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2/11/2023 3:14 pm  #1

GW vs Mason Game Thread

GW takes on George Mason next,  GW won at Mason a few weeks ago

Does GW sweep the Revolutionary Rivalry and improve to 7-6 in A10 play???


2/14/2023 11:02 pm  #2

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

George Mason Patriots (Game 2)

Date/Time: Wednesday February 15th @ 7:00 PM at The Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, DC.
TV: NBC Sports Washington / ESPN+

Game 1 Result: GW 78, GMU 75 (Adams 22 points, Bishop 19 points, Edwards 14 points, Lindo 11 points)
George Mason Preview: Link
George Mason Record Since Last Matchup: 3-4 (Wins at Rhode Island, vs. Massachusetts, vs. Rhode Island; Losses at VCU, vs. St. Joe's, at Loyola, at Duquesne)

Projected Starting Lineup:
Josh Oduro (Senior; Gainesville, VA) 15.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.7 apg; 55% FG, 26% 3-PT, 62% FT
       Game 1 @ GMU: 17 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists; 4-9 FG, 1-2 3-PT, 8-10 FT in 37 minutes.

DeVon Cooper (Senior; Louisville, KY) 10.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.9 apg; 38% FG, 35% 3-PT, 81% FT
       Game 1 @ GMU: 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists; 2-7 FG, 0-3 3-PT, 4-4 FT in 30 minutes.

Ronald Polite III (Junior; Temple Hills, MD) 10.6 ppg, 3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.1 spg; 46% FG, 35% 3-PT, 75% FT
       Game 1 @ GMU: 19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists; 6-11 FG, 3-5 3-PT, 4-5 FT in 33 minutes.

Davonte Gaines (Senior; Buffalo, NY) 7.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.3 apg; 36% FG, 35% 3-PT, 76% FT
       Game 1 @ GMU: DNP (wrist)

Justyn Fernandez (Freshman; Richmond, VA) 3.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg; 38% FG, 37% 3-PT, 58% FT
       Game 1 @ GMU: 8 points; 3-8 FG, 2-5 3-PT in 20 minutes.

(It may be Ojiako or Henry in place of Fernandez - English elected to go with two bigs against us last time around)

Projected Bench:
Ginika Ojiako (Senior; Lagos, Nigeria) 4.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg; 59% FG, 63% FT
      Game 1 @ GMU: 4 points, 2 steals; 2-4 FG in 6 minutes.

Malik Henry (Junior; Longview, TX) 4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg; 62% FG, 42% FT
      Game 1 @ GMU: 7 points, 4 rebounds; 3-5 FG, 1-2 FT in 21 minutes.

Devin Dinkins (Freshman; Washington, DC) 3.4 ppg; 37% FG, 39% 3-PT, 76% FT
      Game 1 @ GMU: 4 minutes played

Saquan Singleton (Senior; Bronx, NY) 2.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.2 apg; 46% FG, 30% FT
      Game 1 @ GMU: 4 points; 2-3 FG, 0-1 FT in 13 minutes.

Victor Bailey Jr. (Senior; Austin, TX) 11.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.6 apg; 45% FG, 47% 3-PT, 80% FT (Questionable - hand)
      Game 1 @ GMU: 8 points, 2 steals; 3-6 FG, 2-4 3-PT in 32 minutes.

Blake Jones (Sophomore; Canberra, Australia) 1.2 rpg (Questionable - concussion)
      Game 1 @ GMU: 3 minutes played

Conference Marks (A10 play only):
Rebounding Margin: +1.7 rpg (4th)
Combined Opponent Rebounds: 32.9 rpg (5th)
Team Defensive Rebounds: 26 drpg (5th)
Assists Per Game: 13.46 apg (6th)
Team FG Percentage: 44.9% (6th)
Opponent 3-PT FG Percentage: 34.3% (7th)
Scoring Defense: 69.6 ppg (7th)
Opponent FT Percentage: 70.9% (8th)
Team 3-PT FG Percentage: 35.1% (8th)
Combined Team Rebounds: 34.6 rpg (9th)
Team Offensive Rebounds: 8.6 orpg (9th)
3-PT FGs Made: 6.8 avg/g (10th)
Scoring Margin: -1.5 ppg (10th)
Opponent FG Percentage: 44.6% (11th)
Scoring Offense: 68.2 ppg (11th)
Steals Per Game: 5.31 spg (11th)
Turnover Margin: -1.77 (12th)
Assist Turnover Ratio: 0.96 ast/to (13th)
Blocked Shots: 2.69 bpg (13th)
Team FT Percentage: 64.9% (14th)

- In the past seven games, the Patriots have averaged just 61 ppg on the road compared to 73.7 ppg at home which has included to two 20 point defeats against VCU and Duquesne. Granted, GW enters the game conceding over 82 ppg in conference play which is far and away the worst in the conference. It's a low bar, but the goal should be to keep Mason under the 80 point mark unless the game goes to overtime.

- In the last meeting, GMU had 10 offensive rebounds which was above their season average. Oduro and Henry's boards kept Mason in the game at points. The Patriots have posted 10+ offensive boards in just three of their past seven games. They happened to lose all three of those games, but on our home court we should try to keep that number under 10. GW enters the game 3rd in the conference in defensive rebounding, a category we've been better than expected thanks especially to Max and Ricky's contributions.

- George Mason averages nearly 13.5 assists per game during conference play, good for 6th in the league. In the past seven games, they have gone under that average three times. All three of those games were losses. In our last meeting, Mason had 13 assists which was under their average. That's the magic number tomorrow.

- This GW team is not exactly known for turning teams over, but Mason has a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to turnovers. They have gone over their season average in turnovers in four of the past seven games, and that's actually five of the past eight if you include the last Rev Rivalry meeting. For a team that struggles to get stops consistently, any unforced errors GMU commits would be huge for GW. That was certainly the key to getting us an early lead in the last meeting. After leading at halftime in our first eight conference games, we have trailed at halftime in the past four. GW would benefit greatly from having the lead after 20 minutes of play.

- It's no secret that Josh Oduro will be tough to slow down tomorrow evening. For a big who has a high usage rate he does a remarkable job of not putting himself in foul trouble. However, he has a subpar assist/turnover ratio (just 0.9 ast/to) for a player that the offense runs through. He has nine combined turnovers in their past two games. I'm sure he knows the double teams are coming, but GW did a really good job in the first half of the last matchup getting him out of rhythm (we were similarly successful doing that against Dayton). If Bailey remains out, I think it makes even more sense to make him more of a passer than a finisher down low.

- Additionally, Oduro can settle for threes if left with enough room. While he did go 1-2 against us last time, he's 0-6 from 3 since and is just 26% on the year. You have to play the percentages there and dare him to shoot unless he's proven to make multiple in the game.

- Since an 18 point outburst against UMass, Justyn Fernandez has gone a combined 2/10 from the field in their last three games with just 5 points scored across those games. 56% of his shots this year have been from 3 where he's shooting 37%. While he can be streaky, forcing him to adjust by running him off the line isn't a terrible idea when he's in. We don't have the bodies to foul unfortunately but he's just 7/12 from the FT line on the year and has attempted a FT in just two conference games. With the game being at home, forcing him to earn his points from the line isn't the worst idea.

- In the past nine games that he's played, Ronald Polite III has alternated between double digit and single digit scoring. If the pattern holds up, that's good news for us as he scored 15 in a home win against URI most recently. He may not be the guy to put at the line as he's gone 15/17 (88%) in the past four games.

- DeVon Cooper has taken nearly 70% of his shots from deep on the year and has averaged over six attempts per game from 3 (the same holds true for Davonte Gaines, who has taken 81% of his FG attempts from 3 including 13 in his two games back from injury). Cooper's 38% shooting from the field overall suggests that he isn't highly efficient inside the arc when he is forced off the three point line (same is true again for Gaines). If Bailey remains out, he is definitely the #1 guy to key in on from distance. Cooper has stepped up his scoring in Bailey's absence and has posted three straight double figure scoring performances so he enters Wednesday with some momentum.

- Ginika Ojiako doesn't play a ton, but has averaged at least two field goal attempts in eight straight games. In their past seven, he's just 7/21. That's quite bad given he shoots exclusively near the hoop so as long as we mix it up down low we should be okay.

- Malik Henry has done a good job for them coming in and attacking the glass. He's averaged 5.2 rpg per 17.6 mpg in their last five games. It's easy to lose track of him with Mason's other threats but the last thing we need to let happen is to give up a putback after getting a stop. It's no secret that GMU is awful from the FT line and Henry is just 42% on the year. Make him earn it from the line (partly dependent on foul situation of course).

