Game 10: GMU (5-4) vs UMES (3-5) on Tuesday, December 6, at 7:00 PM.

GSII

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You guys are such a joy ....ha ha....just messn with jim...... glad im not only one ....But yeah the good Doc has nailed it as far as how I have felt too. Maybe L didn't play the analytics game then like is being done today, but there atleast was an identity to his teams and the correct players in place that understood their roles. I don't see great bbal from this team. For example, they are being taught to jack 3's instead making cuts to basket in order to put pressure on the D. Then the defense I have said over and over is a boring nba style, but I have seen some wrinkles. Regardless, we look like we have 12 freshman and a 1st yr head coach too much of the time.
 

dr. gunnie

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I feel like the talent is there. Just something isn't quite clicking yet. Running out of time to figure it out before A10 season. At least last year we came out and dominated the cup cakes early with 20+ point wins and then took care of Maryland before our mini collapse. Hopefully Kim can find that magic button soon.

I miss a ton only being able to watch games on TV, but who are the leaders of this team? Who's the alpha male? Josh is a good player, but he doesn't strike me as someone that's going to get in a teammates face if they aren't giving 100%. Who is that guy? All of our best teams had them... most had a few of them.
 

gmujim92

Hall of Famer
I feel like the talent is there. Just something isn't quite clicking yet. Running out of time to figure it out before A10 season. At least last year we came out and dominated the cup cakes early with 20+ point wins and then took care of Maryland before our mini collapse. Hopefully Kim can find that magic button soon.

I miss a ton only being able to watch games on TV, but who are the leaders of this team? Who's the alpha male? Josh is a good player, but he doesn't strike me as someone that's going to get in a teammates face if they aren't giving 100%. Who is that guy? All of our best teams had them... most had a few of them.
It’s gonna be Dinkins, he’s got some MFer in him in the best possible way, but he’s obviously not ready to take that role as a freshman.
 

GMU_DCU

All-Conference
I feel like the talent is there. Just something isn't quite clicking yet. Running out of time to figure it out before A10 season. At least last year we came out and dominated the cup cakes early with 20+ point wins and then took care of Maryland before our mini collapse. Hopefully Kim can find that magic button soon.

I miss a ton only being able to watch games on TV, but who are the leaders of this team? Who's the alpha male? Josh is a good player, but he doesn't strike me as someone that's going to get in a teammates face if they aren't giving 100%. Who is that guy? All of our best teams had them... most had a few of them.
Where is our Ryan Pearson or Ryan Peterson when we need him?
 

ephoops

Starter
Obviously the game has changed but we've been basically culture-less since Hewitt got hired. He didn't care about culture, Paulsen didn't seem to care much either, or he wasn't good at establishing it (probably a little of both). When you think "George Mason Basketball" as a brand what is it? Who are we? Where are we going?

I did not follow Mason prior to Paulsen's arrival.

What was Mason's "brand" and/or "culture" when Larranaga was the HC?
 

GMU79

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I did not follow Mason prior to Paulsen's arrival.

What was Mason's "brand" and/or "culture" when Larranaga was the HC?
My take: Quality bigs. Good guard play. Had a game plan and actually did it. And, was willing and able to change things up in game if the aforementioned game plan wasn't working. Everybody on the floor just seemed to know what they were doing. ymmv.
 

mkaufman1

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I did not follow Mason prior to Paulsen's arrival.

What was Mason's "brand" and/or "culture" when Larranaga was the HC?
Winning.

Haha- I mean you knew going to face a Larranaga team that they were going to beat you to every loose ball, outrebound you, and frustrate you with the defensive scheme. The most talented teams always knew where to be and made smart plays. When teams from the CAA came into the Patriot Center (back then) they expected to lose. It didn't matter if you were a buy game or JMU/ODU, they most likely would lose and it would potentially be a blow out (in the best years). Matt Brady/Blaine Taylor/Bruiser Flint would always be awarded a 10-15 point loss and sometimes it wasn't even that close.

Now mind you, its a totally different era of basketball now in how its played and how guys are recruited.

I think we are just all tired of losing, tired of having to have some sort of 19-2 run to get a win over a buy game team that sucks (that would have happened in the middle of the 1st half during L), tired of questioning our effort in certain areas. Some of it is just us bitching and moaning, some of us are just tired from 11 years of losing and feel like we've seen this over and over and over again.

In the end, winning cures all and making it back to the NCAAs will really fix it. Many of us (myself included) thought this was the year to make it, and after the Paradise Jam, it is going to be awfully tough.
 

GMUSSTN

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I did not follow Mason prior to Paulsen's arrival.

