Marko has game-winning lay-up against La Salle

3-7-2014 8-28-39 AM

Marko Gujanicic has had a mostly quiet second half of the season but he came up big last night for George Mason on the road against La Salle. Mason was dominating on the glass all night, especially on the offensive end and as you can see below Marko was in place to make the game-winning shot:

Offensively both teams weren’t quite on their mark and Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen were very limited in the first half. Patrick Holloway and Marko picked up the scoring slack while Erik Copes and Jalen Jenkins gave Mason the rebounding edge. Copes had a good night collecting 10 rebounds and being more assertive up front. Still waiting for him to due this more on a consistent basis though. Marquise Moore sat this one out due to some illness or injury so we saw a lot more of Corey Edwards.

Mason will now play Duquesne on Saturday for the regular season finale in which the winner will avoid the Wednesday 12/13 seed game against Fordam in the Atlantic 10 tournament.

Video Highlights:

 

  • GMU6

    So great for a few reasons. One winning on the road makes the trip back home nice. Two its good when we get 25 from the bench. On another note sure there is a great deal of negative comments made about everyone associated with this years team some warranted and some ridiculous but no one quit and the effort is always there. Its a tough league and like most D.C. area teams true support comes from true fans.

    • gmuhoops

      Agreed that it’s worth noting how this team hasn’t quit, a lot of teams would have after starting off 0-8 in the conference.

      • mkaufman1

        Dare we say thats one thing we can praise Hewitt about? Somehow through the 0-8 start, and numerous close losses, somehow hes still getting top notch effort.

        Ultimately a coach is judged through wins and losses, but in a tough season having a team that continues to battle from start to finish shows something and a very good quality.

        I just hope that the effort turns into more wins going forward with the turnover of the roster. I dont think anyone is sold on that happening.

      • ricandersen

        Disagree, respectfully. At this level, hardly any teams would have quit after starting off 0-8 in conference.

  • StopWearingPurple

    This is the second game I have watched where Stan Van Gundy was announcing and he seems well prepared and has excellent knowledge of the A-10. In the previous game I saw he
    noted that the shot that had just been made was very similar to the game winner in the teams’ previous meeting. It is a nice change from announcers who seem to only have a cursor knowledge of the team or the conference.

    • David Houck

      Stan Van is the Man

    • GMUPATS74

      Or announcers who keep mentioning the 2006 Final Four run because they don’t know anything else about Mason.

  • Doug

    I believe we are better than our record indicates. It’s nice to finally pull out a close one.

  • Scott McCarthy

    Agree that Van Gundy has been doing a very nice job and is WAY better prepared than the CAA announcers or when he did CAA games. This comes i guess with playing in a much higher ranked conference.

    Also- last nights game was an awesome game to watch where both teams fought very hard. Definitely March basketball…and we won!

    I’m also hoping that the refs continue to officiate like they did last night. It was great to see two teams go at it a little bit and not have every time thing called. If this is a trend through March, it will be very helpful for us.

  • ricandersen

    So, from day one, I’ve been warning posters here to not read too much into last season’s performance in the CBI. We were one point away from being eliminated in the first game, and needed overtime in the second. Further, I think Hewitt’s biggest weakness is making adjustments. There have been many more times than not that Mason has come out strong in the first half, and then our opponents adjust, and we lose significant leads. Therefore, I don’t think more Hewitt recruits will make a noticeable difference next season.

    All that being said, I will weigh in on some positives. Last night it appeared we had a different game plan for each half, and that was the key to victory. Coach Hewitt adjusted to having starters go cold from the beginning. Good job.

    I think Mason is better than its record. I do think they are in the bottom half of the A-10. But you know, that isn’t a bad thing. Being in the cellar of any conference is bad, but if they can rise to the middle of the pack, I’d be happy. Richmond won’t be making the tournament, but they are a respectable team. That is what I am hoping for the next couple of season.

    After what many people see as all my nay-saying this season, I think Mason does have a chance to make a run in the A-10 tournament. Winning Saturday to avoid the 12/13 game is key. I think either bracket is equally-favorable for Mason; it is the extra game that taxes a team.

    Mason has shown it can play with St. Louis, Mass, Saint Joseph’s, and Richmond. If they don’t play dumb, they can beat any of the bottom half. So, as unlikely as it is, I think Mason can advance far. Frankly, they match up on paper with many of their A-10 opponents.

    I forget which post it was, Ryan and I (independently), predicted GMU would go 5-11 in conference play. Hewitt seemed to go out of his way to prove us wrong at the beginning, but hopefully our game versus Duquesne validates our pick.

    ASSUMING we win Saturday, Mason will have started the season 5-3, and finished the season 5-3. Our problem was the 2-12 stretch in the heart of the season. Seven of those 12 losses were very winnable; a better coach would have preserved some of those wins.

    We are in the top third of college basketball, by any metric. We are vastly better off in the A-10 than the CAA. Whereas Paul Hewitt won’t become a better coach, he won’t really be worse, either.

    So all-in-all, this season was a disappointment, but if one was objective after last season, one could still be happy where we are. Really, we were a few badly-coached games away from finishing .500 in the A-10 our first season. And that is good.

