Is Marquise Moore the answer at point guard?

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We’ve discussed to great lengths on here how George Mason lacking a true point guard has held them back. This is year three of Corey Edwards and we haven’t exactly seen what you’d want from a player looking to be this team’s floor general. Edwards does a lot things of well, he’s aggressive on defense, will stand in lane and take charges, dive for loose balls, and drain the occasional three-pointer. What he hasn’t done while at Mason is be a leader on the floor and make the players around him better. He’s currently third on the team in assists per game and only has two more total this year than freshman Marquise Moore, who has played less minutes than him. It comes down to decision making and we’ve seen Edwards hesitate a lot. As a result we have seen a lot of more of Bryon Allen at the point, who can be a great player but not especially at that position.

Plays called out of a timeout are especially telling for this team’s poor play from the point guard position. Both Allen and Edwards have been culprits of making terrible decisions out of a timeout or late in a game. So far this season we don’t have enough tape on Marquise Moore to say he’s better or worse in those types of situations but we’ve certainly seen some promise. He definitely has the ability to make the tough passes and set guys up for scoring opportunities, something this team is desperately lacking.

Moore can be a threat to score in the lane every time he touches the ball. His quickness and ability to slice to the basket are qualities that can add another dimension to Mason’s offense. Take the last game against Saint Mary’s for instance. In the second half he had two layups that highlighted his decision making skills and court vision:

Turnovers are obviously an important thing to consider with this position. Edwards has reduced his turnover percentage each year but his assist-to-turnover ratio has mostly stayed the same. Now this team’s assists per game ranks near the bottom of Division I and I think that’s due to mostly to inconsistency at the point guard position. Better ball movement in a motion offense starts with the point guard, plain and simple.

Moore has now started the last games and will continue to see more minutes. Is he the answer at point guard? We don’t know yet but he certainly is starting to look the part. With the offense in desperate need of a jump start some stability at the point guard position could really go a long way this season.

  • GMUPATS74

    One can hope so. With the VCU game looming, unforced turnovers is something we cannot afford, or we’ll lose by 25+ down in Richmond.

  • G-n-G

    The minutes are pretty close (Corey’s played 28 more minutes despite Marquise missing 4 games) so it’s not a surprise that their assists are comparable.

    On the whole, though, Marquise is much more of a scoring threat (Corey seems reluctant at times even to take wide-open 3′s) which greatly increases his ability to dish out assists when defenses collapse on him. Corey at this point is like a more limited version of Andre Cornelius. I can’t see him blossoming into Chaz Williams, so I’d stick with Marquise and ride out the inevitable freshman foibles.

  • mkaufman1

    I believe he is an answer going forward and I think he will only be supplemented with someone who is as good or better than him in (probably) the next recruiting class (the one that replaces Copes Gray Edwards). I agree with what you said with Edwards as I think he is good but needs someone to “help him out”. Hes very tentative especially when seeing a press and tends to over think.

    I also think the team is helped by having guys like Marko and Jenkins who aren’t afraid to dribble the ball across mid court. This will be key for the team to have any chance to win against the likes of VCU.

    • GMUPATS74

      I’ll probably get roasted for saying this but GMU MBB is a lot better than its record. Got my fingers crossed for 2014.

      • mkaufman1

        I can understand you saying that, since they have certainly played a very tough OOC schedule. However, with that said, the A-10 is almost as tough, and it comes down to how consistent this team can be against top level talent. If they can play like they did against URI and UNI, they’ll have a chance to be middle of the pack. If they sleepwalk like they did against Oklahoma and Iona, they’ll finish 10-13th.

      • Kyle Stegner

        So if I add to this conversation by saying that we might have a chance for a NIT appearance at least, will I be going a little too far? Hopefully I don’t get roasted for saying this, last time I got panned by Ryan Cioppa.

        • mkaufman1

          Assuming mason wins the next two, they finish their OOC schedule at 8-6. To make the NIT, they probably need at least 20 wins, which means they would need 12 wins over 16 conference games (plus Brooklyn). Thats going to be awfully tough.

          I expect about 17 wins which if they win the next two, at 9-7 in conference. That might even be tough and that assumes Mason will steal a few games not expected to win (a home game against UMass, StL etc)

          • GMUPATS74

            That’s a reasonable prediction. Although Hewitt-haters will disagree.

          • Kyle Stegner

            St. Joseph’s was able to make an at large bid into the NIT last spring. They only had 18 wins. But that was a much more competetive A10 last season. This year I think only 3 teams will make NCAA and 2 will make NIT from the A10 this year. Rumors are that Dayton and St. Louis will leave after this season. If it does happen hopefully it does not cause the A10 to become a one bid conference like CAA. I agree with 20 wins being the benchmark to avoid popping the bubble for a bid in something.

          • G-n-G

            Where are StL and Dayton rumored to be going? The new Big East?

          • Kyle Stegner

            Yes the new Big East. Both or one of them will leave. When it happens the A10 will become a mid major instead of a major conference like years before. This will make it easier for Mason to make a post season tournament appearance but only if they finish 1st or 2nd place. Hopefully its not like the situation last season with the CAA -situation being very weak and a one bid only league. Davidson is coming so that might help.

          • mkaufman1

            Even if St Louis and or Dayton leave, the A-10, with Davidson coming in, will be equivalent or better than what the CAA was. Im not too worried about it. Going back to a 12 team A-10 also opens the A-10 for poaching up to two more teams.

          • G-n-G

            Seems this is not in the immediate offing, unless the Big East commish is playing her cards close.

            Ackerman, acknowledging the reality of monitoring the landscape, sounded disinclined to push the boundaries of it. “We’re standing pat right now,” she said. “We have 10 schools, and we’re still assimilating three. Our presidents have made excellence at 10 a priority. That’s our number. We’re not having any discussions about bringing on new schools.”

            http://college-basketball.si.com/2014/01/01/val-ackerman-big-east-conference-debut/?&eref=sihp

          • GMUPATS74

            That’s too bad. GMU finally makes it into a top-tier conference and it becomes watered down. Hopefully it will stay a rumor.

  • airgold10

    This isn’t related to to the game, but this well written article explains why I am glad we don’t have a football team:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/colleges/football/articles/2010/10/03/yes_theres_life_after_football/?page=1