftime they were down ten which seemed amazing considering they were shooting 30% from the field and getting beat to almost every rebound on both ends. The Sooners dominated the glass and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds. Mason gave them easy paths to the basket, allowing 50 points in the paint and numerous opportunities in transition. The game would have been a bigger blowout if not for Oklahoma’s poor outside shooting (1-for-12 on three-pointers).

Bryon Allen was the only Mason player to finish in double figures while several guys struggled mightily from the field. It seemed like Vaughn Gray missed 20 shots and overall the team wasn’t getting any good looks. Opposing teams are keeping them out of the lane and in turn they are tossing up ill-advised shots. The only positive was that they shot over 68% from the free-throw line (21-28), a rare feat for this team.

For the second straight game Mason allowed the opposing team to consistently score in the paint with numerous easy baskets. They were moments in the first half were it looked like they were forcing Oklahoma into some bad shots but once again we didn’t see the effort for a full 40 minutes. Also the effort on the boards was the most disheartening to witness because that had been an area of strength for Mason entering into this game.

Marquise Moore returned and looked good, playing nearly as many minutes as starter Corey Edwards. With turnovers continuing to be a problem and the offense struggling might we see Moore in a starting role? Jalen Jenkins’ effort was also something that was a positive takeaway. He’s definitely earned more playing time and I’m not sure why he isn’t starting over Johnny Williams.

It’s a bad loss for Mason not because of who they lost to or the score but because of their effort. It doesn’t appear they have put the USF loss in their rearview and the same problems that plagued them in that game were seen again against Oklahoma.

[Photo by: Alex Brandon]


  • Andy Minor

    More of the same. Is there any way this team is better than last year’s? It’s like they all got worse over the winter.

    Our zone defense actually looks OK, yet Hewitt seems adamant that we’ll only use it for a few minutes per game. Meanwhile he favors our man defense, which consists of pointless switches off of screens that lead to Corey Edwards guarding 6’8″ forwards. Basically “get out of the way or this dude is going to get an and-1.” That seems to be our defensive strategy and it looks like the old guys playing pickup at the Y who don’t want to get hurt.

    • mkaufman1

      Agreed. There was a period of time that Mason looked decent on defense, specifically in the zone. I have no clue why they dont use it more. The press also looked half decent (obviously in desperation), but it seems as if we dont’ even try that to get a quick few points anymore.

      I’m not sure what it is, but yes the team does generally look worse. I’m very concerned for the program going forward against tougher competition. Its 9 of 30 games in, but there has to be a LOT of adjustments and growth to be successful and I can’t see it at this point.

      At this point I say theyll end up with 17 wins and around 9th place in the a-10 , which with this group of talent , is unacceptable.

  • Bill Aldacushion

    Couldn’t believe how crappy the scoreboard and game announcer were yesterday. Big TV screen emphasized over player stats barely visible at top of scoreboard ….. and the columns were reversed. Does that venue host any other basketball teams? ;-) The announcer seemed to be as confused as we were at times and remained silent on questionable foul calls. And can anyone explain what Jenkins thought he was doing with that late obvious foul on their big guy that the coach used as a “teaching opportunity” when he came to the bench?

    • Bill Bride

      We were under the basket, second row in section 117. I got a laugh when Michael Rudy’s name was listed at a starter and Marko came out on the court. Even my 8 year old son wondered what was up with the scoreboard, how can Sherrod have 7 fouls he said. This was the 19th annual, it was a fun tournament early on but since they went to just two games, it’s lost its appeal. My son wanted to see Mason, GW and Maryland so this was a no brainer for us to go to. For some reason Georgetown will never participate in this.

      My kid had fun, we rooted for Mason and then during the second half of the game, Juan Dixon, who is now a Terp assistant coach and injured guard Seth Allen came out and sat with us. Allen was rooting for Patrick Holloway as I recall hearing him say they played against one another in high school. They we got to meet Terps head coach Mark Turgeon for a couple minutes between games. Overall a good afternoon despite the defeats.


