George Mason falls to George Washington again

George Mason is still winless at George Washington after yesterday afternoon’s loss at the Charles E. Smith Center in Foggy Bottom. Senior Bryon Allen eclipsed the 1,000 point mark in his career and the Patriots had a good start to this one but faltered later on. In the second half GW’s Maurice Creek started things off with three consecutive three-pointers and after that Mason never was in it and the turnovers piled up. It looked like Sherrod Wright was going to have a big day after drawing fouls and getting to the rim often but it didn’t carry over in the second half. It also didn’t help that Jalen Jenkins was in foul trouble for most of the game and Patrick Holloway was ice cold from behind the arch.

Paul Hewitt was so frustrated by Creek he put Cored Edwards in the game, who essentially hadn’t played since the Dayton game. Edwards did create a spark on defense for a short period but it wasn’t long before we were reminded why he’s been riding the bench for most of the season.

Mason still has trouble consistently scoring points outside the paint. Once GW kept Wright out of the lane with a 1-3-1 zone, the offense struggled. That coupled with Jenkins in foul trouble meant they were relying a lot on Allen and Holloway’s outside shooting, which wasn’t on the mark.

The Patriots didn’t help their chances of staying out of the #12/#13 game in the Atlantic 10 tournament. The players and Hewitt keep talking about making a run in the conference tourney but still struggle to win more than two games in a row. We have seen that they can give anyone in the conference a battle but we’ve yet to see them convincingly get it done.

[Photos by Bill Bride]

 

  • Bill Bride

    I was in section 220, row f with my son. Thought the seats were a little closer but I managed to get a couple shots ;)

    • GMUPATS74

      Didn’t like the layout of Smith center. Sat in 3rd row and was constantly annoyed by fans walking by the entire game. They need to enforce that. Had to change seats to get a better view of the game.
      On a brighter note, I got my picture taken with the Rivalry Road trophy.

      • Bill Bride

        After taking my son to six games there in the last couple of years (we’re hoops junkies) I’ve decided to spring for the 100 level seats and pay the extra money from now on.

        • GMUPATS74

          I tried buying those online but they weren’t available; how do you get those 100 level seats Bill?

          • Bill Bride

            Go to the GW athletics web site and use their buy tickets link. They use Vendini (I think that’s what it is called). I bought these GW-GMU seats a month ago and had the option to buy 100 level seats but decided to buy 200′s instead. I don’t mind the 200 level area there but on Sunday I didn’t get many good photos, probably because the basket was in my way when shooting. As a fan though, they weren’t bad seats.

    • G-n-G

      First time at the Smith Center. What an odd layout. Putting students in the money seats can have some benefits, but there is effectively no one behind either basket to try (not that it works well) to distract foul shooters. Even with Mason fans turing out the game–in a 5000-seat arena, with a successful home team, classes in session, and good weather–surprisingly wasn’t a sell out. GW’s not in VCU league yet.

      On the game, even against the 1-3-1 Mason looked tentative shooting 3′s that were there, instead opting for more difficult 2-point shots (perhaps that was a point of emphasis to get to the line, I don’t know). I thought Hewitt put Corey for defensive aggressiveness (which he provided) and 3-point shooting (which he didn’t despite one make). Patrick looked uncomfortable/distrusting of his 2-point and 3-point shots all day, including in warmups. Hopefully that’s a one-game aberration.

      I think the book on Mason’s offense is pretty clear and gives opponents a roadmap. Sherrod will score early, Bryon will score late. If you can bottle up the other options (GW aggressively doubled every time Jalen had the ball, they kept running Patrick off the 3-point line) then you can outscore Mason.

      • StopWearingPurple

        I went to a GW game a few years ago and came away with a renewed appreciation for the Patriot Center and The Green Machine. I haven’t been there since the recent renovation but it doesn’t sound like there was a big improvement. I watched VCU@GW on TV earlier in the season and, given GW’s success this year, was surprised at the number of the VCU fans in the stands.

        I went to Maryland when Coach L made his first trip with Miami and hated very thing about it from the horrific traffic jam getting in to the surely fans in the stands.

        • G-n-G

          The GW band was pretty sorry, probably not half the size of the Green Machine. There seemed to be only one set of bathrooms (my wife saw the cheerleaders and dance team changing clothes before the game).

        • Bill Bride

          I gained good experience shooting pics at Maryland for two seasons but what you said was true about the traffic plus media ops were uptight about a lot of things to the point where it stopped becoming fun. I love shooting George Mason games, I have freedom to roam to grab photos of other things aside from game shots which I throw up on Twitter @Bill_DC and have made some good acquaintances there. Plus I love Doc Nix and the Green Machine. The fans will be back once they start winning again.

        • GMUPATS74

          MD fans are the WORST.

  • mkaufman1

    The first half was what we expected. Mason plays the other team close and gives us hope. Then whatever worked in the first half, fails to work in the second half, and all us Mason fans throw up our hands. Yesterdays example was Mo Creek who was 1-7 from the field in Half 1. In half 2, he scores 11 in a row at one point.

    GW has a heck of a team, and I enjoy watching them. They’ve really come into their own as a unit. I could see them getting the dreaded 8/9 seed and running into a buzzsaw in round 3.

  • GaMoo79

    Why is it everytime we see a photo of Holloway defending a three point shot he is never in his man’s face? Symptomatic of why we cant defend the three. Three threes in a row…give me a break!

    • StopWearingPurple

      I have noticed that too. I think its because the A-10 guards are too quick for us and will blow by him and go to the rim uncontested because the bigs rarely rotate and help out.

