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Game 8: GMU (4-3) vs South Dakota St. (5-2) on Wednesday, November 24, at 9:30PM.

gmujim92

Hall of Famer
The craziest thing is… instead of when DP took over and it was what if he kept all of Hewitts recruits… now I wish that only Oduro, Henry and XJ stayed and CKE could have brought in 5 more transfers/freshman what possibly could have been this season. We will be really good when we have a team full of CKE’s guys
Agree completely … I’m sure Kim was aware the optics wouldn’t have been great if he had come in and run off most of the roster, hence all the SM posts about “The Great 8 who decided to stay.”

This sounds harsher than I mean it to, but most of them stayed because Mason was by far their best option. Other than Oduro and maaaaybe Henry, none of those guys would play rotation minutes for an A-10 title contending team.

This program needs a major talent infusion if that’s the standard we’re trying to meet because 4 guys clearly isn’t enough.
 

GMU79

Starter
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
The craziest thing is… instead of when DP took over and it was what if he kept all of Hewitts recruits… now I wish that only Oduro, Henry and XJ stayed and CKE could have brought in 5 more transfers/freshman what possibly could have been this season. We will be really good when we have a team full of CKE’s guys
As much as I like Hartwell's heart, I do wish he had left. I'm still scratching my head over KE's "zillion shots a game" comment.
 

Petey Buckets

Starter
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Agree completely … I’m sure Kim was aware the optics wouldn’t have been great if he had come in and run off most of the roster, hence all the SM posts about “The Great 8 who decided to stay.”

This sounds harsher than I mean it to, but most of them stayed because Mason was by far their best option. Other than Oduro and maaaaybe Henry, none of those guys would play rotation minutes for an A-10 title contending team.

This program needs a major talent infusion if that’s the standard we’re trying to meet because 4 guys clearly isn’t enough.

Don't mean to keep piling on the poor kid as he's battling, but Hartwell was a quintessential Paulsen recruit in this regard. Clearly wanted to play at the highest level that would take him and was upset he didn't have anything other than low major offers. In swoops Dave...
 

gmutom

Hall of Famer
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
...Hartwell was a quintessential Paulsen recruit in this regard. Clearly wanted to play at the highest level that would take him and was upset he didn't have anything other than low major offers. In swoops Dave...
This is 100% spot on. There's no disputing that Hartwell is playing out of necessity/desperation right now, because quite frankly the cupboard is bare at that position. He will always be a liability on defense, but I think English does like that he keeps the ball moving on offense and rarely turns the ball over. The worst part about our PG position is the lack of consistent scoring we get from XJ and Jamal. and I don't see that changing much when Polite returns.

Having Kolek leave eerily reminds me of Hancock bolting in that both Mason teams would have looked dramatically different had they stayed. Rather than Hancock running the point, we ended up with very inexperienced guards in Allen and Edwards. And Kolek could have played a similar role, with XJ and Hartwell getting spot minutes off the bench behind him.
 

gmujim92

Hall of Famer
This is 100% spot on. There's no disputing that Hartwell is playing out of necessity/desperation right now, because quite frankly the cupboard is bare at that position. He will always be a liability on defense, but I think English does like that he keeps the ball moving on offense and rarely turns the ball over. The worst part about our PG position is the lack of consistent scoring we get from XJ and Jamal. and I don't see that changing much when Polite returns.

Having Kolek leave eerily reminds me of Hancock bolting in that both Mason teams would have looked dramatically different had they stayed. Rather than Hancock running the point, we ended up with very inexperienced guards in Allen and Edwards. And Kolek could have played a similar role, with XJ and Hartwell getting spot minutes off the bench behind him.
Was just thinking how much different the rotation would look if Kolek and Miller had stayed and KE was still able to bring in Schwartz, Cooper and Gaines. Probably unrealistic to think one of those guys would’ve been OK with coming off the bench, but still…
 

gmubrian

All-Conference
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Having Kolek leave eerily reminds me of Hancock bolting in that both Mason teams would have looked dramatically different had they stayed. Rather than Hancock running the point, we ended up with very inexperienced guards in Allen and Edwards. And Kolek could have played a similar role, with XJ and Hartwell getting spot minutes off the bench behind him.
One key difference in those scenarios, Hancock staying could have delayed Hewitt's slide for a little longer, maybe even long enough to get an extension. Hurts just contemplating it. Kolek staying could have sped up our rebuild.
 
