It has been discussed to great lengths, when is Paul Hewitt going to be out as George Mason’s head coach? Tonight the Patriots host George Washington in their final home game of the season and many are wondering if this will be the final time we see Paul Hewitt at the Patriot Center. Mason has gone 3-12 since opening Atlantic 10 play with a win over La Salle back in early January. They sit at 9-19 overall with another loss putting them with back to back 20-loss seasons for the first time since 1993. Keep in mind one of their nine wins this season was against a non-Division I school, Catawba.
It’s not all about the wins and losses over these four years. This team has look unprepared, confused, and sloppy overall in way too many games. I’ve been hearing fans and long time supporters questioning just what exactly Hewitt is trying to on offense for years now. Sure you can blame the players and say they aren’t “executing” but who brought these kids in? Hewitt’s best year here was his first when he inherited a well put together team and a conference player of the year in Ryan Pearson. Since then he’s failed on a ton of recruiting efforts and did not address huge needs in the overall roster. The point guard position being the most glaring weakness. His attempts to convert small forwards into back court players has been very puzzling to watch and has made them one of the most turnover prone teams in the country.
When Hewitt left Georgia Tech he mentioned that he mismanaged the roster and it’s pretty obvious that also happened at Mason. Besides the fact this year’s team has very limited guards or shooters that can compete at the A-10 level, they were prior roster moves that turned out bad. Erik Copes was a huge bust, had off the court issues, and was rumored to have failed out of school. Anali Okoloji was brought in from Seton Hall and forced in the starting lineup early and didn’t bring much besides a lot of fouls. He showed his true colors when he stomped on a USF player in 2013. Jonathan Arledge left the program after a promising year and then basically said to an ODU newspaper that he felt like the team wasn’t going anywhere. Smart kid. Also, Hewitt brought in former highly rated recruit Julian Royal over from Georgia Tech who has shown this season why he wasn’t a highly coveted transfer and why he rode the bench in Atlanta.
On defense Mason’s efficiency has been awful. I get that Hewitt is not a defensive guru like Larranaga was and not all coaches are but when your offense is this bad heading into the season what exactly was the strategy? There were injuries and other circumstances but I really doubt true freshmen Eric Lockett and Therence Mayimba would have had that immediate of an impact. Defense has never been this program’s calling card and we have been watching terrible perimeter and back court defense for four years now.
Financial issues or not I think Brad Edwards knows this program isn’t going in the right direction and that a change has to be made.
[Photo by Bill Bride]