George Mason falls in latest #RevRivalry tilt

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Well looks like I jinxed the team after I posted this last week. George Mason followed up their impressive win over VCU with two straight losses on the road at La Salle and GW just last night. Both losses were nothing like the VCU game where Mason dominated inside on both ends. Instead it seems they have reverted back to their ill-advised outside shooting woes. GW kept them out of the paint and held Mason’s offense to almost nothing outside of Jaire Grayer. Jalen Jenkins finished with a mere two points while Shevon Thompson struggled with four turnovers. On top of that they lost Marquise Moore again just before the half, it appeared his ankle was bothering him again.

Nothing of this should be a real surprise because Mason’s play has been streaky all season. They are capable of putting together a great game plan every now and then but more often then not they do the opposite. The inexperience of the freshmen and the spotty play from the veterans makes these road trips especially difficult. Sure they know how to win at this point but I think they are finding out the hard way just on point you have to be every night in this league. They haven’t shaken off the little mistakes each game that can pile up and put them in an early hole. Mason now has one more conference game before the tournament in Brooklyn and boy would it be nice to see them play beyond Wednesday night.

  • StopWearingPurple

    I didn’t see the La Salle or GW game but is it possible they were forced into their ill-advised outside shooting woes? In the VCU game it was really surprising to see them often spread their defense and either not double down low or get there too late. Perhaps La Salle and GW game planned better?

    • gmuhoops

      Yes absolutely

    • G-n-G

      Yep. I went to the GWU game. GWU did what I’ve expected all teams to do for weeks/months–rely heavily on a zone defense to shut down the inside game and dare a poor-shooting team to prove it can beat you with three-pointers. This year’s Mason team cannot win a game against that. VCU’s arrogance led them to stick with man-to-man, which is the style Mason has the best chance to beat.

      More disheartening about the GWU game was how frustrated/flustered Mason looked almost from the opening tip. Livingston got a foul within 30 seconds and he was annoyed. GWU doubled about everything for the first 10 minutes, clearly getting inside at least Thompson’s head. In the other recent games where they’ve fallen behind they managed to make an (unsuccessful) push in the second half. Especially without Moore, that never materialized last night.

  • WB

    Maybe I’m being too lenient or whatever, but I always remind myself that these are young players… they are going to have good games, usually at home… and some really bad games, usually on the road. I’m sure there’s a bit of a Freshman Wall these guys are hitting… playing this many games, travelling this much, at this level of competition. A wall that’s easier to get over when the home crowd is giving them some energy.

    To be honest, there’s just a talent gap, too. GW has really good/versatile players… bigs that can battle on the block… Cavanaugh hitting threes… Garinho can go all over…and we just don’t have that here yet. I love our guys, how they battle, but I think the roster still needs to fill out.

    And hey, keeping it close at GW on Senior’s night was going to be a tough, tough task anyway.

    I think the wins in the Charleston tournament and wins versus Davidson and VCU are probably even more than I expected this season.

    • G-n-G

      Agreed that they’re young and got outclassed by a better team last night. What I fault were the effort level, focus, and attention to detail. Those are things that are within every team’s control and last night–for one of the rare times this season–Mason didn’t show those. That was the most frustrating part as a fan.

  • GMU alum2012

    Is any one else tired of the they are YOUNG EXCUSE? Plenty of teams play with freshman.

    • Quel Esteve

      With this many freshmen ?? For such long stretches every game ?? What conference/league do they play in and how much success are they having ??

      • GMU alum2012

        The way I see it it shouldn’t matter. If they play in the ACC and are freshman they have tougher competition. If they play in a weaker conference, then the gap between freshman and seniors is limited. My main point is we are at the end of the season and yes I see splashes of excellence. However, I expected to see more consistency.

        • gmuhoops

          Shouldn’t matter? Freshmen on the road are supposed to beat senior laden teams? It’s not an excuse it’s where this is right now, the last coaching departure left them with no depth. Sure you can play with freshmen and win but this is a different rebuilding situation. I agree they can sometimes play better than what we are seeing but if you didn’t expect a rollercoaster type season from the beginning I don’t know what to tell you.

        • Chris Hirsch

          If they play in the ACC and are freshman they are likely McDonald’s All American’s or blue chipper talent.

          • Chris Hirsch

            That being said, I at least am hoping Mason can reach .500 next season, and then in year three be competing for postseason. More likely though, it will be more of the same next year, and then .500 in year three, and in year four competing for postseason.

        • Days of Yates

          I agree there are freshman units out there …St. Mary’s comes to mind–terrific poise in beating Gonzaga twice. But the Zags are your counter-example where the freshman have been slow to get their sea legs (even as they are hitting that freshman wall). But that’s in established systems; we have a new crew in a new system. Add to that the fact that our new guys haven’t blossomed as well as we have hoped — or as quickly, I hope it is. If only Livingston’s progress were the norm instead of the exception…
          And coaching-wise, I think we have all been impressed with Paulsen (immeasurably so when he is compared to his predecessor), but perhaps he is not the quickest to diagnose and cure the team’s ills. He himself has stated as much, that the rebuild was more than he anticipated. So what, maybe he doesn’t get the “genius” label just yet, and maybe our kids aren’t the quickest studies. But maybe that means when we do arrive at Destination Teamwork, we’re gonna be something. Like others have said, the flashes of brilliance have certainly been there.

          As we begin to look to next year, having a backcourt squad that is going to grow up together is exciting, all the way to senior year under Paulsen. But my great concern is all the frontcourt talent and experience we will be losing. Yikes, all we have at this point for next year is Jalen Jenkins and Donnie Dixon?? [Deandre Abram, have a protein shake and hit the gym!]. I sure hope some relief is on the way!

  • Bill Aldacushion

    If I recall correctly, our lineup consisted on 4 freshmen + senior or walk-on OR all freshmen during last 10 minutes. I realize Marquise was injured, but I wonder what kind of statement Coach making making? Did he bench more experienced players to make a statement about their performance or did he just throw in towel and turn the final minutes into an experience building scrimmage for next year’s core?

    • rosswill

      I suspect it was a little of both.