George Mason fell to Loyola (Md.) last night in a game they didn’t look all that interested in. Hosting the first round of the CBI tournament costs the school money and Mason had one of their worst performances of the season. Mason shot 33% and was out-rebounded by the Greyhounds. Loyola came out strong and just looked like they wanted the game more than Mason did. They out-hustled Mason all game long, who struggled badly to make any shots in the first half. Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins combined for 7 total points in their final game as Patriots. Dave Paulsen opted to go with the young guys for the majority of the minutes, a teachable moment I’m sure. After the game Paulsen said that perhaps it was a mistake to play in the tournament:
George Mason's Dave Paulsen on the CBI: "Hindsight being 20/20 this was a bad decision."
— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) March 16, 2017
I’m not one to call out players’ effort on the court but it’s been a long season and perhaps the importance of winning this game just wasn’t all that interesting to them. Especially after recovering from the VCU loss in the Atlantic 10 tournament perhaps they were also just burned out from the grind of a long season. I agree with many of the fans that say we should be done with the third tier tournaments and this is certainly a sign pointing that way. I don’t know but it was a sad way to end a strong season where the program showed big strides of moving in the right direction. After three years of 20-loss seasons Mason finally gave us a 20-win season and that’s an achievement I don’t think many could have expected a few months ago.
In other news as we switch to next season’s team it appears that someone on the roster might be transferring. The other day it was reported that Mason offered a 2017 forward from Mount Vernon high school in New York (Sherrod Wright played there). The recruit is Greg Calixte who is a 6’9″, 230-pound big man, who scores well in the post and rebounds the ball well. Boy could Mason use this kid next season. Without a scholarship available at the moment it would have to mean someone on the roster is moving. Pretty obvious after watching this season just who that may be but stay tuned.