George Mason left Hawaii with a win but didn’t ease any doubts about if they will be a competitive team in the Atlantic 10 this season. We saw this team look better on defense during the Diamond Head Classic but unforced turnovers and stagnant offense still plagued them. Rebounding and defense overall were bright spots but in the end they had trouble scoring consistently and couldn’t do better than a seventh place finish in the field. Sherrod Wright was playing so poorly he was even removed from the starting lineup for a game. Meanwhile Marko Gujanicic failed to score more than six points in a game for the entire tournament. Patrick Holloway and Johnny Williams contributed more with both those players lacking in their usual scoring production but the team is in dire need of scoring consistency.
I think there is an issue with the rotation, still. It certainly doesn’t help that Erik Copes is severely struggling to make an impact anywhere on the court but we haven’t seen a stable lineup all season. Vaughn Gray played four minutes the whole tournament. What’s going on here? Is he not “focused on basketball” again or something? With the team in such need for offense at times I can’t imagine he couldn’t be of some use. Anali Okoloji continues to get staggered minutes, maybe only because Jalen Jenkins sometimes gets into foul trouble. Although it’s great to see Marquise Moore continuing to get more minutes, he’s been looking great. I know that they are trying to find the right combination that works but at some point you need stability here.
The big story, which wasn’t really a surprise before this tournament, is that Sherrod Wright needs to be more of a consistent scoring threat for this team. He hasn’t scored more than seven points in a game since the loss to South Florida. Even with him averaging around 14-17 points a game this team’s offense isn’t that good, but with younger players starting to emerge they need him to be their leading scorer every game.