George Mason is currently riding a six game winning streak after a win over Penn State Wednesday night. A game in which dominated the paint and the glass despite giving up a lot of size to their opponent. The game further reinforced that this team can rebound and attack the paint with four and five guard lineups no matter who they playing. Marquise Moore and Otis Livingston II are currently playing at a high level and the freshmen getting minutes are more confident each game. With better shot selection and ball protection they are a much more efficient offense then what we saw through the season’s first couple of games. Now it’s on to Penn for a Saturday afternoon game at the historic Palestra to see if Mason can make it seven in a row.
Penn on paper seems like a much easier road opponent than Penn State however Kenpom gives them a slight 3-point edge in this match-up. That is most likely due to their overall shooting numbers and efficiency on defense. But Mason has been a different team on this winning streak so the projections are still a bit skewed. Mason out-worked PSU all night and simply just looked like the team that wanted it more. That was a big change from what we saw against Towson and Mount St. Mary’s. Meanwhile, Penn has had trouble with turning the ball over, at least 10 in every game this season including 21 against Miami (FL). Couple that with the fact that they rarely get to the free-throw line much and I like Mason’s chances to once again force their brand of basketball on an opponent.
Mason is starting to play a bit more up tempo, something we talked about in the preseason. It hasn’t happened much yet but against Penn State they had their most possessions of the season during regulation. It was fun to watch Moore and Livingston going coast to coast for easy buckets in transition Wednesday night. They sure look better with shorter possessions if you ask me. I’d like to think they would try to build on that more and opt that style with less three-point shooting. But the bottom line is if Mason keeps rebounding like they do, attacking the rim, and forcing turnovers they will be a very tough team to beat going forward.
Game will be streamed on ESPN3 at 2 pm.
[Photo by Bill Bride]