Transfer Anali Okoloji talks about his transition from Seton Hall to George Mason and the upcoming season

Seton Hall transfer Anali Okoloji had to watch last season from the bench due to NCAA transfer rules but he will be suiting up this upcoming season. caught up with him where he has been training this off-season and had a short interview. Okoloji talks about his transition from Seton Hall to George Mason, his off-season plans, and his expectations for the upcoming season. He continues to be somewhat of an unknown to George Mason fans but I think he will contribute a lot off the bench next season. Love to hear that he wants to be a “gym rat” and has a very versatile game.

He also reiterates that Paul Hewitt wants to continue playing an up-tempo style of play, something that had mixed results last season. The team will have a much different look next season as it is with Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson no longer holding down the front court and Okoloji’s production will certainly be needed at times, inside and out.


Andre Cornelius career highlight video

Andre Cornelius’ senior year was tarnished by an arrest before the season started but he finished his career at George Mason as one of the more dynamic back court players in the program’s history. His speed and outside shooting certainly helped the Patriots win a lot of games from 2008-2012. What I’ll remember most though is his defense, as it was a shame he never earned CAA All-Defensive team honors during his career, especially after the 2010-2011 season. The Patriots could struggle to find a people to replace his on-the-ball defensive skills this upcoming season. His career three-point shooting average was 39.1% at George Mason. Lamar Butler, the program’s all-time leader in three-pointers made finished with a 39.2% career average.
Hopefully we will also see career highlight videos for Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson coming soon from Thuc Phan.

Erik Copes’ monster block against VCU

The only video I could find on this was from George Mason’s athletic site, and it’s not the best quality and is hard to follow. However, I felt think this deserved its own post, a huge block by freshman Erik Copes that gave the Patriots a spark, then followed by him saluting the fans. Full highlights from the VCU game can be found by clicking the Video tab above. 

[Video from George Mason Athletics,]

Sherrod Wright’s buzzer beater lifts George Mason over VCU

I’ll admit it, I called it game over late in the second half when the Patriots coughed up the ball at a critical moment.  I should have realized that this Mason team is prepared for a game just like this. Ugly, scrappy, and gritty right until the end, with the occasional big shot here and there. The Rams kept making free-throws during the final minute, then Ryan Pearson hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to two.  Follow that up with a Vertail Vaughns three-pointer, boy did he pick a good night to make a comeback, and Mason was within one.  Briante Weber went to the foul line and missed the first. Pearson was the inbound passer after Weber made the second and tried to get it into Bryon Allen who was covered. Tip-toeing down the baseline he almost stepped over the line before he hurled the ball into Sherrod Wright. The rest is history as Wright was the hero again. Last week I called him “Mr. Under 5-minutes”, now I think just plain “Mr. Clutch” will do.

Here are four different angles of Wright’s game-winning shot from CSN:

Ryan Pearson and Vertrail Vaughns really kept Mason in this game despite a night full of mistakes.  Seniors Mike Morrison and Andre Cornelius were total non-factors, combining for three points.  Mike Morrison couldn’t stay in the game and threw one of this patented temper tantrums after picking up his fourth foul in the second half. Luckily guys like Sherrod Wright were able to come off the bench and produce. Even Paris Bennett had his moments last night on the boards. Erik Copes also had two monster blocks taking full advantage of the extra minutes he received with Morrison in foul trouble.  

VCU got 10 steals last night and Mason turned it over 16 times.  Some were worse than others and I really thought it would be their undoing in the final moments of the game.  Corey Edwards dribbled into some bad situations but overall I thought he and Bryon Allen did a decent job running the offense.  

I don’t think there is any doubt that Ryan Pearson is the CAA’s best player. Going up against another CAA player of the year candidate Bradford Burgess, he simply looked like a man among boys durng key moments. Burgess hit some big shots last night but Pearson carried the Patriots and would not be denied.

[Photos by John Powell]

College Basketball

Green Machine plays Party Rock Anthem and Paul Hewitt wears a Doc Nix suit

Paul Hewitt has already bested Jim Larranaga in one category of Mason basketball: Mason Madness entrance awesomeness:

Meanwhile the Green Machine opened things up with LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem, great stuff as always.

Also has video.

As for the actual basketball, it appears they have added more than one walk-on this year, we’ll have to wait for details on these guys.  Vertrail Vaughns looked good out there shooting the ball in the green vs gold scrimmage, as did Vaughn Gray.  Fans also got a good look at Erik Copes performing some post moves against Mike Morrison, I think this kid is going to be the real deal.
Official start to the season is underway.
[Photo via @BillRohland, video via @tomcblock]

Cam Long talks about his workout with the Golden State Warriors

Cam Long worked out for the Golden State Warriors yesterday along with a few others from Virginia schools (Jamie Skeen VCU, Jeff Allen Virginia Tech). Don’t get too excited in hopes of hearing his name called on June 23rd because it probably won’t happen. There are rumors that the NBA has plans to cancel the summer league in Las Vegas this year, which would be very unfortunate for a player like Cam who needs every chance available to showcase his talent.  Even if Cam doesn’t make it to the NBA these and other workouts will no doubt prove as an audition to play somewhere overseas.

Thanks to everyone that sent his in!