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Game 6: GMU (4-1) vs Washington (2-2) on Monday, November 22, at 9:30 PM.

Petey Buckets

Starter
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Mason was 13-31 from 2. We were 10-25 from 2 against JMU. That and the turnovers are issues 1A and 1B right now. We can't have our only inside threat be Oduro post ups. XJ and Hartwell were 0-5 inside - we just have no attacking threat from the PGs right now. Cooper needs to be that guy if this team is going to hit our ceiling. The spacing looked great the first few games but now teams are pressing the perimeter and we don't have a good way to make them pay.
 

Rock Poliseo

Specialist
Bench is incredibly weak. Grey, Jones, Henry, Frazier, Hartwell just aren't going to cut it. So if starting five aren't clicking on all cylinders it's going to be a long night. Nice to win those first four games, but reality says this might be a five hundred win team at best. Next year with Fernandez and Dinkins will be a better indicator of English's impact. Patience will be needed for this year.
 
OP
Patriotsince81

Patriotsince81

Hall of Famer
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
IMO on the nights when we have our big 4 (Oduro, Schwartz, Cooper, and Gaines) all playing well we are going to be hard to beat. If one or two of them have off nights we're going to struggle. XJ willl have nights when he contributes and others where he just isn't as effective.

I used to cringe when Greg Calixte would enter games for Oduro. With Malik Henry I don't do that. He is getting valuable minutes that will help us down the line, especially next year. I didn't think Jones would play at all this year. I am surprised, in a good way, at his play thus far. He is better on defense than I thought he would be after watching him this past summer. The experience he gains this year will also bode well for the future of the program. Hartwell is my current frustration. How can a guy shooting 22% overall and 21.6% from 3 be playing all those minutes? And, he isn't exactly an all league defender. The answer? We simply don't have anyone else. Had Kolek stayed he'd have those minutes. He didn't, so we need to move on and live with Hartwell's lack of production. He may have a hot game or two this year but I don't see him contributing consistently. We'll see.

We may leave South Dakota 0 - 3 but we will have competed in ways we didn't under DP. I'm still going to be optimistic for our play this year and in the years to come with KE as coach. We're in a better place overall. Tighten up on turnovers and we'll be okay.
 
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OP
Patriotsince81

Patriotsince81

Hall of Famer
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Another thing to consider is that by the time we leave SD we will have played 5 games in 7 days and 8 games overall in just 15 days. That is an NBA schedule. When we get back to the usual two games a week fatigue should be less of an issue which I hope translates into better care of the ball.
 

patriot2000

Starter
I am remaining positive because
1. I believe in Coach English
2. I believe in these players
3. Even with two sloppy losses in a row, to two very beatable teams, I'm enjoying watching it more than I have in a couple years

But, to be honest, I continue to miss the basketball game I grew up with. I don't like the post-Golden-State version of the game as much. I still see the three pointer as kind of the last resort of the offense, because it's too easy to neutralize a team that lives by the three if they don't have great slashers/dribble-drivers. I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I will never again see an inside combo of Evans/Young, Evans/Larranaga, Lewis/Thomas, Thomas/Monroe, or even Pearson/Morrison... and a 35 second shot clock. I am a dying breed, but I preferred patient basketball with back-to-the-basket centers (or, in the case of most non-major programs, a power forward pretending to be a center).

Anyway, my old manism aside, these results should not be a surprise or much of a disappointment. You have a starting five who have never played together, with the exception of Oduro playing with a mostly-hobbled Johnson. They are playing in a new system, with a new coach, and new teammates, and STILL losing their games by one possession and winning their games by a lot. The unforced turnovers will be gone soon. The forced ones... well, now that opponents have several games worth of tape to watch, they know a match-up zone is going to lead to a LOT of turnovers, so our coaches are going to be on top of that.

I believe we've seen the tip of the iceberg, and we're about to see a big improvement once the schedule settles down and they can get in a more typical practice groove. A coach never knows what they have until the see the team in a true, competitive game situation. Now they have, and this top-notch staff is going to respond well to what they've learned.
 

Five Two

All-American
My $0.02:

-the obvious: live ball turnovers were the death of us
-they had 0 second chance points until the last 6 minutes or so when we couldnt keep them off the glass
-Hearing XJ isn't feeling well, but it looked like Schwartz was the one not in it
-I don't understand Washington's defensive strategy. Their zone gave us fits, then they switch to man-to-man and we start our comeback. They won so it doesnt matter, but I didnt understand the switch.
-I liked our adjustments coming out of halftime. get to the rim
-If we are running a fade to the left corner with .06 left for the tie, wouldn't it be better to have Gaines in that spot? He is a lefty and its not a shot against his momentum. Plus, he isn't going to get it put back in his face.
-we can't beat teams with school colors of purple and gold wearing our green "staple uniforms" (as they were called last night)
 

gmujim92

Hall of Famer
Yes it was absolutely the least surprising thing ever that the last shot got blocked.

