Jalen Jenkins’ improved play may help Mason finish strong


The improved play of Jalen Jenkins has certainly been a big part of George Mason’s wins over Davidson and VCU. He has been a clutch go to guy and a real force inside on both ends of the court. Jenkins has averaged 14.2 points per game over the last five contests and has given the offense a needed spark. Too often this season Mason has relied on outside shooting to beat teams and we’ve all seen how that has been wildly inconsistent. Jenkins and Thompson are providing points in the paint off put backs and great leads from Otis Livingston and Marquise Moore. The team overall is now less one-dimensional on offense and a lot tougher inside on defense.

The coaching staff certainly played a role in getting him back on track:

“He spent extra time with assistant coach Duane Simpkins banging him with a football blocking pad during post shooting drills. What Paulsen calls “the lag time” between practice improvement and game improvement ended with Jenkins going for 20 points and nine rebounds in an 81-75 loss at Davidson on Jan. 9 in the Patriots’ third A-10 game.”

The big question is will this improved play from Jenkins help Mason make some noise in the conference tournament next month in Brooklyn. After the VCU game I think we have a clear picture of just how good these guys can be when they execute a solid game plan. The freshmen have their moments and veterans up front are starting to pull their weight more. It’s a shame this all didn’t happen much earlier in the season but it’s an encouraging sign that the culture change the staff has been pushing is starting to take place.

[Photo by Bill Bride]

  • Chris Hirsch

    If we avoid Fordham, maybe we win a game in the conference tournament.

  • TonyD

    They definitely needed another veteran to step it up along with Moore, but yea wish it happened a bit earlier. Could definitely see these guys winning two games in Brooklyn depending on the match-ups.

    • G-n-G

      I hope you’re right, but considering that the team hasn’t won
      consecutive games since late-December, I’ll wait to see how they play
      against LsSalle today and GW next week before expecting many/any wins in
      the tournament.

      I think it was after the St. Louis game at home
      that Paulsen said, “You learn a lot about someone when people are
      kissing their butt or kicking their butt.” He didn’t like how they
      responded to all the praise after beating Davidson. We’ll see if the team
      has learned to play hard after a win.

  • G-n-G

    The LaSalle game was painful. Mason showed none of the energy or adherence to the gameplan that they did against VCU. Shot 19 threes instead of 5, had more turnovers against a weaker defense. We remain firmly in “building for the future” mode.

    • famousdave2015


      • ricandersen

        I expect an improved team next year, and a .500 team the year following.

        • famousdave2015

          Your are probably correct and we agree on GMU MBB improving. I want more rapid improvement and that may not be realistic but am living on prayer!

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