Last season George Mason surprised many by beating Penn State on the road by 19 points and dominating the glass. This season without Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins the Patriots struggled to keep the Nittany Lions out of the paint and lost at home 72-54. Mason’s overall size disadvantage is becoming more and more of a glaring weakness at this season rolls on. They went 0-for-14 on three-pointers and struggled to get any good open looks for most of the night. Freshman Greg Calixte started in place of Ian Boyd to give Mason more size upfront and though he’s getting better battling in the post, it’s still their weakest area on the court.
On offense Mason continues to turn the ball over at a high rate. Otis Livingston II and Justin Kier are supposed to be the team’s best ball handlers and they are now together averaging more than six turns a game. Defenses are not letting Mason get comfortable and without a sharp shooter it’s difficult for them to create any sort of spacing. The three-point shooting has been trending down lately for them, everyone is struggling, even Goanar Mar who started the season hot from there. It seems like most of the offense relies on guys like Otis and Grayer to make very tough shots. Not ideal by any standard:
Mason’s offense relies way too much on Otis/Grayer making tough shots like this pic.twitter.com/0pRBVxYwfF
— Ryan Kish (@gmuhoops) December 17, 2017
At this point they don’t really have a go-to scorer who opposing teams have to collapse on and it’s real problem. Marquise Moore garnered a ton of attention last year and that opened things up for the rest of the group. It had looked like Grayer would feel that role this year but he’s been inconsistent like the rest of the team. I still think Dave Paulsen isn’t being aggressive enough with this small ball lineup because it’s looking like getting to the free-throw line is there only sure fire way of scoring points each night.
Post game presser: