George Mason loses to Saint Louis in overtime

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A more frustrating than usual George Mason game to watch. They played well but just couldn’t prevent overtime. As soon as the end of regulation came I knew a chance at the upset would eventually slip away. We’ve seen this movie before and their last play of the game was more of the same. Bryon Allen scored 30 points and was literally trying to will Mason to victory all by himself. Patrick Holloway also had one of his better games and Marquise Moore dished out seven assists. And despite having a better day shooting the ball than Saint Louis, the Patriots found a way to lose. Turnovers and breakdowns on defense were right on key and Mason is still winless in the conference.

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An eerily similar game to the one George Mason played against UMass. Also a ranked conference foe that the Patriots hung with the entire game and even led most of the time. Why can’t they finish these games? It’s beyond mind-boggling. The players don’t seem to lack talent or determination but merely just general direction. It was one of their better performances on defense but in the end they couldn’t stop Saint Louis big man Rob Loe when it mattered.

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Games like this prove that Mason can play with just about anybody with their effort and talent. But they are not a fundamentally sound basketball team and they let their flaws kill them in most games.

[Photos by Chris Lee, St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

 

  • gamoo79

    Why did Marquise have the ball for the last shot? Why didn’t they have a play to pass the ball to Holloway or Allen? MM is a distributer, not a shooter.
    And, once again, the players don’t have a play to inbound the ball without having to call a time out.
    AND, again, we leave a shooter open from three, not once, but THREE times.
    Same old same same old. Yes, we can play in this league, but the same miscues are really getting old.

    • Matt Cerilli

      Yeah that play frustrated me too. Moore on an iso for the win isn’t the best play call in the world but you know with our luck if we tried passing it around we would have turned it over and St. Louis would have scored and won in regulation.

    • http://www.twitter.com/erikhernquist Erik Hernquist

      I tweeted the same thing during the game. Terrible, terrible play call.

    • gmurva

      Seriously doubt that Moore shooting was the play call – it was probably the last option if no one was open and teams are willing to take that bet and let him take the shot. He had an open shot he should make, took it, missed it – at least it was not Allen or Wright losing the ball on the dribble. Jankins, Moore, Holloway were on the floor with a chance to beat the best team in the conference on the road – frustrated, disappointed, wish Holloway took the last shot – yes – hopeful, excited about the future – more than ever.

      • gamoo79

        Matt and gmurva, I am with you. I kept seeing us throwing a bad pass or BA turning it over on the dribble. We just dont have a good go-to guy in the final seconds that can dribble, shoot, and/or pass.
        My thinking was, why didnt Moore drive and try to get fouled? Better chance of that working than him hitting a pull- up jumper.

      • David Houck

        It had to be the play call. There was no other motion, it was absolutely a called isolation for Moore. I like Moore, but nobody cant dispute that he absolutely can’t shoot. I was amazed. Just when you thought Hewitt’s decision making couldn’t get more baffling, he essentially says, “What the hell, maybe he will make it”. Meanwhile, Sherrod is sitting on the bench

        • mkaufman1

          No, it wasn’t the play call at all. According to a fan who sat behind the bench, he said the options were for Moore to 1) drive to the hoop 2)find Holloway off a screen, 3) Find BA off a screen. He also said they asked the players to start at about 7 seconds ( the players started at 6 seconds). Calling Moore on an isolation to hit a jumpshot when he can’t shoot is not what was drawn up at all.

          • David Houck

            I can’t dispute it if someone saw and heard all of this. But if this was the play call, why would Hewitt leave his team who “doesn’t execute” a mere 7 seconds to complete a game winning play. Why was Sherrod not on the floor? He couldn’t have been hurt because we was put in the game during overtime. I just didn’t see any movement when Marquise came off the half-court line, maybe because I was too focused on him, I just thought someone with more creating ability would be given the ball with the game on the line.