- Saquan Singleton has had a rough season shooting the ball all season and in the past five games he's gone just 2/13 (15%) from the field. He's looking to drive on every possession he has the ball and hopefully we're ready for that. Singleton went 2/3 from the field in the last matchup and honestly that shouldn't happen. He has attempted just seven threes all year and has missed all of them. If he is close to getting to the rim, it's best to foul him and force him to earn his points from the line. He's somehow shooting 30% for the year which is impressively bad for a guard.

Projected Score: GW 75, GMU 73. 58% chance to win (Bart Torvik). ESPN gives us a 43.4% chance to move to 7-6 in conference.


2/15/2023 2:36 am  #3

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

We'll have to show a lot more energy if we want to win this one.   I fear Mason will bring very high energy to pay us back for beating them on their home court earlier, which I'm sure they viewed as a cruel fluke.


2/15/2023 11:32 am  #4

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

Kim English came in with a whole lot of sizzle, but right now it feels like Chris Caputo's the one with the steak.

Mason's only 1-7 on the road this season, and while it's a particularly long trip and there will be more friendly faces than usual for GMU in the stands, a good crowd can make a sloppy team even sloppier. Feels like a strong student section is worth a good 6-8 point swing here. 

I think the first 10 minutes of the game will be the most important here. Mason's been in the doldrums awhile, and they had Rhody on the schedule at exactly the right time. If GW can punch first, hopefully Mason will feel like they're reverting back to their previous levels of suck instead of getting momentum for the stretch run.


2/15/2023 11:40 am  #5

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

creeksandzeeks wrote:

I think the first 10 minutes of the game will be the most important here.

Agree.  This is an all-time good vibes team.  The SLU game was kind of the exception but otherwise you can tell how competitive the team will be pretty early on. 



2/15/2023 3:57 pm  #6

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

Another year of Mason underperforming a bit.  They really should be a bit better than what they've shown.  

Big differences in today vs. the first meeting is that Davonte Gaines wil be playing and there's a great chance that Victor Bailey will not.  Bailey is a sharpshooter hitting his 3's at a 47% clip while Gaines who is listed as a guard is a rugged, taller version of Max.  Had 15 and 9 his last time out against URI and is the team's second best rebounder.

In game 1, GW was very successful at doubling Oduro in the post.  Josh adjusted well though by taking the ball to the rim and getting fouled quite a bit in the second half.  Will be interesting to see whether Oduro displays his aggressive play from the outset this time.  Polite had a big day against us in Game 1 but I hope we don't overcompensate defensively as a result.  Mason has a number of players who can hurt you from 3 (Cooper, Fernandez, Dinkens and Gaines among them) so making sure that Polite does not go off is liable to translate into one or more Patriots more than picking up the slack.



2/15/2023 7:28 pm  #7

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

1 FG on 8 1/2 minutes.  Thank God we are playing Mason or else it would another 20-1 run.


2/15/2023 7:30 pm  #8

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

Getting decent looks - nothing falling


2/15/2023 7:41 pm  #9

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread



2/15/2023 7:46 pm  #10

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

20 points at the half is terrible, but being down only 6 is a real blessing. We got this!


2/15/2023 7:56 pm  #11

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

At one point, the teams were a combined 8-32 shooting. It has improved, perhaps mildly, but my eyes are burning. Fortunately, there are enough good games being played now that disinterested fans are unlikely to be tuning this in and forming an opinion about either team.


2/15/2023 8:22 pm  #12

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

JBIV has been electric, don't believe he's attempted a 3 yet! closing in on 20 points already regardess


     Thread Starter

2/15/2023 8:42 pm  #13

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

10% from three. Live by the three, die by the three.


2/15/2023 8:58 pm  #14

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

DC Native wrote:

10% from three. Live by the three, die by the three.

Can't tell whether this is serious or not. The team obviously shot poorly from 3, but they only took 11 attempts. One of the few things that they did well was not settling for 3.

The number that sticks out more is just 6 assists. We're way too predictable, but to be fair there isn't much to work with when you only have eight players and a few of them are not offensively-inclined.

Mason made some tough shots late which were impressive, but man what an abysmal performance by both sides. It wasn't good defense as much as brutal shot making.

We will probably win a game at some point when we don't expect it, but the rest of the season doesn't mean much either way. It will be interesting to see what happens a month from now.


