George Mason fell to VCU yesterday on the road 72-60 to end the regular season and will be the 7th seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament. Once again they are slated to start the tournament off against Fordham (10 seed) with the winner playing VCU. The good news is this is the first year in the A-10 that Mason will most likely advance to a further round but the bad news they will have to go through VCU to get to the semifinals. The tournament gives Mason a fresh start, which they need at this point, and will give them another chance to play with a do-or-die attitude. Hopefully these last few games have shown them what they need to work on most before the tournament begins.
Yesterday’s game was another reminder how much of a bad matchup VCU is for Mason this year and how they struggle to guard longer players on the wings. Despite the matchup issue, Mason isn’t exactly hot in any other area heading into the conference tournament. They’ve struggled on three-point shooting and have been turning over the ball at a high rate lately. The offense has lacked any sort of rhythm. They are still aggressively attacking the paint but team’s are aware of this at this point and we are seeing a lot of offensive fouls and blocked shots.
The simple fact is they won’t go anywhere in the tournament if they continue to turn the ball over and struggle to hit any three-pointers. They were once hot from behind the arc at the start of A-10 play but Otis Livingston II and Jaire Grayer has really been inconsistent fro there to end the season. With limited presence from the front court they need to shoot the ball better from there or get to the free-throw line a ton. The free-throw line is still a big part of their offense as they are a much more successful when they make 15+ attempts from there in a contest. They will have to find a way to recreate some of the success they had earlier in conference play where they were simply out-hustling other teams. The extra effort and energy is a must for them in Pittsburgh.
Time to burn your boats.