          • mkaufman1

            I completely get your frustration. However in this case Hewitt actually had the players who were having the best games on the floor in the most critical situation (Copes Holloway BA Moore Jenkins?). Starting at 7 seconds is probably due to the fact they wanted to get a last shot and made sure St Louis could not get off a shot. Its a tricky situation. In addition, Sherrod wasn’t on the floor and BA wasn’t ball handling because both of those guys have shown in the most critical situations time and time again to dribble the ball off their foot or do something ridiculous. In this situation, they actually had the best ball handler have the ball at the end, and he was given the job to “create” by doing one of the three things I mentioned.
            I know its easy to say “WHY WOULD HEWITT ALLOW MOORE TO SHOOT AT THE END” but in this case, that wasn’t even what was called. I’m not saying Hewitt is perfect or anything, but in this case the players just didn’t do what was talked about. Moore did have a good look and Jenkins even had a chance at a putback. I think Moore will improve his shot drastically over the next four years so that these situations where he needs/wants to “improvise” can go smoother.

  • gamoo79

    I might add though that I don’t think even at 0-7 that anybody’s taking us for granted. Maybe we can spoil someone’s season as we get closer to tourney(s) time.

  • Bill Aldacushion

    Frustrated by the loss but applaud today’s effort .. especially the leadership displayed on the court by BA.

    • gmurva

      Agree BA is playing very well and is setting an example to not give up. Unfortunately, I think he is trying to do too much on his own and it results in more harm than good sometimes. I was not surprised he did not have the ball on the final play of regulation.

  • upside2013

    Its ground hogs day……………………..

  • upside2013

    Its ground hogs day and Patroit Phil does not see his shadow which means 6 more weeks of losing,

  • gamoo79

    Anybody notice all this started when we shelved Gunston?

  • Andy Minor

    Odd how we’ve gone from a team that won a decent amount of close games in the CAA to one that loses close games in the A-10. You win close games with good leadership and direction, plus the mental toughness to close out. This team, from the coach down, has none of that. There are some bright spots but this is a ship with no captain.

    I mean really, take a look at the games where we’ve held our largest leads of the season: USF and St. Joes. We lost both those games because of mental breakdowns when we were clearly in control in the 2nd half. There isn’t a team in the league who can’t take advantage of us on at least some level of our game. We might sneak out with an A-10 win or two but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    • Daniel Wu

      Duquesne is probably our best shot for one win in the A10. We’ve already gone through 7 of the 13 A10 teams. Out of the other five teams we haven’t faced, Duquesne is the one we have the best shot of getting at least one win. A win against Dayton, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, and La Salle I just don’t see it happening unless some injuries happen to thier starters.

      • Andy Minor

        I can see a win or two happening, but it will more than likely be based on the other team screwing up–not us outplaying them.

        I would really love a 10, 12, 15 point win from this squad. Where we’re in control during the 2nd half and ride that momentum to the end. Not where we get up by 6, take our foot off the gas and lose by 4.

    • gmurva

      Not odd, welcome to the A10. We don’t have the better athletes anymore. The guys have to make plays (execute).

      I think Jankins has emerged as the leader.

      I think the team has demonstrated they can beat any team in the A10, but I would not bet on them to win any specific game.

      Even if we do not win an A10 game in the regular season – Jankins will be A10 rookie of the year, no team will want to play us in the A10 tournament, and the Green Machine is still the #1 pep band in the county.

      • Andy Minor

        We’ve beaten teams in the A-10 before with roughly the same players, and they’re keeping games close which means they can and ARE competing. It’s not like there is some sort of huge talent lapse–these guys are hanging with good teams, but lack the mental toughness required to overcome them. And if they could beat a team in the A-10, they would, because they’ve been in a position to win nearly every game they’ve played so far.

        Jenkins is a bright spot, and there are other things I like, but overall they look lost, disorganized, and mentally weak. That’s why they lose close games–poor talent management, which starts at the coach.

        Keep drinking the Kool Aid if you want. I love the GM too but I’d rather have the #1 team in the country than the #1 pep band.

