George Mason’s last game in Italy canceled because of court condition

It seems Mason’s final game in Italy was cut short because “the court was too slippery” and they didn’t want to risk any injuries.  Kind of a shame but I am sure the team is ready to head back to the US and prepare for the 2010-2011 season after bonding together as a team during this trip. Here is a picture of the court before the game by Coach Konkol:

George Mason defeats Forli in Italy 83-78, Mike Morrison scores 15 to lead Patriots

The Patriots faced their toughest opponent in Italy today against Forli and edged out a victory to the tune of 83-78.  A much more evenly played matched compared to what we have seen so far on this trip. The top scorers for Mason were Mike Morrsion (15), Cam Long (12), and Ryan Pearson (10).  It should be no surprise that this victory came from a balanced Patriots attack on offense. They spread the ball around a lot in this one which probably what we will see a lot of this season.  Bryon Allen picked up 8 points and Luke Hancock added 9, showing how close the Patriots came to having five players in double figures.  I would loved to see what kind of defense Forli was sporting in this one because I doubt it’s much like anything the Patriots will see in the CAA this season but hopefully they had to use some muscle to close this one out.  

Pictures from the George Mason vs GMV Ghezzano game

We received a few pictures today from the game yesterday against GMV Ghezzano. As you can tell from the score (108-38) it was a blowout and that is why I am not surprised the pictures are all basically of Mason players dunking on the Italians.

The team plays Forli next at Lake Como, who lost to the U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by only 3 on Saturday.  Coach Konkol says they are a physical squad and should be a tough opponent for the Patriots.

[Pictures by Social Basket Livorno]

George Mason beats up on GMV Ghezzano, exchange gifts, pasta, and steak

Today’s game against GMV Ghezzano in Livorno proves my point further from my post yesterday. They beat GMV Ghezzano 108-38 and after the game the people in Livorno “could not have been nicer”.  Here’s a quote from assistant coach Chris Caputo:

“After the game and gift exchange they invited us to a social club for pasta and steak. Our whole travel party went to the dinner along with their players, cheerleaders, and some fans of their team. Our guys really had a great time socializing with everyone and sat with the cheerleaders for dinner. Vertrail competed in a dance off with one of the fans that had the whole place going wild! The people of Livorno could not have been more hospitable.”

Larranaga says tomorrow their game in Florence should be their toughest.

George Mason trip to Italy more about bonding than basketball

Make no mistake, the trip to Italy for the George Mason basketball team is focused around basketball but really the experience that is only allowed every four years is about the bonding and team unity.  The team’s 98-65 win over Lombardia shows they aren’t playing against top European talent.  Remember this is the preseason time for those leagues as well.  Very few players Mason faced yesterday were Division I type talent and some guys where simply there trying out for the Italian team. 

The Patriots are not the only NCAA team in Italy this summer. Wisconsin-Milwaukee played Lombardia on Wednesday and beat them 84-50. So you can see the competition is a little watered down. 
This trip is a great opportunity for the young guys on the team to bond with some of the older players and for the team as a whole to come together and play much earlier than midnight madness.  The coaches do this trip mostly because they are able to hold practices when they normally would not be allowed to by NCAA rules.  This type of trip also lets you see your team in action, especially the freshmen.  Sure the guys play in summer league games but those are basically background street ball games with no defense, plus the coaches can’t give instruction during them.  This whole experience will pay off for Mason this season and should help them find their identity much earlier in the season; unlike last year.