Another letdown in Foggy Bottom

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George Mason fell to George Washington 83-74 yesterday and has now lost for the eighth straight time to the Colonials since joining the Atlantic 10. The Patriots are now losers of three straight and appear to limping into the conference tournament. Two weeks ago they were in the conversation of competing for a top four spot in the standings and now they are currently looking at an 8 seed if the tournament started today. Otis Livingston II had his least productive game of the season and was benched towards the end of this game, finishing with just two points and four turnovers. Turnovers were again an early issue for Mason and helped to derail an offense that was shooting over 55% on the day. Defensively Mason had the same problems they did against GW earlier in the season. They struggled to cover Yuta Watanabe and Tyler Cavanaugh as the Colonials did a great job exploiting mismatches. Frustrating to watch considering Mason has been the smaller team against essentially every team they’ve played this season but again failed to make adjustments to counter at all what GW was doing. If that had happened all season long Mason would be in the bottom of the A-10.

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On the positive side we saw good games from freshmen Ian Boyd and Karmari Newman off the bench. Boyd had one of his best games of the year scoring a career-high 15 points and Newman continues to be a consistent three-point shooting threat. Both are important guys who will be seeing a lot of action next season so this progress is encouraging to see. Someone had to fill the void with Livingston struggling and it was great to see Boyd come in and do that. In the front court the reserves didn’t have as much success and gave little support offensively when Jalen Jenkins was on the bench. Mason’s defensive effort wasn’t enough to overcome this as it has during earlier parts of the season. They also gave GW a ton of space on the perimeter and a lot of open looks making it far too easy for their top shooters. The aggression and energy level we’ve seen on defense for most of the season just wasn’t there.

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Here’s some feedback from Dave Paulsen after the game:

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[Photos by Bill Bride]

  • dsnjd1

    A totally superfluous comment about yesterday’s game……but was any one else bothered by the similar color schemes worn by each team yesterday. Now the differences between the “Mason Green” and the “G.W. Blue” was were perhaps greater when you watched the game live. But, I almost thought it was a screw-up, and halfway expected one team to change at half-time into white uniforms to make it easier on spectators!. .

    • Bill Bride

      I had to adjust my camera settings a few times but yeah, I found it annoying GW wore the gray. Just wish GW wore their whites. I would have even preferred those light blue GW unis they break out on occasion.

    • StopWearingPurple

      I have red/green sight issues and can barely tell the uniforms apart in the pictures. Had I gone to the game I probably would have bailed at halftime.

      • dsnjd1

        LOL…I am blue/green color blind myself (truly) which made the game doubly difficult for me to watch on TV (on G.W.’s own network no less…complete with student announcers…the audio did not start until about the ten minute mark of the first half, as someone in the G.W. student production crew
        apparently forgot to plug-in the audio feed!).

  • Chris Hirsch

    Ugh, there is no rivalry with GW because they always beat Mason.

    Gotta beat Duquesne, a loss to them would be disgusting.

  • ricandersen

    My concern, which I am growing more certain by the day, is that Mason is tiring. Our starters have probably played more minutes than each of the other A10 teams. Over the course of the season, especially for the freshmen and sophomores, I think we are just wearing down.

    If this is true, it doesn’t bode well for our tournament chances. But regardless how we go from here, this has been a hugely successful season for our program.

  • Gamoo79

    Agree with you guys. I think we are worn out. Always going up against bigger deeper teams. We may beat Duquesne, but I’m betting we get killed by VCU and probably exit after our first round A10 game.
    I was thinking a post season tournament would be good for us. Now I’m not so sure. Still, 18/19 wins beats 7 by a long shot, and just being in the conversation for a top 4 seed (albeit briefly) was really cool.

    • dsnjd1

      Think of where Mason was just two years ago after four seasons of “Blewitt Ball”…Mason has fewer blue chip failures but the team may win twenty qualify for a “pay for play tournament”…also it looks like Paulsen is making progress with mostly his own players. I’m encouraged.