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1/13/2024 7:07 pm  #1

GW beats George Mason !!

13-3 GW, off to the best start for the program in a decade rolls on, quick turnaround Monday afternoon for the Revolutionary rivalry.

Another big test, George Mason has a 70 NET., so this a chance at another Quad 2 win, the first of 3 straight Quad 2 games for GW

Does GW roll on to 14-3?  Expected line?    We saw a bigger rotation today Benny and Antoine Smith Jr getting extended run, is that a new wrinkle or a 1 game thing?


Last edited by The Dude (1/15/2024 4:06 pm)


1/14/2024 5:20 pm  #2

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

George Mason Patriots

Date: Monday January 15th, 2024 (MLK Day)
Time: 2:00 PM ET
Venue: Charles E. Smith Center
TV: CBS Sports Network
Analytic Ranks: 96th (KenPom), 99th (EvanMiya), 77th (Haslametrics)
NET Ranking: 77th
2022-23 Record: 20-13, 11-7 (5th in A10)
2023-24 Projected Record: 21-10, 10-8 (T-3rd in A10)

Head-to-Head: 23-10, although Mason has won 8 of the past 12 contests in the series. GW and GMU have split the series in each of the past two years. In 2021, GW won in Foggy Bottom but lost at EagleBank Arena. Last season, GW improbably won at EagleBank but failed to get it done at home.

Last year's game at home was a strange game. The Buff and Blue went into halftime trailing by just six but neither team could get much going in the first 20 minutes. Given just how bad the team defense was last year, 26 points may very well have been the fewest points GW gave up all year (although Mason missing shots definitely helped).

The two teams pretty much exchanged shots up until the final seven minutes of the game which was when the Patriots caught fire, outscoring GW 21-7 after that point. They missed just one FG (sounds a lot like our recent game against VCU) and Justyn Fernandez made four threes during that period (Fernandez followed English to Providence, but is out for the season with a knee injury). While CC did the right thing by not attempting a lot of threes in that game, it might have been GW's worst shooting performance in the CC era, as we went just 1/11 from deep.

That was a problem as GW couldn't really get to the line either - the two teams combined to attempt just 18 FTs all game. You have to give credit to Mason for their play though - GW was crushed on the glass, and couldn't really move the ball on offense (just six assists), although I do think the team played a bit too much in isolation. JB was the only player for GW to finish in double figures for GW (23 points).

Offensive Efficiency: 116th (KenPom), 122nd (EvanMiya), 100th (Haslametrics)
Defensive Efficiency: 87th (KenPom), 91st (EvanMiya), 77th (Haslametrics)
Pace: 331st (KenPom), 316th (EvanMiya), 330th (Haslametrics)
Roster Rank: 131st (EvanMiya)
Offensive Shot Quality Rank: 155th
Defensive Shot Quality Rank: 121st
Rim & 3 Rate: 79% (234th)

Strengths (2023-24 Season):
Opponent Field Goal Percentage - 38.7% (13th)
Opponent Field Goals Made Per Game - 22.5 FGM (T-23rd)
Opponent Defensive Rebounds Per Game - 21.9 DRPG (28th)
Opponent Rebounds Per Game - 31.8 RPG (T-44th)
Defensive Rebounds Per Game - 27.8 DRPG (46th)
Opponent Points Per Game - 65.5 PPG (49th)
Field Goal Percentage - 47.2% (62nd)
Opponent Assists Per Game - 11.2 APG (T-62nd)
Free Throw Percentage - 74.8% (63rd)
3-PT Field Goal Percentage - 35.9% (84th)
Rebounds Per Game - 38.1 RPG (96th)
Free Throws Made Per Game - 15.2 FTM (T-102nd)