What was Mason's "brand" and/or "culture" when Larranaga was the HC?
Others have chimed in and are all absolutely correct.

I'm not sure if we had a "brand" but we had standards and a system that worked. Players either bought in and we won or they didn't and we...still won a lot. We recruited well locally and didn't tolerate lazy play...chucking threes 4 seconds into the shot clock rarely happened unless you were wide open and in rhythm.

Larranaga also had consistency at every position...knew how to develop talent. There was always a decent sophmore or junior ready (and prepared!) to take the reins from the graduating seniors. It didn't always pan out but it worked enough...we were a top CAA team for a decade, even in down years you wouldn't count us out.

Everything is extremely different now....recruiting, style of play, transfers...but we had a real identity long ago.
 

Falco

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Coach L had very balanced rosters. Every player had their unique skill set. Today it seems like everyone is a wing player.
 

GSII

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Coach L had very balanced rosters. Every player had their unique skill set. Today it seems like everyone is a wing player.

Hmmm.....I'm just taking a wild guess, probably wrong, but when briefly comparing our 3 new recruits, we have a shooter, one shooter, and a shooter. Seems balanced to me.
 

Where's the party?

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Winning.

Haha- I mean you knew going to face a Larranaga team that they were going to beat you to every loose ball, outrebound you, and frustrate you with the defensive scheme. The most talented teams always knew where to be and made smart plays. When teams from the CAA came into the Patriot Center (back then) they expected to lose. It didn't matter if you were a buy game or JMU/ODU, they most likely would lose and it would potentially be a blow out (in the best years). Matt Brady/Blaine Taylor/Bruiser Flint would always be awarded a 10-15 point loss and sometimes it wasn't even that close.

Now mind you, its a totally different era of basketball now in how its played and how guys are recruited.

I think we are just all tired of losing, tired of having to have some sort of 19-2 run to get a win over a buy game team that sucks (that would have happened in the middle of the 1st half during L), tired of questioning our effort in certain areas. Some of it is just us bitching and moaning, some of us are just tired from 11 years of losing and feel like we've seen this over and over and over again.

In the end, winning cures all and making it back to the NCAAs will really fix it. Many of us (myself included) thought this was the year to make it, and after the Paradise Jam, it is going to be awfully tough.
That is well put, sir. I hadn't even thought about what made us so proud to be GMU alum's during the Larranaga years, but you have absolutely put your finger on it. We appreciated the consistency his teams exhibited, from knowing and executing on their particular roles, to the tenacious defense the entire team would play. Folks roll their eyes when I say it, but I feel that Shaka just took the D that Larranaga ran and made a brand out of it. In any case, thanks for encapsulating what all of us felt/feel.
 

mkaufman1

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That is well put, sir. I hadn't even thought about what made us so proud to be GMU alum's during the Larranaga years, but you have absolutely put your finger on it. We appreciated the consistency his teams exhibited, from knowing and executing on their particular roles, to the tenacious defense the entire team would play. Folks roll their eyes when I say it, but I feel that Shaka just took the D that Larranaga ran and made a brand out of it. In any case, thanks for encapsulating what all of us felt/feel.
Thanks - I don't want to take the thread down a whole different path of discussing Shaka. That said we were pretty spoiled by a lot of this, and lucky that we had it at the university for 14 years. If we didn't have it, who knows how many of us would care. It would be even less.

Hopefully with all the changes (different people in charge, new staff, blah blah), things turn around sooner than later. I know that is the expectation for me, and many others (including those in the AD or former in the AD).
 

dr. gunnie

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I feel like there is some slight revisionist history going on with Coach L. I can also remember from 2002 to 2005 going one and done in the CAA tournament 3 times.... once as a 2 seed getting knocked out by a 10 seed Hofstra. Things weren't always totally rosey with his teams, but he did sprinkle in a few good years during his tenure ;)
 

gmutom

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Larranaga also had consistency at every position...knew how to develop talent. There was always a decent sophmore or junior ready (and prepared!) to take the reins from the graduating seniors.
This is an important point, but I think it also demonstrates how much the landscape of college basketball has changed since then. Coaches are tempted to cut corners on developing players like they once did, because the transfer rules have changed everything. I think it's great for the players to have more control, but many of them lack the patience to have their talent developed. They know they can jump ship for what they perceive to be greener pastures if they aren't playing as much as they think they should — and with no penalty whatsoever.

I don't want this to come off as an excuse for English, but I'm not sure the timing could have been worse for him to get his first coaching job. There is already a huge learning curve for a first-year head coach, and he stepped into the Wild West known as the portal. Rather than choosing to build the roster bottom up over the course of several season like many new coaches — perhaps because he had his own delusions of grandeur — he got lured into quick fixes to win right away.