    This team continues to get worse and worse. We seem to forget, we have 4 seniors starting. We should be a lot better than this at this point! Who do we blame, the kids? Coaches? Program?

    • Tom

      The only one we should kick his ass is Hewitt. He does not understand basketball, and not smart on strategies.

  • Daniel Wu

    This Mason team has no chance against Iowa State. Hopefully Mason will beat the two other teams eliminated in the first round after they lose to Iowa State. Unfortunately the analysts are pretty accurate with thier predictions. If there is still a lot of growth needed for this Mason veteran squad, it will mean more losing and learning, and a 8th or 9th place finish seems very likely. CBI here we come again…if the school decides to pay the entrance fee again.

    • G-n-G

      I agree Iowa State is beyond a long shot. Of course, they rank in the top 5 in three major offensive categories, so nearly every team is worse than they are.

      There were a couple early turnovers that lead to a margin that remained for the whole game but overall TOs weren’t that big a problem. Oklahoma had more.

      Rebounding killed them all game. Drive and shoot killed them in the first half. Drive and dish for an early basket and transition baskets are what hurt them in the second half. So Hewitt and Mason did make adjustments at half time but Oklahoma found a new way to beat their defense. What the success driving shows me is that Mason players as individual defenders don’t have the lateral quickness to stay in front of people. There’s only so much that can be done individually and the usual solution to this problem is to play more zone (which closes lanes) especially against a team having trouble shooting from outside.

  • Matt_LC

    I saw two major things when I watched this: lack of effort and inability to penetrate a zone. When you know from the scouting report that OK will run and gun, how can you possibly be beat down the floor so many time. Collectively there was no effort to get back before OK so forget playing zone, you can’t if you don’t get back to set it up. The intensity OK played with up 20 buried our effort. Our press late was the only time we showed any real fire. Our solution to their zone was to keep shooting over it. We didn’t run screens or penetrate and kick with any consistency, we bombed over the top, missed and didn’t get back to defend.

    I’ve posted this before, Hewitt seems like a nice buy but this team makes the same mistakes over and over. That is a coaching issue. We may not be the most talented team but we sure could do little things like seal the baseline, defend without fouling, take care of the ball etc. I hope that the next 12 days will contain practices to adjust to their mistakes but I am not really optimistic that will happen given that we have seen this for several years.

    • G-n-G

      Maybe they didn’t sustain it over 40 minutes (few teams can), but I thought their energy was pretty good, especially in the second half. I think they expended it all on the defensive end to chip away at that huge deficit and they had little energy left for the lift on their jump shots, hence numerous misses (especially by Sherrod and Vaughn). I suspect that teams at the caliber of Oklahoma have the athletes to stymie Sherrod

  • Tom

    Hewitt destroyed my taste of college basketball. He did NOT know how to coach. He plays ugly basketball.

    • shawnc

      With continuous disappointments since Hewitt took over, I also no longer find mason basketball entertaining. I used to record basketball games so I can watch them again later. Now a day, I still follow mason basketball, but primarily through forum like this and twitter… because watching the team in action is just painful.
      I believe a good coach get the most out of his players. A below-average coach does the opposite. Whatever the system/scheme Hewitt is running is ineffective. He did this to GT, now we are suffering it.

      • Tom

        He does not have a consistent system, and frequently get the players frustrated and started to do dangerous and stupid plays. He also does not know how to use a good player such as Holloway, and did not give him time to warm-up, and ask him to shut 3s once in the court. If he did not score, he put him on bench again. Holloway is a fabulous shooter, but in his system, he can not perform well. We will never see 10 3s in a game in coach L’s system.
        We pick-up a looser, and now we are losing !!!!

        GMU should go to find a young coach who knows how to coach.

        • http://www.benjaminbradley.com benjaminbradley

          Several coaches that I wish Mason would chase after. Michael White down in Louisiana Tech, or Andy Toole at Robert Morris, Sydney Johnson at Fairfield. All three are recruiters who seem to have a great ability of highlighting skills of their players. Players seem to “play for” these coaches.