Weaknesses (2023-24 Season):
Opponent Steals Per Game - 7.1 SPG (T-253rd)
Opponent 3-PT Field Goal Percentage - 34.3% (262nd)
Opponent 3-PT Field Goals Attempted Per Game - 23.6 3PA (T-272nd)
3-PT Field Goals Attempted Per Game - 19.8 3PA (T-278th)
Opponent 3-PT Field Goals Made Per Game - 8.1 3PM (T-284th)
Assists Per Game - 11.8 APG (T-294th)
Steals Per Game - 5.2 SPG (326th)
Opponent Turnovers Per Game - 10 TO/G (342nd)
Field Goals Attempted Per Game - 54.6 FGA (346th)

Key Returning Players:
Ronald Polite III (Senior; Temple Hills, MD) - 11.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4 apg, 1 spg; 44% FG, 36% 3-PT, 79% FT per 31.8 mpg
      Last Season @ GW: 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists; 5-8 FG, 2-3 3-PT, 0-1 FT in 32 minutes.

Key Losses:
Josh Oduro (Transferred to Providence; Gainesville, VA) - 15.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.6 apg; 55% FG, 23% 3-PT, 62% FT per 29.1 mpg
Victor Bailey Jr. (Graduated; Austin, TX) - 11.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.6 apg; 45% FG, 47% 3-PT, 80% FT per 31.6 mpg
DeVon Cooper (Graduated; Louisville, KY) - 10.2 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.7 apg; 36% FG, 33% 3-PT, 78% FT per 33.3 mpg
Davonte Gaines (Transferred to Providence; Buffalo, NY) - 7.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.2 apg; 38% FG, 34% 3-PT, 74% FT per 27 mpg

Key Transfers:
Jalen Haynes (Junior transfer from East Tennessee State/Virginia Tech; Fort Lauderdale, FL) - 14.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.5 apg; 58% FG, 14% 3-PT, 64% FT per 28.7 mpg* (redshirting this season)
Darius Maddox (Senior transfer from Virginia Tech; Bowie, MD) - 8.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.1 apg; 37% FG, 32% 3-PT, 88% FT per 29.6 mpg
Jared Billups (Junior transfer from Siena; Waldorf, MD) - 8.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.1 spg, 1 bpg; 34% FG, 27% 3-PT, 72% FT per 32.4 mpg
Amari Kelly (Graduate Student transfer from UNC Wilmington/Duquesne; Norcross, GA) - 7.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1 bpg; 58% FG, 33% 3-PT, 65% FT per 23.3 mpg
Tre' Wood (Graduate Student transfer from LIU/UMass; Largo, MD) - 7.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.3 spg; 40% FG, 33% 3-PT, 79% FT per 26 mpg
Keyshawn Hall (Sophomore transfer from UNLV; Cleveland, OH) - 5.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg; 48% FG, 50% 3-PT, 68% FT per 10.8 mpg
Nicolas Pavrette (Junior transfer from Central Michigan; Lyon, France) - 4.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1 bpg; 59% FG, 27% FT per 16.9 mpg** (went pro)
Woody Newton (Senior transfer from Oklahoma State/Syracuse; District Heights, MD) - 4.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg; 36% FG, 28% 3-PT, 62% FT per 16.9 mpg

Two years. That's how long Kim English had been at each of his previous stops as a coach - Tulsa, Colorado, Tennessee, and George Mason - before he landed at Providence this offseason. The first three was as an assistant, but it seemed pretty apparent that English was always going to be on the move once he experienced the slightest bit of success at George Mason. Having said that, I don't think anyone expected it to come so soon (one 20 win season was enough?!?), especially without any postseason appearances to show for it. There's no doubt he was incredible when it came to selling the program and being relatable to players, but it always felt his actual coaching was inconsistent at best. No one would have believed English was going to be on the move back in November 2022, when the Patriots went 0-3 at the Paradise Jam MTE in the Virgin Islands.

It's hard to blame English for bolting for Providence when given the opportunity, but that doesn't mean it doesn't suck any less for the players, fans, and program. You get your hopes up with all the coach speak only to see it come crashing down. Unfortunately, many programs at our level and lower have to take a chance on these on-the-rise guys even if it only means the chance at being successful for only a couple years before they move on. If I'm being honest, JC seemed like he would have done the same thing given what he did at Siena (regardless of whatever he said about GW being a "dream job"). He spent a bit more time at Mount St. Mary's but that was also his alma mater.

