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Freshman Focus with Coach Paulsen

Discussion in 'George Mason Basketball' started by By George., May 9, 2020.

  1. GMUgemini

    GMUgemini Hall of Famer

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    I think we like Jordan at the 4 because he struggled a little transitioning to the wing and switched kind of back and forth last year and there were games he looked really good in and games where he kind of disappeared, but I think that had more to do with moving into a new role and less to do with being able to execute on the wing.

    I want Miller staying on the wing. I want AJ attacking from the 4.
  2. By George.

    By George. Starter

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  3. By George.

    By George. Starter

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    Want to expand on this, seems like a weird time to say this given he lost his best recruit and best player and Grayer the year before. Plenty of guys have transferred, granted some didn’t belong on this level to begin with. Should have expanded on this during the interview, damn it.
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  4. Jack Strop

    Jack Strop Starter

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    There are three types of interviews:
    1. the interview you planned to do
    2. the interview you did
    3. the interview you wish you did
    Excellent job anyway! Get 'im next time!! Keep 'em coming!!!
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
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  5. mkaufman1

    mkaufman1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with you. He certainly hasn’t been immune but maybe in comparison to other schools around the league was more of what he was thinking?
  6. tblack33

    tblack33 Starter

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    He'd be wrong. At our best years, we were at average in number of transfers in any given season. At worst, we have been in/around top 3 in most transfers for A-10 schools.
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  7. mkaufman1

    mkaufman1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, makes sense. He also probably doesn't count the 8 transfers from the first two years for whatever reason, in his head. Those certainly do count however.
  8. tblack33

    tblack33 Starter

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    Great interview, watching the video now. As I've said before, I've been one of the people clamoring for more content, so huge props to By George for pulling this together, and even more for flipping to a video, great production value. I'll even give the *gasps* AD and Paulsen props for doing this. I think they need to keep doing things like this if they ever want to try to increase outreach to alumni and locals. Paulsen and his assistants (and to some extent Brad, and someone should make Darrell do something to earn his 100k a year and tell him he can't just talk about his charity the whole time) should be doing more interviews, getting on with the Junks once in a blue moon, doing podcasts, Q&As, etc. I think that having things to show casual basketball fans and Mason alumni about the program might get people out a little more. At the very least, it won't reduce attendance so I hope they keep trying things like this.

    Really liked his insight and inside scoop into some of the aspects of recruiting that fans don't really get to see. Interesting to hear about how they pick what type of guys they are going to go after, specifically Paulsen saying that certain stats translate better to the college game than others and sifting out kids who are already getting interests from high majors. I don't blame him for not wanting to be more forthcoming on how he sees these kids impact this season, he hasn't had a chance to see them practice against the guys we are bringing back yet which probably makes evaluating minutes tough.

    I really wish he would drop the whole Reuter thing. No matter what the reason, at this point it was just a fail. If it was a congenital hip issue, how was it not caught during any type of physical? How did it suddenly manifest after a year of not playing in any games? At this point I think it would just be in his best interest to let the Reuter era become history. He tried, he missed, it happens. Continuing to say he would have been all A-10 gives people more reasons to question his talent evaluation skills.

    Was interesting hearing him talk about AJs development and gradually letting him off the leash as he improved different aspects of his game. I'm really excited to see a fully unhindered AJ next season, which is what I think we finally got to see the last 4-5 games this season. He has really developed into a complete player, and hearing Paulsen talk about working on the little intangibles to get there with dribbling and passing was interesting.

    Can't believe no one has mentioned Paulsen's comments on Javon yet. Idk about y'all, but there is clearly some trouble in paradise there. From the body language during the season, to Paulsen talking about how Javon didn't handle things very well at times, it doesn't seem like some of those old wounds from last season have completely healed. FWIW I see where Paulsen is coming from at least on his comments, but I didn't expect it to come up. Hope they can get back on the same wave length going into next season because when Javon is playing to his strengths, he's the best pure scorer on this team. It was honestly a little refreshing to hear some non canned statements for how Paulsen viewed that situation.

    Didn't realize that XJ finished the season hurt. Liked hearing him talk about Hartwells season, ups and downs. It sounds to me like Jamal is the presumptive starter at the 1 guard going into next season, but I imagine that XJ will be pushing for that spot all year long.