One of the other reasons that I'm still optimistic is that rarely are we going to have to play this many games in this short of a span. We clearly have a limited bench, but once we get into the regular season cadence, this should not be as much of an issue. Now, when we get the the A-10 tourney, that's another story, but hopefully guys can grow before we get to that point.

Also, one slight nit I have to pick with CKE is the contention that playing this many games as opposed to having more practices is beneficial. If this were his 3rd year on the job, sure, but not in the 1st year with this mishmash of guys.

Also, I think everyone can agree that unless they produce the second coming of Mike Miller, there is no reason anyone associated with Mason needs to go near South Dakota again.
 

MasonSAE4

All-Conference
One of the other reasons that I'm still optimistic is that rarely are we going to have to play this many games in this short of a span. We clearly have a limited bench, but once we get into the regular season cadence, this should not be as much of an issue. Now, when we get the the A-10 tourney, that's another story, but hopefully guys can grow before we get to that point.

Also, one slight nit I have to pick with CKE is the contention that playing this many games as opposed to having more practices is beneficial. If this were his 3rd year on the job, sure, but not in the 1st year with this mishmash of guys.

Also, I think everyone can agree that unless they produce the second coming of Mike Miller, there is no reason anyone associated with Mason needs to go near South Dakota again.
I mean, if we can squeak a top four finish, we could at least make the final. 7-8 guys should be able to win two games in two days, especially considering the first team we'd play will be coming off at least one, if not two games in the previous two days.

I agree though, the timing of that JMU game was not ideal. I suspect we beat Washington if we have five days off prior to that game. And don't get spanked nearly as bad last night.
 

gmubrian

All-Conference
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Also, one slight nit I have to pick with CKE is the contention that playing this many games as opposed to having more practices is beneficial. If this were his 3rd year on the job, sure, but not in the 1st year with this mishmash of guys.
If I had nits to pick with CKE, it would be (in case it is not clear, this is just for conversation sake, not a fire CKE type rant):

Our offense seems to have become very predictable for defenses. It seems almost robotic at times. The passes are telegraphed and it is leading to a lot of turnovers.

He started doing punitive substitutions in the last couple games. In previous games, he was letting guys get into a rhythm, yesterday I saw him yank guys that had just entered the game after I heard him say to the other coaches "what is he doing" or more colorful comment.
 

GMUSSTN

Starter
I mean, if we can squeak a top four finish, we could at least make the final. 7-8 guys should be able to win two games in two days, especially considering the first team we'd play will be coming off at least one, if not two games in the previous two days.

I agree though, the timing of that JMU game was not ideal. I suspect we beat Washington if we have five days off prior to that game. And don't get spanked nearly as bad last night.

I really do chalk a lot of this up to the, uh, ambitious scheduling. I am fairly certain the team went straight from College Park to Harrisonburg and I would not be surprised if these kids haven't slept in their own beds since Wednesday the 17th. Even if they did get one or two nights in Fairfax in there, that's not a lot of down time when you factor in all the traveling and the 3+ hour plane ride to Sioux Falls, possibly the least glamorous pre-season tourney location in history.

I can't blame the players for looking rattled and ready for some days off.
 

Pablo

Hall of Famer

"PATRIOT POINTS
• The Patriots are coming off an 88-69 setback to Nevada Tuesday. The Wolfpack became the first Mason foe to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor this season (.526).

• Junior Davonte Gaines continued his torrid stretch of late with a team-high 17 points (4-5 FG) vs. Nevada to go along with seven rebounds and two steals. He's averaging 15.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, shooting 60 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent from 3 over the past five games.

• Junior Josh Oduro added 15 points (5-8 FG) and tied his career high with three steals vs. the Wolfpack. He's averaging a team-best 18.0 points and shooting 57.9 percent at the Crossover Classic.

• After entering Tuesday's game 26th nationally in 3pt FG%, Mason shot a season-low 22.9 percent (8-35) from beyond the arc. It marked just the second time this season Mason made less than 36 percent of its attempts from long range.

• Mason was + 8 (34-26) on the glass against the Wolfpack. The Patriots have outrebounded their opponent in six of seven games this season and currently rank second in the A-10 and 46th nationally in rebounding margin (+8.4).

• Graduate student DeVon Cooper is averaging 17 points, making 4.0 3pt FG/game and shooting 42.1 percent from beyond the arc in two Crossover Classic games. The Louisville, Ky., product is just 43 points away from 1,000 for his career.