Coach L's Final 4 team had a perfect mix of three seniors and two sophomores who had played together for several years. We didn't need a deep bench other than Gabe Norwood, because they had the talent and chemistry to win. They knew our offensive and defensive systems like the back of their hands. Right now, we have a hodgepodge of players that literally look like they were selected for a pick-up game. Is anybody surprised some of them look lost on both ends of the court?

I don't begrudge English using the portal to fill some needs, but his mindset can't be to try to reload with transfers every season and expect anything resembling a cohesive product. I think we have good young players now in Fernandez, Dinkins, Henry and Elvis, and I think we have a great core of incoming players in Barron, Ball and White.

Kim is no longer the hot name to jump to a bigger school, so I hope he takes the time to nurture the younger players while adding pieces from the portal to build a program. If he constantly tries to act like he is win-now mode, we will continue to see the frustrating product we are seeing on the floor this year.
 
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gmujim92

Hall of Famer
This is an important point, but I think it also demonstrates how much the landscape of college basketball has changed since then. Coaches are tempted to cut corners on developing players like they once did, because the transfer rules have changed everything. I think it's great for the players to have more control, but many of them lack the patience to have their talent developed. They know they can jump ship for what they perceive to be greener pastures if they aren't playing as much as they think they should — and with no penalty whatsoever.

I don't want this to come off as an excuse for English, but I'm not sure the timing could have been worse for him to get his first coaching job. There is already a huge learning curve for a first-year head coach, and he stepped into the Wild West known as the portal. Rather than choosing to build the roster bottom up over the course of several season like many new coaches, he got lured into quick fixes to win right away.

Coach L's Final 4 team had a perfect mix of three seniors and two sophomores who had played together for several years. We didn't need a deep bench other than Gabe Norwood, because they had the talent and chemistry to win. They knew our offensive and defensive systems like the back of their hands. Right now, we have a hodgepodge of players that literally look like they were selected for a pick-up game. Is anybody surprised some of them look lost on both ends of the court?

I don't begrudge English using the portal to fill some needs, but his mindset can't be to try to reload with transfers every season and expect anything resembling a cohesive product. I think we have good young players now in Fernandez, Dinkins, Henry and Elvis, and I think we have a great core of incoming players in Barron, Ball and White.

Kim is no longer the hot name to jump to a bigger school, so I hope he takes the time to nurture the younger players while adding pieces from the portal to build a program. If he constantly tries to act like he is win-now mode, we will continue to see the frustrating product we are seeing on the floor this year.
I think he recognizes as much and has acknowledged the roster has to be built on a core of 4-year players going forward, complemented by the portal.

But leaning on transfers to the extent he has so far is more an indictment of the overall talent level in the program than a rush to win now. Most of the DP guys who decided to stay were not good enough to be rotation pieces for a top-4 A-10 team, and that’s why most of them are gone.
 

gmubrian

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I feel like there is some slight revisionist history going on with Coach L. I can also remember from 2002 to 2005 going one and done in the CAA tournament 3 times.... once as a 2 seed getting knocked out by a 10 seed Hofstra. Things weren't always totally rosey with his teams, but he did sprinkle in a few good years during his tenure ;)
I was thinking the same thing. While defense was our brand, I remember many complaints about never pressing and he seemingly stopped using his patented scramble D many years before he left. Then let's talk about the offense under L. I believe the phrase frequently bandied around was the "clogged toilet offense".
I don't begrudge English using the portal to fill some needs, but his mindset can't be to try to reload with transfers every season and expect anything resembling a cohesive product. I think we have good young players now in Fernandez, Dinkins, Henry and Elvis, and I think we have a great core of incoming players in Barron, Ball and White.
Agreed, but I would go even further. Most of us on here were expecting/calling for him to load up from the transfer portal. I think he has done a good job balancing the transfers while also bringing in some great recruits with the hopes of winning now as well as building for the long run.
 
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gmujim92

Hall of Famer
I was thinking the same thing. While defense was our brand, I remember many complaints about never pressing and he seemingly stopped using his patented scramble D many years before he left. Then let's talk about the offense under L. I believe the phrase frequently bandied around was the "clogged toilet offense".

Agreed, but I would go even further. Most of us on here were expecting/calling for him to load up from the transfer portal. I think he has done a good job balancing the transfers while also bringing in some immediate help with the hopes of winning now as well as building for the long run.
If Kim had come to his initial press conference and talked about having a long-term rebuilding plan, all of our heads would have exploded.

There is no more long-term in college sports. It’s a year to year thing and anyone pining for the Larranaga days is setting himself up for disappointment.
 

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