          • Tom

            Great suggestions !

          • David Houck

            I honestly believe that Tom O’Conner should call up Bruce Pearl…

          • David Houck

            I would also argue that Jeff Capel should be called as well.

          • G-n-G

            You know that Robert Morris was 3-7 before beating a bad Duquesne team yesterday, right?

  • dsnjd1

    You know, I hate to say it, there are numerous posters on Georgia Tech’s basketball posts, who predicted Hewitt’s “failure” at Mason, calling him coach “Blew-It” (as they came to refer to him at the end of his tenure at Ga. Tech). In fact, there was quite a bit of relief at Ga. Tech, when Hewitt was fired, notwithstanding the bloated long-term guaranteed contract that the school had to eat in order to send him packing. Perhaps review of the that history, to the extent it still exists, or contact with existing Georgia Tech basketball posts might yield other interesting facts in yielding that were ignored in the days of Larranaga’s departure, when Mason just felt fortunate to land another coach with “Final Four” chops.

    • Chris Hirsch

      I hated this hire from the beginning. Felt like a recovery job for Hewitt and the way his tenure ended at Tech had me nervous.

  • Rick Jank

    As many of us concluded during the first year of the Hewitt era, he was
    going to be a vastly inferior coach, particularly from a X and O standpoint. And, if Hewitt had one strength, it was in recruiting. If that be the case, we’ve had enough benefit from Hewitt, and now it is time to get a coach in here who can actually do something with the new crop of talented players.

    A recurring thing I have heard over Hewitt’s tenure is that he works with players to improve their skills to prepare them for the next level — in the pros, evidently. I’ve heard this too many times now. I think that’s what he sells to the players when he recruits, that he will turn them into players that the NBA will covet, or at least what some good Euro Team will covet. It’s a load of junk. Sure, there are some midmajor players who hit it big, but the vast majority are simply not ready for primetime. But I think many of these kids haven’t truly accepted that yet, and so after the major schools have passed these kids over, Hewitt for them represents their next best chance at the pie in the sky. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that he preys upon the kids this way, you know, “look what I did for Chris Bosh.”

    Unfortunately for the program, we get players focusing too much on themselves and not on the team. So individual skills get worked on (yes, to be sure, they do need to work on them), and so we see Sherrod’s jumper improving, Marko working on the 3, Bryon honing his drive to the net. But team skills get ignored, and so we see things like crappy passing, slipshod defensive interaction, and perhaps the greatest flaw of all, a lack of rallying around each other when the chips are down. It all adds up to the losses we have seen, a product of a team without the unity and collective grit to achieve anything beyond “middle of the standings” success. And as that collective success dwindles, so will the ability to recruit, and the ship will sink further and further down. I’m all for changing this course sooner than later, and the change squarely begins with the head coach.

    • Tom

      what our GMU fans can do to replace him? should someone come out and be very vocal about coach change. If someone starts the movement, we will have lots of fan supporters !

      • Daniel Wu

        There would definately be a large support for Hewitt to be kicked out. Unfortunately it is up to Tom O’Connor. Again like someone mentioned earlier, Hewitt had success at Siena and some success at Georgia Tech. O’Connor wanted someone with experience and success. Hewitt had those qualities. Back in 2011 everyone was saying this was a good hire, but that was almost three years ago. Hewitt looked like a good match on paper but on the court……..no. Opinions about him has changed quite a bit.

        • Tom

          I stopped going to Patriot center this year because the Hewitt basketball is ugly to watch. I

          • Daniel Wu

            Same here. I actually stopped after the season opener against American. We won but things did not look right even back in November when we were winning.

      • Season Ticket Holder
  • Sean Cassidy

    Ernie Nestor all over again. Remember GW hired their coach at the same time and lost a 4 star recruit. Look what they’ve done.

  • Pingback: Diamond Head Classic Preview | GMU Hoops - George Mason Basketball