George Mason pushes #16 Louisville but falls 72-61

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George Mason played a very good first half and was leading for the majority of the game yesterday at Louisville. With about five minutes remaining Mason kept missing opportunities to reclaim the lead. Jaire Grayer, Ian Boyd, and Justin Kier had almost all the scoring as Otis Livingston II struggled mightily (1-for-10) against the Cardinals’ defense. Louisville used their size to keep Mason out of the paint and deny a ton of close shots. Nevertheless, the Patriots fought hard to on both ends rebounding but missed a lot of second chance opportunities. The fact that Otis was so limited and they were in this game til the final minutes shows just how good these guys could be this season despite their depth issue.

Here are my takeaways:

Justin Kier is going to have a big year. It’s pretty obvious already that Justin Kier is going to be a huge reason for success Mason has this season. He’s really become a scoring threat this year and is turning into an all-around play-maker. He’s a great second ball-handler on the court and is playing a similar role to what Marquise Moore did last year. I really like how he is driving the lane more this season and attacking the paint. Very well might be this team’s most efficient player.

Jaire Grayer is our rock. He picked up his first double-double of the season with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and four steals. Had some erratic plays yesterday but took charge when the team needed a basket and made some big shots.

Goanar Mar continues to grind. What an experience for freshman Mar yesterday as he had to guard giants in the post. He had a rough start on both ends but didn’t get flustered or into foul trouble; and finished with eights points and six rebounds. There will be a lot that he learned from this game but there’s already a lot to like like with his drive and effort so far.

Still waiting for bench production. No bench player has scored yet this season and yesterday only Javon Greene and AJ Wilson played more than two minutes. I just don’t think this can continue and they have to find a way to get more from these guys. Seven guys is an extremely tight rotation and they looked like they lost stream late in the second half yesterday. Hopefully this situation will improve after the tournament in Cancun.

  • Masonfan01

    They looked like they ran out of gas in the second half, I think AJ was the only guy off the bench that played in the second half. Louisville did need some pretty big plays from those two freshmen or else Mason might have stolen this one. Amazing that Mar can defend the post without fouling, that will be huge moving forward.

  • Gamoo79

    Loved the “LeBron” Mar block. Kid looks like the real deal.
    Interesting we have a sqeeker against Lafayette and then almost upset Louisville, but this is a young team that under coach Dave I believe will only get better. Size may be an issue, but DP can flat out coach.
    Hoping for a good run in Cancun!!

  • Grad2003

    Our defense in the first half was excellent, we kept them out of the paint for the most part, forced them into bad shots. Not a good sign to see Otis struggle so early and overall we got get better from the free-throw line.

  • Danny Lawray

    This Mason team is scrappy and hungry, and I love it! Their performance last night in a tough environment was impressive. Missed foul shots, and costly turnovers did them in, as well as possibly some heavy legs late in the game, but they will only get better! Need to get some production from the bench also! 1 game at a time!

  • Acustic2001

    Dunno why mason kept fouling with less than 2 mins or so..
    But very happy on how they played.

  • Gamoo79

    I see lots of back and forth on twitter about DP. Since I don’t tweet, I thought I’d comment here.

    I think DP is doing a great job. GMU is not UK, Duke, or UNC that can rebuild overnight like after the Brad Daugherty coaching fiasco.