• Mason opponents have found success scoring on the interior in South Dakota. Patriot foes are shooting 63.9 percent (39-61) from inside the arc at the Crossover Classic.

• Patriot foes also are a combined +19 (37-18) in points off turnovers in Sioux Falls. Mason ranks 260th nationally in turnovers/game this season (15.0).

• Mason is 4-0 this season when graduate student D'Shawn Schwartz tallies 10+ points. The team is 0-3 when he fails to reach double figures."
 

GMUgemini

Hall of Famer
If I had nits to pick with CKE, it would be (in case it is not clear, this is just for conversation sake, not a fire CKE type rant):

Our offense seems to have become very predictable for defenses. It seems almost robotic at times. The passes are telegraphed and it is leading to a lot of turnovers.

He started doing punitive substitutions in the last couple games. In previous games, he was letting guys get into a rhythm, yesterday I saw him yank guys that had just entered the game after I heard him say to the other coaches "what is he doing" or more colorful comment.

I've noticed this too, but I think it has a lot to do with the guy bringing the ball up the court and staring into three players standing across the paint (both Washington and Nevada zoned us up) and then not being sure of what to do.

Nevada was also the first game that I noticed some of the players being visibly tired. Gaines especially (he was being worked on at some point in the second half). This might have been why the end score line was so bad. You battle and battle and battle and then run out of gas and Nevada just exploited us.
 

MasonSAE4

All-Conference
I've noticed this too, but I think it has a lot to do with the guy bringing the ball up the court and staring into three players standing across the paint (both Washington and Nevada zoned us up) and then not being sure of what to do.

Nevada was also the first game that I noticed some of the players being visibly tired. Gaines especially (he was being worked on at some point in the second half). This might have been why the end score line was so bad. You battle and battle and battle and then run out of gas and Nevada just exploited us.
We've gotta get Oduro shooting them out of it at the elbow. Him getting good looks down low is great but it doesn't encourage the other team to abandon the zone.
 

GMUgemini

Hall of Famer
We've gotta get Oduro shooting them out of it at the elbow. Him getting good looks down low is great but it doesn't encourage the other team to abandon the zone.

Yeah, no one seems willing to use the mid-range game to break the zone. I understand the philosophy behind no long 2s. But 12-15 feet should still be fair game. Both Kier and Miller gave us that dimension and no one on the team currently seems to want to bring that to the table. Schwartz would be my main guess, followed by Cooper on the stop and pop. Oduro with the catch and shoot.
 

MasonSAE4

All-Conference
Yeah, no one seems willing to use the mid-range game to break the zone. I understand the philosophy behind no long 2s. But 12-15 feet should still be fair game. Both Kier and Miller gave us that dimension and no one on the team currently seems to want to bring that to the table. Schwartz would be my main guess, followed by Cooper on the stop and pop. Oduro with the catch and shoot.
Yeah I mean hitting contested 3's and Oduro scoring off spin moves isn't gonna make an opposing coach switch to man. It's just gonna encourage them to stay in it cause statistically those will stop falling.
 

Petey Buckets

Starter
⭐️ Donor ⭐️
Yeah, no one seems willing to use the mid-range game to break the zone. I understand the philosophy behind no long 2s. But 12-15 feet should still be fair game. Both Kier and Miller gave us that dimension and no one on the team currently seems to want to bring that to the table. Schwartz would be my main guess, followed by Cooper on the stop and pop. Oduro with the catch and shoot.
Respectfully, I don't think the answer is more jump shots. Those shots are open against the zone because that's what the zone wants you to take. We'll be able to three-ball teams to death on a lot of nights but if the 3s aren't falling, no reason to believe the elbow jumpers will be much more effective. The biggest problem in halfcourt remains getting to the rim - need a lot more cutting and interior passing against the zone to exploit inherent weaknesses there.

When Oduro gets the ball the rest of the team seem to just become spectators. Not much movement.

Would be good to see that issue addressed tonight.
Spot on. At the Maryland game my buddy noticed the same thing - lots of nice spacing and ball movement until Oduro gets the ball in the post, at which point everyone starts watching.

I'm a broken record on this but we need guys to become threats to drive into the paint when we're being pressed on the perimeter. Cooper can do it but doesn't force the issue. Hartwell tries but gets trapped too easily and can't finish in traffic. XJ gets blocked to the center of the earth. Schwartz has a turnover problem because he tries to drive, then tries to clumsily pass out of it, and a few of those have turned into pick sixes. Need to figure this out quick.
 

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