My issue is Jamal took 11 shots — the same as Oduro and nearly as many as Ticket (5) and Schwartz (8) combined. That is not a winning strategy for Mason.

I get we are limited at the PG spot and XJ gave us nothing last night, but Jamal shouldn’t be initiating the offense as one of the primary options. Get back to the top 4 guys taking most of the shots and good things should happen.
 

Mason32

Starter
Frazier is either hurt or buried in KE’s doghouse because he never got off the bench last night … can’t imagine he would’ve done any worse than Gray or Jones, even for a couple spot minutes.

Curious which it is.

I can't believe we went from the Maryland high to wondering which bench players are in new coach's "doghouse" routine this early
 
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mkaufman1

Administrator
Staff member
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Yes it was absolutely the least surprising thing ever that the last shot got blocked.

My issue is Jamal took 11 shots — the same as Oduro and nearly as many as Ticket (5) and Schwartz (8) combined. That is not a winning strategy for Mason.

I get we are limited at the PG spot and XJ gave us nothing last night, but Jamal shouldn’t be initiating the offense as one of the primary options. Get back to the top 4 guys taking most of the shots and good things should happen.
If XJ is limited and Jamal shouldn’t be playing PG I don’t know who else can help at that spot. Polite is injured, and Gray is a true fresh. I thought Gray did okay running the point but obviously they thought Hartwell gave the best chance. Cooper can play some minutes at the point but not a ton though.

The one thing that drove me nuts was that Hartwell played some off minutes off the ball to rest Cooper, which goes back to the point about where is Frazier. If he truly can’t provide any value behind Gaines/Schwartz/Cooper, then Mason is really stuck on nights like these until Polite comes back.

The good thing is that its a November tournament, and somehow not playing their best they still were within a few points of actually sneaking out with 2 wins. Now what do they do tonight and tomorrow are the bigger question. I don’t have high hopes for either game, but I’m hoping they at least get the win tonight because tomorrow is going to be probably the toughest game of the 3.

Long term, I still feel the program is in very good hands and there will definitely will be ups and downs this year.
 

gmujim92

Hall of Famer
If XJ is limited and Jamal shouldn’t be playing PG I don’t know who else can help at that spot. Polite is injured, and Gray is a true fresh. I thought Gray did okay running the point but obviously they thought Hartwell gave the best chance. Cooper can play some minutes at the point but not a ton though.

The one thing that drove me nuts was that Hartwell played some off minutes off the ball to rest Cooper, which goes back to the point about where is Frazier. If he truly can’t provide any value behind Gaines/Schwartz/Cooper, then Mason is really stuck on nights like these until Polite comes back.

The good thing is that its a November tournament, and somehow not playing their best they still were within a few points of actually sneaking out with 2 wins. Now what do they do tonight and tomorrow are the bigger question. I don’t have high hopes for either game, but I’m hoping they at least get the win tonight because tomorrow is going to be probably the toughest game of the 3.

Long term, I still feel the program is in very good hands and there will definitely will be ups and downs this year.
I have no problem with Jamal being out there since X was apparently sick, but he should not be a primary option. Let Coop initiate the offense and Jamal shoot only when wide open.
 

mkaufman1

Administrator
Staff member
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
I have no problem with Jamal being out there since X was apparently sick, but he should not be a primary option. Let Coop initiate the offense and Jamal shoot only when wide open.
There has to be some happy medium like you mentioned. Now the question is what the heck happens tonight if XJ is sick, and Hartwell has barely anything after playing a lot of minutes last night.
 

GMUgemini

Hall of Famer
I have no problem with Jamal being out there since X was apparently sick, but he should not be a primary option. Let Coop initiate the offense and Jamal shoot only when wide open.

I thought he did fine with the ball in his hands when he was looking to distribute (he had 4 assists last night). He just called his own number too many times.

The bigger issue is he can’t defend. Washington just gave the ball to Brown in the last two minutes and said get to work. To be fair, Brown hit a couple of tough shots over Oduro and Gaines, but he got that close because Hartwell couldn’t keep him out of the paint. If we are going to be a man defensive team you can’t have that big of a liability out there.
 

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