      • G-n-G

        Agreed. Having a quick-footed shot blocker who doesn’t get into foul trouble would be a big help in allowing our guards to run theirs off the three-point line.

      • Daniel Wu

        This might sound like a stupid question but are there certain attributes that make the A-10 guards quicker and harder to guard? I read the article about how both Shaka Smart and Paul Hewitt both seem to agree that the guards in the A10 are way more difficult to keep up.
        Is it recruiting taller guards, leaner guards, guards who are in shape, less body fat, etc……?
        Or is it simply the fact that the A10 forwards and centers are bigger and can provide more effective screens for thier guards?

        • G-n-G

          Great question. My guess (and it’s only that) is that they have better lateral quickness and ability to change directions and are better ballhandlers. One tangible difference may be the size of their hands, which contributes to two of the attributes mentioned. But I’m open to anyone with better understanding of this issue.

          • Daniel Wu

            Sounds like it’s just about recruiting players that are just simply naturally more talented than others. Based on your reply it sounds like more better fundamentals then physique.

  • G-n-G

    Some interesting A-10 nuggets from Seth Davis at SI.com.

    I’ve liked Saint Louis all season, but the Billikens have a difficult time scoring. Which is a problem, because scoring is kind of important in basketball.

    You probably know that VCU’s halfcourt offense isn’t all that great, but did you know the Rams are ranked eighth in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage defense? So their halfcourt D ain’t much better. Part of that is because they give up some easy buckets against their press, but the bottom line is, if you can handle Havoc (big if!), the Rams are just another good team.

    And one general basketball note:

    Basketball is 70 percent talent, 20 percent coaching and 10 percent luck. Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-basketball/news/20140303/court-storming-new-mexico-state-utah-valley-mick-cronin-cincinnati/#ixzz2uwqleIIN

    • StopWearingPurple

      70% talent sounds about right. Lefty Driesell had a reputation has a top notch recruiter but horrible in game coach. I think that’s why many haven’t bailed on Hewitt yet because he may have an upgrade in talent with his recruiting classes.

      • GaMoo79

        Yep. That’s pretty much where i’m coming from. Lefty had some really good teams. Including 1974 where they lost in triple overtime in the ACC title game to the NC State team that ended UCLA’s run. In those days only the conference champ made it to the NCAA’s. He did pretty well at JMU too. They havent been any good since he left.

        • dsnjd1

          People also forget that Lefty’s Maryland team also the team that came the closest to ending UCLA’s long winning steak (before N.C. State finally ended it later that season), when John Lucas (who I thing was a Freshman or a sophomore then…it was the first year that Freshman were allowed to play Varsity games) lost the ball on the baseline as he was driving the basket in a Christmas break game. I think the score was something like 65-64 at Pauley Pavilion.

  • Mike

    Holloway was ice cold, but Allen was cold, too. The difference is that Allen puts up many more shots. When Allen is in a groove we can win. When he’s launching bricks we’re in trouble because he gets his points by the sheer volume of shots.

    I liked the defensive intensity Edwards brought, but he doesn’t do well in the half court defense. At least Holloway is in the picture. More often Edwards chases the ball around and leaves his man completely wide open. He tends to make turnovers, too. He had two in just 14 minutes. If he hadn’t made the cringe-worthy full court pass that was easily intercepted Mason would have had a real chance to tie midway through the second half. What was frustrating is that Edwards nearly single handedly brought the team to the point where they started to come back to life and then he killed them again. I’d like to see Edwards brought in to cause havoc on D. Once the opponent adjusts, he needs to sit until the opponent gets complacent again.

  • Matt_LC

    I’ve thought about posting this before and it still seems appropriate. We are in the cellar with a team that has enough talent to be much better. I’m tired of hearing about” when Hewitt has his own players”. He only has three left (not counting Arledge as he is not playing and probably won’t return) and two of the three lead the team in scoring. I think everyone expected more consistency from Wright but he and Allen are carrying this team with Jenkins a close third. I can’t help and look last week when Miami was 15-14 after graduating 5 seniors and a now NBA point guard in the most competitive league in basketball-not knocking a quality A10-and they are still 500! There is no excuse for the inability of this team to win more consistently. Hewitt seems like a nice guy but the Pat. Center is emptier and it took until the end of Feb. for us to win a conference home game. I’m not pining for Larranaga (exactly) just some discipline and consistency in coaching that will max player talent and sometimes over-max that talent.

    One of Copes misses on Sunday was in the paint off a rebound and he botched the lay up. and I thought to myself, he is 6’9! Will Thomas, George Evans, probably even Jai would have dunked that ball. There have a been a slew of games where we barely shot free throw because we didn’t have player who have the speed and athleticism slashing to the hoop. As a team they have to use their talents and I just don’t see it week in and week out and coaches have to teach and then mandate that production.

    • David Jonathan

      Could not agree more!

    • GaMoo79

      Well, its been a long year. Two regular season games left, and most likely an early exit in the tourney. Then we can truly begin to talk about next year. I have been one of the ones giving Hewitt the ” lets wait” benefit. We wont have to wait long now…in basketball time, not calendar time.

    • StopWearingPurple

      It may be a little premature to call Copes a bust, but the b,u & s have been penciled in. Maybe with Royal at guard and Jenkins maturing, it will give Copes some space to have a greater impact.

      • Mike

        Copes came out of his funk a few weeks back, enough to erase the penciled “s”, but looks like he’s slipped back into it. Are his injuries affecting him again?