Notes from the open scrimmage

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At yesterday’s open scrimmage we got a chance to see the 2015-16 in live action and peek into what the new coaching staff’s philosophy is all about. With Patrick Holloway being held out due to a minor injury we saw a starting lineup (green team) that included Otis Livingston, Marquise Moore, Jaire Grayer, Marko Gujanicic, and Shevon Thompson. Later Dave Paulsen alluded that this would be the starting lineup if the season started today. Paulsen has already stated that freshman Livingston could be a day one starter at point guard and he saw plenty of action there in this scrimmage.

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Notes from practice

2015-10-18 12.30.21-2Yesterday I attended the team’s morning practice and got a chance to observe Dave Paulsen’s philosophy and style of coaching. What stuck out right away was his attention to detail and overall emphasis on fundamentals. He really does not want these guys to keep hurting themselves, as they have been for the past two seasons, with turnovers, poor shot selection, and fouling. Communication was also a big focus, with so many new players and guys playing division I basketball for the first time, this is very necessary for the team’s success this season.

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Paulsen completes his staff with Dane Fischer

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Dane Fischer has been Dave Paulsen’s right hand man for years and now he has brought the up and coming assistant to George Mason. Fischer was in the running for the head coach job at Bucknell after being Paulsen’s top assistant and now with the news yesterday of Duane Simpkins being added, the staff is complete. Fischer is described as a “tireless recruiter and basketball tactician” and Paulsen says he has had a hand in “every coaching, teaching, and recruiting decision” he made while at Bucknell.

Dave Paulsen adds assistant with DC ties to staff

Dave Paulsen has added another assistant coach to his staff with DC area ties, Duane Simpkins. Simpkins held a similar position at UNC-Greensboro and played for Maryland from 1992-1996. He also coached a few local high school teams before entering the college ranks. Paulsen is following up his press conference statements about tapping into the fertile recruiting base in the DC area and this is another great step in doing just that.

Dave Paulsen discusses current state of roster in radio interview

Dave Paulsen recently had a radio interview discussing his position as George Mason’s new head coach. We get some real insight on his thoughts about the current roster and he talks about how they are lacking at the guard positions, especially ball-handlers and shooters. Paulsen also states how the previous coaching staff put a premium on bringing in size and athleticism, something that confused and frustrated most fans. Below is the audio:

Dave Paulsen adds former Bucknell assistant to his staff

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We haven’t heard much about who will be the assistant coaches on Dave Paulsen’s staff but now it looks like he has brought with him former Bucknell assistant Aaron Kelly. Kelly has ties to the DC area, he was a Catholic University graduate, and was also an assistant under Paulsen from his days coaching at Williams College. While at Catholic he played under current George Washington coach Mike Lonergan. Judging by Kelly’s bio on Bucknell’s website, it seems that he was responsible for similar duties that former George Mason assistant Chris Kreider held.

Dave Paulsen meeting with recruit Ahmad Gilbert

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Dave Paulsen’s first task after being named George Mason’s head coach is re-recruiting Ahmad Gilbert, a recruit under Paul Hewitt who committed to the program back in November. Since then Gilbert has been on a tear and leading his Constitution team to a state title. He was also named Pennsylvania Class A state player of the year. Mason can certainly use that scoring help that Gilbert could provide and Paulsen is set to meet with him today. Josh Verlin and our friends over at City of Basketball Love have the scoop:

Paulsen and Gilbert are scheduled to meet tomorrow, with Paulsen making the trip up to Philadelphia to meet with the only player currently committed to come to GMU this fall.

“I might still open up my recruitment, just in case, if I don’t really like get the feel of him,” Gilbert said.

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