Happy new year George Mason fans. Here are what I believe the Patriots’ new year’s resolutions should be as I steal page from NBCsports.com:
What does George Mason promise to do more of? Find consistency on offense.
This season has been plagued by the Patriots’ inability to put points on the board. Their defense is much improved from last season but they average 65.3 points per game (ranked 307th) and according to Kenpom.com are 264th in offensive efficiency.
Why it will happen: If you’ve been watching Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen since their early years you’ve seen the potential of these guys. Are they playing their best right now? Does the system fit them? Doesn’t look like it so far this season. We saw them get into a better rhythm at the end of last year and despite returning a lot of guys this season it’s still a different team and it’s affecting them. I can’t imagine Bryon Allen and Sherrod Wright to continue to play at this pace as the season goes on. They have been getting a lot of help from their surrounding teammates. Marko Gujanicic, Patrick Holloway, Jalen Jenkins, and Marquise Moore are starting to contribute more and more. As they grow I think this offense will finally find some consistency.
Why it won’t happen: Has this offense ever been consistency good under Paul Hewitt without Ryan Pearson? Based on what we’ve seen so far this year and during times last season, the team on offense has looked in disarray far too much. The team’s best scorer was nearly invisible during the Diamond Head Classic and others seem to only have big games every once in awhile. They turn over the ball constantly, still lack a legitimate point guard, and can’t score in the post.
What does George Mason swear they will do less of: TURNING OVER THE BALL.
Why it will happen: It will happen because it’s their number one problem to shore up before conference play begins. It did not doom them in Hawaii and they seem to be doing a better job. Marquise Moore is currently this team’s starting point guard and it looks like they are running a better offense the more he plays. Corey Edwards hasn’t been a turnover machine but he’d often pass to guys who weren’t in the best position and it resulted in them turning the ball over. Moore seems to be improving and as his playmaking skills improve the team’s overall turnovers will lower. I think he puts the offense in a better position when he’s on the court.
Why it won’t happen: This team is currently #314 in the country in turnover percentage (turnovers divided by possessions). They have reduced the per game total but it’s still a very high number compared to the rest of the A-10. The biggest culprits are also the team’s go-to scorers, Sherrod Wright and Marko Gujanicic. They don’t have the luxury of benching any one who coughs up the ball early in games. This problem starts with an inefficient offense, confusion leads to unforced turnovers and we’ve seen it in every game.
[Photo by Bill Bride]