    • GMUPATS74

      I respect your opinions, but keep in mind that a third of this team was recruited by the former coach and were probably not prime A-10 recruiting material, not saying they’re bad players, just they were recruited for another league.
      And saying we were a few badly-coached games away from a few wins really doesn’t add much to this forum, and is water under the bridge. If players don’t follow the coach’s directions then they deserve to lose. I fully agree that Hewitt isn’t the best of coaches, but he has had some success in the past and cannot be fully discredited, there is simply too much going on behind closed doors that we’re not privy to, so both coach and players need to share blame for the close losses.
      I do think they will be a middle-of-the pack team next year, but to rise above mediocrity they may need another coaching style to accomplish that.

      • ricandersen

        I wasn’t saying “we were a few badly-coached games away from a few wins” in a vacuum. I was referring only to the games in the middle, 2-12 stretch. Not water under the bridge, in the sense of my point: that if there is to be optimism wrangled by this sub-.400 team, it is that we can be closer to the plus-.600 team we played as in the beginning and end of the season.

        [I would say, that the majority of comments on gmuhoops don't "add much to this forum," so not really sure why you single this one out of the many. :) After all, isn't the function of commenting on a blog to perhaps vet out, or re-hash the original post? In fact, "a third of this team was recruited by the former coach" is also water under the bridge. But I think you saying it adds to the forum.]

        • GMUPATS74

          “we were a few badly-coached games away from finishing .500 in the A-10 our first season”-these were your words ricanderson. Vacuum or no vacuum pun intended, I don’t how one can sugarcoat it.

          I’m just saying that being in the middle of the pack in A-10, as you claim is good, shouldn’t be the goal moving forward, perhaps baby-steps toward something greater should be the catchphrase. Yes, being midlevel in A-10 it could spell perhaps an NCAA invite or two, depending on the RPI ranking of the A-10, but isn’t what every GMU fan wants is to become a solid, near-elite team like VCU? I for one wouldn’t mind being ranked in the AP/Coaches polls. It would also increase our chances of getting more higher-profile recruits.

          • Daniel Wu

            Despite the dissapointment this season, I firmly believe that the move from the CAA to the A10 was the right thing to do. With a competetive conference like the A10 mutiple at large bids are possible, its not like the CAA where you MUST win the whole thing, but it also means the margin of error is smaller. In the long run I think it will pay off.
            Butler is kind of in the same situation. Butler moved to the Big East after only a year in the A10 and they are struggling real bad. Just like Mason is from the CAA to A10. Mason moved into the A10 when the A10 is at its prime. Once all of the seniors in the A10 teams are gone after this season, Mason will have the chance to mold A10 level players and compete to be middle in the pack hopefully next season. Should be slightly easier since Julian Royal from the ACC is available.

          • GMUPATS74

            Don’t forget Temple in AAC, they’re experiencing growing pains as well.

          • Rick Jank

            Yeah, but on the flip side, VCU went to the A10 with CAA players last year and did fine. Butler went to the A10 with Horizon players, did fine. I’m not sure I’m one board with there being such a difference between CAA players and A10 players. If there is, we are still in trouble because most of the players we have recruited were when we were a CAA team.

          • GMUPATS74

            For Butler & VCU the difference was the coaching. Keep in mind we could’ve easily been at 20 wins had a few results gone our way.

          • ricandersen

            “‘we were a few badly-coached games away from finishing .500 in the A-10 our first season,-these were your words ricanderson. Vacuum or no vacuum pun intended, I don’t how one can sugarcoat it.”

            So you are harsh ing on me for “sugar coating by saying we were a few games from finishing .500? Then a day later you say, “we could’ve easily been at 20 wins had a few results gone our way.” We are saying the same thing! If we had gone .500 in the A-10′ we would have finished 15-15, five games away from your 20 wins.

            Honestly, man, don’t fault people for “sugar-coating,” then sugar-coat even more 24 hours later. Seriously, that is just trolling. Don’t be that guy.

          • ricandersen

            Never said middle-of-the-pack should be our goal.

            I know it has been a long season, but still no reason to put words in other mouths, or argue for the sake of argument. Surely we can agree on that much, yes?

          • GMUPATS74

            Ric I’m just glad the season is just about over. Hopefully next year we’ll be arguing about how many wins we’ll be racking up. I hope you’re ready for NBA & MLB, I know I am.

  • http://batman-news.com GaMoo79

    I loved the way BA snatched down the last rebound. As if to say, “Yes! This one belongs to us!” Can’t blame him. We’ve lost more than our share of last second games this year.
    Which brings up a point. I have to agree with GMUPATS74. To blame all or most of our close losses on poor coaching is to over simplify. No, Hewitt’s not a great coach, BUT, sometimes “the breaks” just don’t go your way. And, sometimes players just don’t perform. Put it all together, as happens in sports, and you have a season like ours. “Snakebit” is the term I think they use for it. I expect to see better results on the floor next year. Better players. Fewer miscues. Better “breaks”.
    Now, let’s beat Duquesne!!

    • GMUPATS74

      Well said about BA Gamoo79. If GMU keeps that edge they may win a few more games yet.