George Mason can’t hold on to lead against Mercer

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Mason played a lot better against Mercer than they did against Colgate but blew an 11 point lead in the second half to fall to 0-2. Free throws again played a big part, as the Patriots barely went to the line at all and Mercer went 16-16 from the there in the second half as Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins fouled out. Three-point shooting was poor again and for a coach who stated “we aren’t a great three-point shooting team” many times this off-season, they are certainly taking a lot of attempts from there. They are taking a lot of attempts because they are getting plenty of open looks and have struggled to get the ball into their bigs. Marko Gujanicic had a good night shooting the ball but that was because he taking outside shots. Shevon Thompson struggled so much passing and holding on to the ball in the post that he was benched for most of the second half.

Freshmen Otis Livingston and Jaire Grayer really had stand out performances. Playing in their first college road game they looked savy and poised for most part. Both hit some big shots and were a big reason why Mason built that 11 point lead. The problem is this team severely lacks any kind of depth and has little to go to on the bench when things start to go bad. It was bit head-scratching to see Thompson on the bench for as long as he was in favor of Danny Dixon even despite his struggles in the post. The offense settling for ill-advised three-pointers instead of trying to grind out points in the paint won’t help them get many wins this season. We all know it’s a work in progress┬ábut they seem to have really veered off their game plan quickly in these first two games.

  • mkaufman1

    Loved the ball movement and spacing.
    Love the freshman guards, they are only going to get better.
    Dixon seems a bit raw and confused when it comes to defense, but I think hes got some good potential the more exposure he has.

    Thompson also looks like he still can’t handle a double team or even catch a ball half the time.

    This is a major renovation project and things may get worse before they improve, especially because it looks like our seniors haven’t been properly coached on basics on occasion.

    • famousdave2015

      Patience grasshopper and hindsight on my part JT went double against Ols Miss in a win. Will be a tough season but this team has some spunk and competent coaching. Moving in the right direction……..

  • Matt Cerilli

    I was surprised as well to not see Shevon on the floor for most of the 2nd half. Although frustrating, I think we will appreciate it in the long run that the freshman are getting solid minutes (though this surely means for many frustrating/disappointing results this year)

    • vienna fan

      Won’t surprise me if we see less and less of the upper classmen, with the young guys getting increased playing time.
      Gotta build for the future…especially with virtually no expectations for this year.

  • famousdave2015

    I am watching still and have no expectations so far……..

  • dsnjd1

    Okay, the bad news Mason is 0-2 against, uh’…. “not so stellar competition”. The good news the is that “Dumpster Fire” that was the Paul Hewitt will soon be out of fuel. Come’ on the 2016-2017 season!

  • BoredInClass

    Really encouraged by Livingston and Grayer.. That was my takeaway

  • steven times

    Livingston and Grayer had good games, but the difference in the game was Moore’s foul problems. When he was on the court we were clearly a much better team. I never realized what a great defender he was until last night. He blocked at least four shots yesterday. He was the only player able to get to the basket and score or dish. Shevon is clearly confused right now. Hes going from a possible late 1st round pick to not playing major minutes. Who’s to blame? Dixon is truly not the answer, we should have redshirted him! Murrel just jacks up shots, he will be benched once Holloway returns. This team has grit, we just need the veterans to step up and take charge. I still believe in this team!!

    • ricandersen

      Moore blocked two shots, not “at least four shots.”

      I love Shevon. But, he was never a “possible late 1st round pick.”

      • steven times

        Shevon will never be what??????????? Sometimes you just have to eat your words!!

  • Days of Yates

    Agree with everything that’s been said so far. The team seemed much improved over the Colgate game, even though they let the game get out of hand during the second half. But that’s good experience on the road. In addition to the Dixon-Thompson thing, it was a little disconcerting to see we had a couple time outs left at the end of the game–that we could have used when Mercer was having their feeding frenzy. We may need to dial back expectations on Thompson, let him focus on rebounds and blocks and defense, and not put as much pressure on him to score. Of course we do need someone to score… All those 3’s we took… they were open shots for the most part. We got, what, 4 freshmen guards? Hopefully someone has a shooter’s touch among them. And if you’re a guard, and your shot isn’t that good, then you oughtta be able to slash to the basket, which we didn’t see enough of last night. Oh well, hats off to Mercer for playing a good zone D against us, something we’ll need to work on. Our time will come, talents will emerge– as they clearly already are for one Otis Livingston II. He looks like the real deal, and by the way was the only one other than Marko to drain a 3. And speaking of Marko, how great is it to see his improvement. Not seeing any traces of “EuroKlutz” nowadays!