0-2 start in the Atlantic 10 for George Mason

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George Mason continues to be the team in every game that only plays one half of good basketball. You never know which half it’s going to be but they will struggle in at least one of them. Against Saint Josephs’s last night both teams shot the ball extremely well in the first half but the problem was it only carried into the second half for the Hawks. Also for the third straight game in a row the Patriots got to the free-throw line a lot less than their opponent and as a result never controlled the tempo. Jalen Jenkins career-night (20 points) and relentless effort inside paired with some hot three-point shooting helped Mason carry a five point lead into halftime. With about two and half minutes remaining though the Hawks were able to get second chance opportunities to help seal the deal.

A highlight for George Mason at this point continues to be the development of redshirt freshman Jalen Jenkins. He continues to be a tough customer inside and is the team’s best offensive rebounder. They could use three more of him on the floor.

Bryon Allen continues to put points on the board but he’s been making a lot of mistakes late in games that continue to cost the team possessions. He and Sherrod Wright never seem to be on the same page in terms of production on any given night.

Erik Copes has been contributing more and Johnny Williams has been nearly invisible out there. It may be time to move Copes back into the starting lineup. At this point you have to take the good with the bad with Copes and hopes he develops more. Marko Gujanicic was once a solid number two scorer for this time but lately he’s seen little minutes. I think he’s battling a minor injury which is shame because he and Jenkins make a solid front court.

Positives from this game is that they finally had a game with less than 12 turnovers and they scored 80 points. If they had cut down on the fouls in this game they could have won. You can’t expect to win playing good defense but then bailing a team out with constant fouling. Another good thing was the three-point shooting. If Wright, Allen, and Holloway continue to hit threes at that rate they will be able to compete more in this conference. It’s an area of there offense has been lacking this season.

However, George Mason will most likely continue to struggle in the A-10 because they can’t seem to play a complete game to their full abilities. This game was another example of how they just don’t know how to win these close games. On top of that neither Corey Edwards nor Marquise Moore has asserted themselves as this team’s point guard. It’s January and two games into conference play, ridiculous.

 

  • Bill Bride

    Positive: Jenkins, he is going to be a good one. Plus BA chucked up a three from 35 feet out, it went in and fans go home with free Chick-fil-A. If they play this way vs UMass, play smart down the stretch they could hang around and maybe, just maybe (a tall order, I know) steal one.

    • GMUPATS74

      I dunno Bill. That’s asking a lot from this team.

      • Bill Bride

        I was at Comcast Center last year when a mediocre Maryland team beat Duke, which was top five at the time. I just hope UMass doesn’t rout the Patriots.

        • GMUPATS74

          I have hope for the young players. Hewitt has brought in top-level talent. They just have to keep developing.

  • StopWearingPurple

    I am starting to see why everyone is criticizing Hewitt. Mason was making inside and outside shots in
    the first half which they needed to do against a St. Joe’s team that was also
    shooting well. They had a very dynamic offense
    that was creating shots and putting up points.
    Part of me kept wondering where this offense was when they struggled
    against Penn. Is seems to add
    credibility that Hewitt coaches up or down to the level of the competition.

    Down the stretch of last night’s game they stopped shooting
    any outside shots which made zero sense.
    Also, Mason refuses to seal the
    baseline and force players into traffic.
    Finally, that drive straight down the lane, by a tall, slow footed
    forward late in the game was just ridiculous.
    All of these go back to coaching and emphasizing the right areas. I really felt like the team showed up to play
    and had a great shot at a quality win only to let it slip away on coaching.

  • Kyle Stegner

    All I have to say is I am not driving down to the Patriot Center to watch games for the rest of the season. Unless they start going on a winning streak and go above the .500, I’m not attending anymore home games.

    • GMUPATS74

      I had the misfortune of buying season tickets for this disastrous season. Would gladly offload my seats but nobody seems to want to buy. Can you blame them?

      • Mason Mom

        I know of several people that would be interested. How many and where are they located?

        • Mason Mom

          Actually you could post them on the ticket exchange. I could alert people who are interested.

          • GMUPATS74

            Thanks.

        • GMUPATS74

          One Seat in section 103.

  • David Jonathan

    I loved the students chanting Laranega!. I sure hope Hewitt gets fired this year. As well as Tom O Connor for hiring this sorry coach!

    • Kyle Stegner

      As much as everyone would like to see that. Here’s the thing. If we fire him now. We might lose Julian Royal, Therence Mayimba, Trey Porter, and Eric Lockett. Especially Julian Royal, he chose Mason because he wanted to play for Paul Hewitt. The hope is that Julian Royal will be a bigger and better version of Ryan Pearson and hopefully give us a record similiar to the 2011-2012 season. Sorry David your going to have to wait until Hewitt’s contract to expire to in 2015. Mid major programs don’t fire head coaches as quickly as major conferences.

      • gamoo79

        Agreed. We may not be happy with Hewitt, but in the next two years with quality recruits, we may just see a significant turnaround.
        Nothing could be worse than Paul Westheads back to back 7 win seasons.

        • mooky_l3d

          I don’t know……watching under performing teams year after year is pretty bad and I already forgot about Westhead. Thank you Mr. Larranaga. Now I am only realizing what Hewitt is able to do with some talented kids for the past 3 years. Which is pretty much waste it all. So the future talent coming in will be nice but if he can’t coach what difference does it make.

          • David Jonathan

            Kyle, Unfortunately I think you are right :( I have a feeling we keep Blewitt but;

            Maybe the administration looks at us differently now that we are in A-10. They don’t consider us “Mid-Major” I see a possible 4 teams entering the big dance. Maybe another team or two in the NIT. This is a very competitive league, and we need a coach who can keep us competitive!

        • Rick Jank

          My theory is that, as the team continues to suffer losses, the GMU brand name will diminish, and so will Hewitt’s image as a recruiter. And so over time we will start to see less and less quality recruits committing to Mason. If we fire Hewitt, yes, some present recruits may de-commit, but that problem is always going to be present. Maybe a couple of years down the line we won’t be so high on the new recruits and therefore be willing to cut Hewitt. But the idea of suffering through more Hewitt seems so painful!

      • StopWearingPurple

        As frustrated as I am with Hewitt right now, I feel like we have to give him a chance to get people he has recruited to play his system. I would be much more patient if he’d teach them how to play a little more defense.

    • AnonGMUFan

      I’m with you, it’s WAY past time for Tom O’Connor to go. I’d rather see him go than Hewitt. I’ll even up my donation if TOC gets canned.

  • mooky_l3d

    That has to be a 2-3 year high in assists. This is the worst team on assists/turnovers. Hard to watch a team with talent play so poorly and careless at many points throughout the year. It is almost as though the players forget that they are competing against another team that actually wants to win. Basic basketball fundamentals have been a problem for Hewitts teams every year. Defensive intensity, rebounding, and offensive flow the same things year after year. I guess this is the result of getting a coach on the cheap. It is kind of like that NBAer that gets a $44 million dollar 4 year deal after showing all kind of promise then just doesn’t care anymore (Larry Sanders). Hewitt already is getting paid and has no real drive to push this team any farther then what we are seeing.

  • dsnjd1

    Look at all the fans disguised as empty seats.

    • Kyle Stegner

      That’s going to be me on Wednesday, since I’m not attending. Just not confident in this Mason team to beat a ranked UMass.

      • StopWearingPurple

        I’ll be there. If nothing else, getting in and out has never been easier.

        • GMUPATS74

          Way to stay positive.

  • Rick Jank

    I will say that over the past couple of games our play has improved, but based on Hewitt’s body of work so far, I can’t give him much credit. I rather see it as a case of our players getting more up for the games now that A10 play has begun. The same uptick occurred during our trip to Hawaii.

  • David Houck

    Royal wouldn’t leave unless he got a waiver to play immediately somewhere else. This is his 3rd year out of 5 years the NCAA gives an athlete to use their 4 years of eligibility. I also don’t think the recruits would leave either. Too much potential for heavy playing time for Mayimbia and Lockett with next years 3 guard spot being wide open, and Trey Porter already committed knowing our front court is going to be stacked with experience next year.

  • Leedy1896

    Does Okoloji have an injury? I thought I saw him in street clothes

    • gmuhoops

      I believe so, I know he wasn’t able to practice earlier in the week.