The non-conference portion of George Mason’s schedule is now over and the Patriots have slugged their way to an unimpressive 6-7 record. To be honest, they were lucky to escape that portion of the schedule with six wins, especially when you consider how poor they played in most games, some against lower level competition (CSUN, JMU). Dave Paulsen peddled the “Two Year Season” talk early and most fans, whether they like or not, should really judge this season after the 2018-19 one is complete. I still don’t believe this current group, even though facing tough roster limitations, is as bad as we’ve seen for the majority of 13 games played so far. There’s a lot Paulsen has to address heading into Atlantic 10 conference play, which begs the question of what kind of impact would UVA transfer Jarred Reuter have on this team?
Four days from the season opener and today we have news that redshirt sophomore Daniel Relvao is leaving the program. I was told he is leaving for personal and family concerns and this loss leaves Mason basketball with just eight scholarship players heading into the season. Mason was already paper thin at his position and although I predicted freshman Greg Calixte would most likely be the guy this year, this doesn’t leave the team in great shape.
George Mason forward Daniel Relvao is leaving the program for personal reasons. The Portugal native plans to return to Europe.
— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) November 6, 2017
See Dave Paulsen comments at the 47 minute mark:
I was in the group that thought Georgetown would never fire John Thompson III, so yesterday was surprising. It’s a move that will impact DC area college basketball, especially on the recruiting scene. What does this mean for George Mason basketball and head coach Dave Paulsen? Mason has already had an uphill battle trying to get local recruits and now a new head coach in town could change the landscape a bit. Despite the program’s lack of recent success, Georgetown was still landing a lot of top local talent in the area. Will that continue with a new coach? That depends largely on the who they hire.
Listen to Dave Paulsen talk about this season’s turnaround, going from Division III to Division I as a coach and more with former ESPN980 host Tim Murray:
Marquise Moore was interviewed last week by the American Sports Network to discuss his Atlantic 10 player of year week award, the team’s current winning streak, and the program’s first ever triple-double. But I think the most interesting part of the interview was when Moore was asked if the team had any mottos or fun slogans. His response was a quote that Dave Paulsen uses “burn your boats”, that essentially stands for a team being ‘all in’ and like soldiers against great odds, never retreating. You can hear Moore talk about it at the 3:43 mark of the video below:
The motto and vision for the program dates back to Paulsen’s earlier coaching days at Bucknell. This is from a 2010 practice:
“Paulsen basically had to get it through to his guys that no one is going to help them. They had to show up Wednesday, leaving everything they have on shore and protect their house.
Burn your boats, boys.
We’re not leaving until we get this done one way or another. We’re either going to carry the day, or we’re going down swinging.”
I reached out to Paulsen about the motto and he said basically it’s a “historical reference to an “all in” mentality – can’t have one foot on land, one foot in water ready to retreat when times are tough, you’re not playing as much as you’d like, don’t like your role etc. One of single biggest challenges as coach is to get total buy in.”
A nice interview from 106.7 The Fan DC with coach Dave Paulsen on the upcoming season. Paulsen discusses what the team have improved on from last year, what they still need to work on, and what are realistic goals for this season. Have a look:
Year two for Dave Paulsen and George Mason begins with higher hopes than the last couple of seasons. Wins over Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Davidson, and VCU showed to the fan base that this program was moving in the right direction. Paulsen had the daunting task of installing his new culture into the program and cleaning up all the unforced errors we grew accustomed to seeing. We saw a team last year that fouled less and rebounded the ball well. It was clear at the end of the season that the team was practicing and playing hard but just kept falling short. Inexperience was a big issue last season, some freshmen were playing who probably weren’t ready but with the teams lack of depth there was no choice.
Now they enter 2016-17 with a more seasoned group and a proven new leader in Otis Livingston II. There are some new faces, some of whom will have an immediate impact, and definitely make this team tougher on the wings. And don’t be surprised to see an offense that runs a heck of a lot smoother. Yes, it is the ‘The Year of Small Ball’ but that’s not a bad thing. Let’s take a look at some of the key issues heading into this season for Mason using some quotes from Paulsen from this year’s Blue Ribbon Yearbook.