    I think that if you get a chance to talk to Paulsen again I'd stay away from asking him about the transfers out of the program. You don't want to put him in a position to contradict what he said this time, and I don't think you'll get much more than a canned statement about it being apart of the game and supporting whatever is best for the players. I'd be much more interesting in hearing his philosophy in going after transfers. Do they actively contact kids in the portal, does he only go after guys who can play immediately, why aren't we tied to any transfers in years when we have open scholarships, etc.

    Great conent, look forward to more throughout what is going to be a painfully long offseason.
    By George. likes this.
  9. GMUgemini

    GMUgemini Hall of Famer

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    He might be only counting players who he had big plans for transferring? That would basically just be Grayer and Kier? That's a generous reading, but without a followup, that's all I got.

    I'm not sure about Hartwell starting. The hint there is "we want to play positionless basketball...we can't do that with Hartwell or Calixte." Sounds to me like both of those guys are coming off the bench next season to me.

    Really liked what he had to say about AJ...especially the idea that it sounds like he's going to be trusted to basically have free reign in the offense.
  10. dr. gunnie

    dr. gunnie Hall of Famer Staff Member

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    Enjoyed the interview - thanks for all your hard work @By George.
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  11. Pablo

    Pablo Hall of Famer

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    So, how many impact players recruited by Paulsen have transferred? I would submit that there have been just 2, both of whom were grad transfers injured in their senior seasons. If you agree, then you understand Paulsen's statement that Mason has been "somewhat immune from the transfer epidemic."
  12. tblack33

    tblack33 Starter

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    Forgot to comment on that. Personally- I hate the “positionless basketball” idea. Even if you are properly planning to run a team that is “positionless”, even in the way Dave describes it, that only means something on the offensive end of the game. Defensively, you’ll still have to match up with teams who are playing traditional basketball so your “positionless” big man is going to have to guard a traditional 5 which creates matchup problems at this level.
  13. GMUgemini

    GMUgemini Hall of Famer

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    True to an extent, but the idea is to have players who can guard multiple positions (so AJ being able to guard Daly on the perimeter was key in our last game of the season), shooting guards who can switch onto bigs and not be Otis or Hartwell are also key, 3s who can guard 1-4, etc (someone like Yuta, for example).

    I get not liking the philosophy (I also don't think Paulsen has actually figured out how to design a positionless offense or defense), but if that's how Paulsen wants to play (mostly), Hartwell isn't going to be a starter on the team.
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  14. gmujim92

    gmujim92 Hall of Famer

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    With all the ball screen stuff teams are running these days, you have to be position-less on defense to some extent or you get killed on switches. How many times did we see Otis get switched onto a guy 8 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier? Getting longer and more versatile at all 5 spots seems like a sound strategy for the modern game.

    I wonder how Richmond did it last season with a 5-9 PG and 6-foot SG but not enough to watch video of their games.
  15. sleeperpick

    sleeperpick All-American

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    Absolutely where the game is headed but this is lip service from paulsen until he can design an effective offense and semi reliable defense around his new theory
  16. By George.

    By George. Starter

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    Why are we only talking about impact guys? After talking with him, seems like they’re focused on developing players, tough to really judge if a kid will have an impact after just 1 or 2 seasons. Also Mar was an impact player who went to a comparable school.
  17. Pablo

    Pablo Hall of Famer

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    The point I was making was that Grayer and Kier transferred after 4 seasons in the program. Mar transferred after 3 seasons, and likely was facing a reduction in playing time next season. Now, if these same players left after their freshman or sophomore season, then I would agree that Paulsen's statement lacked validity.

    In other words, Paulsen can accept players leaving for a more significant role at another program.
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  18. FreeGunston12

    FreeGunston12 Starter

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    I think you guys may be missing the hidden message in DP's comment . . . "Thank God AJ didn't transfer".
  19. tblack33

    tblack33 Starter

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    I had a lot to comment on over the next few days because there is a ton to unpack there but this is absolutely one of one of them. Maybe we’ll see the offense run more through AJ next season, which we saw a little bit with late in the season. I think it would be a good thing with his newly honed perimeter game.
    By George. likes this.
  20. gmujim92

    gmujim92 Hall of Famer

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    We all should be saying that.
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