Sunday, November 23, 2008

George Mason Point of View

We caught up with Ryan from GMU Hoops, which is a super quality blog about the Patriots, about what he thinks about the game upcoming on Tuesday night at the Patriot Center. He kindly answered our questions via email. Here is that exchange.

1.) Mason has started the season with three out of four games on the road. What type of atmosphere can we expect at the Patriot Center on Tuesday night?

Patriot Center will have a decent crowd. Week day games are light on fans due to the ridiculous traffic during rush hour in Fairfax. Hard to fill a 10,000 arena every night for a mid-major team but the arena should be about three quarters full by the start. Student sections are always packed and loud.

2.) I'm sure that the new mascot will have the crowd fired up. What has the reaction around campus been? It seems to have stirred up quite a bit of media coverage.

I have written numerous times on my blog how ridiculous I thought Gunston was as a mascot. I thought the creature poorly represented our athletics and what we stood for. There seems to be a mixed reaction with the students on the new mascot.

3.) It seems as if Mason has had quite a bit of balance this season, as nine players are averaging better than five points per game. Is that a good thing - or does it lead to some of the problems that occurred in Hampton, where the offense struggles for periods of time?

Mason always has a very balanced lineup, the team is mostly about Coach Larranaga's system then it is star players. Guys will exchange nights being the leading scorer, you never really know who it's going to be. The Hampton game was a huge off night shooting wise for the team. Looked like they couldn't hit anything. They made up for it yesterday at ECU but at times they will show their youth.

4.) Do you expect that there is someone that can step up and being a leading scorer like Cornelius and Birdsong were against East Carolina. It seemed as if it was an extremely good shooting day for the Patriots?

Cornelius is someone Mason were excited about before the season began. A lot of people around the program think he's got all-caa written all over him in the years to come. Each game it seems he is getting better. I expect him and Darryl Monroe to be big in the game on Tuesday. Birdsong has had a history of being a streaky player but the last two games he has been on and I think it will be continue as long as Monroe plays well. Guards Dre Smith and John Vaughan have been struggling lately with their shooting. They will both need to step up for Mason to beat Mount St. Mary's

5.) Freshman Michael Morrison had a big game against Brown. His size 6-9 could be a concern for the Mount. Do you expect him to be a factor, or was his performance against Brown just a result of the game score?

He got a lot of minutes against Brown due to the lop-side score, but he will contribute every now and then. He's still a bit raw when it comes to Coach L's system, but when he's in the game he's a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end.

6.) What type of post player is Darryl Monroe? Can he get some points away from the basket, or does he need to be postioned down low?

Monroe has excellent passing skills for a big man and although doesn't have much range, can still put up a lot of points. He does most of his work down low getting rebounds and scoring on second chance opportunities.

7.) What exactly is Mason trying to accomplish in the pre-conference schedule? It seems as if they have gone away from having to play any true major teams and are focusing on playing good mid-majors. Has that been an on going project or is just for this season as it was more of a rebuilding year?

I believe Mason's schedule is what it is this season because the coaching staff knows that the team is basically in a rebuilding state after losing twoo all-conference players. They are very young and inexperienced and I feel the coaches wanted them to have some winnable games before conference play started instead of getting beaten up by BCS schools.

8.) How would a win over Mt. St. Mary's be viewed at this point of the season?

A win over Mt. St. Mary's would probably be viewed as the team's best win entering into conference play.

9.) Your prediction on how this will turn out?

I predict this to be a close game but with Mason coming out on top if they can hit their three's and out rebound the Mountaineers.

Thanks to Ryan for answering our questions. Be sure to stop by his site to check out everything else you need to know about the George Mason Patriots.

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