2/15/2023 9:02 pm  #15

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

Wow! For just the second time Mason wins at the Smith Center. Spin THAT. Mason wins at the Smith Center less often than the Raiders change cities.
Over the last 6 games, Bishop has clearly been trying to do too much, with at least 10 missed shots from the floor in each of the last 5 games (including the win in that stretch). He is shooting 46% over the last six games. Now I know the team does not have much in the way of offensive options, but he has also turned the ball over 24 times over those six games. And then there is the question of why opposing guards are torching this team at the other end (witness a frosh tonight).
When he, Adams and Max are on, this team is hard to beat, but when guys are not on they need to be told to stop and look for another option (Lindo and Dean were a combined 5 for 6 tonight, for example, and made Mason´s interior defense look flat footed in the process). Responsibility for that falls on Caputo and staff.
The team is still entertaining to watch, but is not better than pre-season expectations,

Last edited by GW Alum Abroad (2/15/2023 9:05 pm)


2/15/2023 9:36 pm  #16

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

The game notes had an interesting tidbit. Before tonight, GW was 10-4, 6-0 in the A10 when Bishop and Adams combine for 35 points or more. When they don’t, GW was 2-9, 0-6. Now they are 2-10, 0-7.


2/15/2023 9:57 pm  #17

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

Coach had a hand in this debacle. Staying too long in the zone and waiting for a 13-0 scoring drought in the second half before calling a time out. At this point all I can say is :"Wait till next year." Hopefully.


2/15/2023 10:54 pm  #18

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

Tough game.  Really admire the team fighting through fatigue on a nightly basis.  Appreciate this efforts playing short handed.  Would love to get to the 15 win mark which would be great considering the limited roster but don’t think we will get there. 

The blueprint is out on us for sure.  Heavy man to man extended to limit clean looks from our only 2 real scorers. Our other options can not create their own shots with exception of Max who is still learning.   Make our guards really work hard fighting through screens on D.  Wear them down.

Thought Coach could have brought Dean in at about the 7 min mark with 3 fouls.  Noel was just getting taken to the hoop.  Dean a little quicker.  Ageee we stick with the zone a bit too long.  We were trying to keep our legs - we were exhausted on D but once they found the hot hand from 3 we needed to swap out again.


2/15/2023 11:01 pm  #19

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

The first half drought did us in.

For the decisive late game stretch, though, credit to Mason.  Fernandez had never hit more than 3 threes in a game and he hit 4 straight, with 3 tough shots from Oduro mixed in.  I didn’t think the defense was bad during that stretch, but Mason just made plays.

We are now in a tough spot with critical games coming at at the Bonnies and home vs LaSalle.  We need to win at least one, but probably both, if we want to avoid the play in.


2/16/2023 9:33 am  #20

Re: GW vs Mason Game Thread

Credit to Mason but as Moneybox correctly points out, CC definitely had a hand in this one.  First, I'm not sure this team ought to be playing zone against anyone.  I understand the benefit of staying out of foul trouble (which we largely were not in) and anyone who thinks playing a zone results in more rest has never played a zone properly.  Our zone seems to consistently result in a wide open three point shot.  Last night's version appeared to be more of a match-up zone but nevertheless, I would scrap it.  The failure to call a timeout earlier has been mentioned and is relevant.  There's no point in making sure you have multiple timeouts remaining in the final minute when the game is literally being decided several minutes before then.  GW should not have fallen behind by more than 6 points before a timeout should have been called.

My main point though had to do with the either stubborn or dubious decision to keep Noel on Oduro during the game's decisive stretch.  It's not even as if Noel's defense was terrible because it wasn't.  However, our best move at this point would have been to switch over to Ricky, much like the team did to shut down Matt Grace during the final minute of regulation plus two overtimes of the Richmond game.  While I understand why Ricky shouldn't guard Oduro the entire game, Ricky was not in any foul trouble and represented our best chance of slowing Mason down.  Why this matters (if Noel's defense was fine) has everything to do with confidence.  Think of yourself playing in a pickup game and having someone more skilled and athletic guarding you.  Now, compare that feeling to when a far worse player guards you.  Chances are you look to be more assertive in one instance and far less of a factor when that very gifted player is guarding you.  It's no different here.  Oduro had to know he could have his way, or at least felt that this was highly probable.  He was a factor in just about every score down the stretch by either scoring himself or finding an open Justyn Fernandez for a 3.  If Oduro can pull this off with a solid defender like Ricky guarding him, then my hat's off to him.  Because he pulled it off against our backup center, I have to question this coaching decision.

I have not seen the postgame press conference but would not be surprised if CC was kicking himself a bit after this one.


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