George Mason will play in the CBI, host Loyola (MD) Wednesday night

17159334_10154434706991527_2099878879101928625_o

While it was disappointing to not see George Mason advance further in the Atlantic 10 tournament after a much improved season. However, there will still be more basketball played as the team will play in the CBI tournament. Mason will host Loyola (MD.), a 15-16 team from the Patriot League, on Wednesday night. Dave Paulsen certainly has familiarity with the Greyhounds from his Bucknell days. Also in the field is Revolutionary Rival and fellow A-10 foe George Washington. GW, Toledo, and San Francisco appear to the only real threat to Mason in this tournament so hopefully they can get to the finals again like they did in 2013. Will there be another game at the RAC?

The full bracket can be found here and if I remember correctly from four years ago I think there will be some re-seeding that occurs after the first or second round of games.

CBIB

Continue Reading →

Mason falls to VCU in Atlantic 10 quarterfinals

17239649_10154437748241527_5256298544612520693_o

First of all, George Mason basketball exceeded expectations this season and overachieved to a 20-win campaign that has brought this program new life. How Dave Paulsen got these guys to buy into his system of hard work, especially on the glass and on defense, is nothing short of amazing. What a turnaround and yeah it sure would have been nice to finally knock VCU out a conference tournament but the program just isn’t there yet. But boy did this group fight, all season long. Seniors Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins tried to keep Mason in this one late but fell short. Moore set an A-10 tournament record averaging 18 rebounds a game but his 11 points just weren’t enough. As a team they didn’t let turnovers or VCU’s big front line beat them but they failed to shoot the ball well when they needed it, especially on three-pointers.

17192653_10154437748161527_8035201029449932866_o

Continue Reading →

Mason survives and advances over Fordham in OT

17240250_10154434708461527_7566929403240806197_oGeorge Mason finally got their first ever Atlantic 10 tournament victory last night in a hard fought battle over Fordham that went to overtime. They advance to face #2 VCU tonight at 6 pm. Hey just like old times in the CAA tournament! Otis Livingston II had an amazing pass underneath to Jalen Jenkins to force overtime as Mason battled back being down by as many as seven points with only seconds remaining. They had looked like they were out after Marquise Moore missed two big free-throws late but they stayed calm and never stopped fighting.

In overtime Mason looked like a different team and never looked back after taking the lead and riding their own momentum. They went 6-for-8 in the extra period with some great shooting from Jaire Grayer and Justin Kier. Here is Kier’s three-pointer that was the dagger:

kierdagger

Continue Reading →

George Mason will be the 7th seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament

Screenshot 2017-03-05 08.19.23

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.

Continue Reading →

Mason edges out Duquesne on senior night

DSC_5985

George Mason escaped with a win on senior night narrowly edging past Duquesne 63-62. It came down to the last possession but Mason was able to get the win and recover on a night where they had a tough time from 3-point range. They missed their first 16 or so attempts from there but were able to offset that with 18 points off turnovers. Overall it wasn’t a great came for the Patriots. There were a lot of bad possessions, lapses on defense, and bad shooting for most of the game. The effort didn’t seem great either and the early missed shots seemed to slowly eat away at their energy. Struggling for offense at times, freshmen Ian Boyd and Karmari Newman provided a lift but in the end only Otis Livingston II and Jalen Jenkins finished in double figures.

DSC_2779

Continue Reading →

Another letdown in Foggy Bottom

DSC_2487

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.

DSC_4456

Continue Reading →

Revolutionary Rivalry gets real

DSC_1885So it now comes down to the fact that George Mason almost certainly needs to beat George Washington if they want to finish in the top half of the Atlantic 10 this year. The Colonials have won two straight while the Patriots have lost their last two with only three games remaining on the regular season. The Revolutionary Rivalry is alive! Well sort of. Mason desperately needs to bounce back and win at GW after two tough games against URI and Dayton. Perhaps the five day lay off between games will serve them well as their starters have been logging a ton of minutes towards the later half of this season. It certainly looked like they may have run out of gas against Dayton on Tuesday despite playing hard. But we’ve seen this team bounce back many times this year, especially on the road, and it’s no better time than now for that to happen again.

Continue Reading →

George Mason shows no quit but doesn’t have enough against Dayton

2 DAY

George Mason missed a big opportunity for another quality road win on the season but lost the battle last night against Dayton. They were undone by turnovers as Dayton scored 29 points off Mason’s 17 turnovers. Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins didn’t have the big games we are used to seeing and Mason struggled offensively for the beginning of the game. They battled back and fought to grab a lead shortly in the second half by sticking to attacking the rim and out-rebounding the Flyers. Defense became an issue as Mason was sending Dayton to the free-throw line far too often and struggling to make shots themselves on the other end. Moore, Livingston, and Grayer were a combined 11-for-35 from the field, despite Grayer having a solid second half. Grayer finished with a career-high 13 rebounds and also added 13 points but it wasn’t enough. I would say it’s pretty difficult for Mason to win a game like this with Moore and Livingston only going to the free-throw line for seven combined attempts.

Moore DAYPositive takes from the game is that Mason didn’t quit and showed a lot of toughness. At one point Dayton went on a 20-0 run, which Mason then responded with a 13 point run of their own. They didn’t deviate from their game plan, something they will definitely need to remember in the Atlantic 10 tournament. Dayton did a great job defensively last night and didn’t let Marquise Moore get going. They fought Mason hard in the paint and didn’t give any easy baskets. Unlike most other opponents they did so without constantly fouling the Patriots and that took away a ton of opportunity last night. Dayton is the best team in the A-10 this year and the best team based on defensive efficiency. Having said that there were certain stretches during the second half where it looked like Mason had a chance to pull off the upset and I like that. But in the end this was another example of how Mason needs their top 4 guys to be efficient on offense each night collectively or else they don’t stand much of a chance against the league’s best.

Mason comes up short against Rhode Island

Screenshot 2017-02-19 07.51.39George Mason’s four game winning streak was snapped yesterday afternoon after a home loss to Rhode Island 77-74. Mason was down by as many as 18 points in this game and battled back in the second half only to lose in the games’ closing seconds. They dug themselves into a huge hole in the first half as URI went 7-for-11 on three-pointers during that period and had plenty of other open looks (see highlights below). The Rams, who were embarrassed in their last game against Fordham scoring only 43 points, looked to determined right from the tip against Mason. It looked like the Patriots had a tough time matching their energy until about mid-way through the second half. Dave Paulsen attested the team’s poor first half to a “rotten practice” prior to the game. Certainly didn’t help that Otis Livingston II and Jaire Grayer struggled mightily in the first half as Mason relied on seniors Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins to get things going early. When their top four doesn’t all start off great it can be an uphill battle for this team to get going.

Continue Reading →

George Mason has proven the doubters wrong, now just needs to finish strong

DSC_0601George Mason was picked to finish 12th in the Atlantic 10 by the media back in October, fast forward four months and now they are fighting for a top four seed in the conference tournament. Kenpom now predicts Mason finishing the season 20-11 (10-8 in A-10), which is really an incredible turnaround in a such amount of time for Dave Paulsen and company. They came into this season with an undersized, mostly inexperienced roster, that lacked overall depth. None of that seemed to hurt them much during this season as we watch this team consistently out-rebound and beat teams in the paint while also having one of the most efficient offenses within the conference. With five games remaining on the season, a strong finish could go a long way for Mason in positioning themselves for post season action. Yes that’s right, post season play folks!

Continue Reading →