        • gmurva

          Not drinking the Kool Aid – I am not a fan of “system coaches” but I am equally not a fan of changing coaches until they have “their guys”. There are not a lot of coaches that can recruit as well as coach players up. I am hyper-competitive when it comes to Mason so I want it all. I am pretty sure that if we do not see improvement next season it will be Hewitt’s last.

  • David Jonathan

    #FireHewitt

  • StopWearingPurple

    When they were doing the coach search, how much thought did they give to the type of coach they wanted? Coach L stressed Defense, especially at the perimeter, and avoiding turnovers and the fans recognized it and became used to it. Hewitt’s teams by design leave the weak side perimeter wide open and turn the ball over like its on fire and it drives the fans up a wall. Did they give any thought to these things during the hiring process????

  • Rick Jank

    This may sound odd, but I’ve seen improved coaching as of late. But it’s that improved coaching that only further demonstrates that our coach needs to go. For the past couple of games, our passing has improved. We’re still not good at feeding the post, at least from the perimeter, but I do see better passes from the baseline into the paint, and sometimes a near-Princeton style of passing. That must have been an emphasis during practice, and it’s starting to show up on game day. But here’s the problem: As the St. Louis game showed, we are unable to make adjustments in-game. Too often a weak side defender would threaten to double up on our dribbler, but it was never their intention as they would go right back to covering their guy. Their objective was to thwart the drive to the hoop and maybe even stop our guy’s dribble. Maybe even? Stop our dribble was exactly what they did, on multiple occasions, and many times this happened before our player even reached the elbow. And that’s where the real fun began, as one after another errant pass was thrown (it’s really not much different from our anemic in-bound plays). Replay the tape and you’ll see the astounding number of times our guys thought they might penetrate, only to have their dribble stopped, and panic ensued.
    Now of course credit is due to the Billiken defense, but the question from our perspective should be: where was our in-game adjustment? Well, it finally did come, with about 5 minutes remaining in the game, where we saw our players NOT picking up their dribble, but just stalling at the point of attack with dribble intact … and sure enough the weak side help would abandon the double team and return to his man. The result? There were a few start-stop-start drives to the hoop, and when the Billiken center would shift over to provide the defensive help, the passing lanes opened.
    So the adjustment came, just far too late. And all those efforts at pounding the glass and some truly admirable shotmaking from Bryon and Sherrod and Holloway and Copes (wha???) were all for naught. If we make that adjustment early on, our turnovers go down, and our chances at winning increase greatly. But our coach simply does not catch on.
    It’s ironic that Hewitt says that the team doesn’t lack effort, just execution. I rather see a talented team out there, and especially with our younger players their skillsets are improving with each game. But a talented player is not going to succeed if he is not put into a position where he can put his skills to good use. And that is the nub of the problem, and I’m pretty sure Hewitt knows it. So here’s the irony: It’s not the team, but him. He’s the one who is putting forth the effort, but simply isn’t executing.

    • StopWearingPurple

      I have been wondering about the in game adjustments for a while. Suddenly the opponent switches which zone defense they’re playing and Mason is stymied for ten minutes.

  • Daniel Wu

    Just out of curiosity. If Jonathan Arledge was healthy and was still on this team playing good minutes – would we still be 7-14?

  • Tom Mccain

    you guys are going with this coach for 2 or 3 more years???
    Can GMU afford to lose that kind of time without an NCAA tournament in thenear future?
    Hewitt will bring the program down. You are wasting time with this coach.
    Wake up man.

  • Tom Mccain

    Look, the coach doesn’t know how to run the offense nor the defense. 2, 3 more years without an NCAA tournament will surely bring the program down to bottom.
    Look what VCU and Butler has done with the final four. Their program has gone up to top 25.
    You guys are just not smart if you think you can go somewhere with this coach next year. You can’t afford to have 2, 3 more years without an NCAA tournament. VCU went to NCAA tournament in their first year with A-10 program. It’s the coach. period. The coach sucks.
    Time to rebuild the program.