None of the initial articles that came out right after English was hired have aged particularly well. The Athletic asked him what his "most difficult moment" has been coaching, and he said telling the players he was leaving for the next school. You can add George Mason to the list now as well (although I guess at least he took some of the players with him and didn't abandon all of them). Maybe it's Ronnie Polite III's quote following the hire about how "committed" English was to them that has me rooting for him to have success when not playing GW. You have to respect the fact that the guy has stuck it out through two coaching changes now at the school.

Again, regardless of whatever the heck the rivalry is called now between the two George schools I don't have any hatred for GMU to consider it a rivalry. There have been some good games for sure, but there's no one on any Mason teams that I've found unlikable whether we've won or lost. That may change in the future, but I've mostly just seen them as a school that just happens to be in the same area and not much beyond that. The whole rivalry thing has just seemed forced to me if I'm being honest because it's not one that existed before they joined the A10. We played them like four times in the previous 20 years before that.

Anyways, it's a new era in Fairfax as proud alum Tony Skinn takes over. It certainly doesn't hurt to hire someone who was part of Mason's final four run. The early returns have been great and I'd like to believe that being an alum keeps him at the school for a bit. Skinn certainly had his work cut out for him when he took the job, as over 80% of Mason's scoring either graduated or transferred.

I'll get to all the transfers in a second, but everything starts with Polite, who was a preseason third-team all-A10 selection. Polite has continued to improve his game through the years, as he's gone from 2 ppg as a freshman to 5 as a sophomore to 11.5 last season. There were some question marks going into last season as to who Mason's PG was going to be, but Polite won the battle over Devin Dinkins with his expereience and ability to shoot the ball - his 36% shooting from 3 far exceeded anything he did in his first two years and he averaged 4 apg, which ranked 143rd nationally. Dinkins, who did appear to struggle at times going up against bigger guards, has yet to play this year due to a back injury. Given what Skinn brought in this year and has coming in for future years, I wouldn't be surprised if Dinkins ended up going elsewhere after the season.

The players I'm referring to in the backcourt are former LIU/UMass transfer Tre' Wood and true freshman Baraka Okojie. Wood, a graduate student, returns to the A10 after previously suiting up for the Minutemen an eternity ago (2018-19). In two games against GW, he put up 4 and 6 points. The latter game was in the A10 tournament, when GW knocked off Amherst in overtime. He is more of a deeper option on this Mason team, but does provide some veteran leadership.

Okojie, a Canadian, actually reclassed to 2023 and has some bright moments for the Patriots coming off the bench. Many of those came OOC, including a 12 point performance against South Dakota State and 11 against both Cornell and Tennessee. Okojie likes to get downhill, so if we can cut off driving lanes against him we may find more success. That's a bit if though, given how the team has struggled with penetration at times.

The only other holdovers from the English era still at Mason are Malik Henry and Austin Ball (who is a true freshman). Henry, a Texas native, has also gone through two coaching changes at the school like Polite. He's been a reliable backup big man who can convert on a couple baskets near the hoop and rebound the ball. In two games against GW last year, he scored a combined 11 points. Ball is a three-star forward from West Virginia who enters the program with the reputation of being a good shooter. He's unlikely to be much of a factor this year, but could develop into a nice supporting piece down the line.

It's all about the transfers for Mason though as Skinn lived in the portal last offseason to fill out the roster. To his credit, he did as good a job as any coach in the conference. Outside of Wood, seven other transfers committed to the school, although Central Michigan transfer Nicolas Pavrette, a guy who also visited us on the same day he committed to Mason, ultimately opted to go pro. Former ETSU/Virginia Tech forward Jalen Haynes, was a third-team all-SoCon player last year who will definitely be an impact player for them next season scoring inside and rebounding. Haynes originally had to sit out since he's now on to his third school, but I guess Skinn ultimately opted to redshirt him even after he was cleared to play by the NCAA.

Speaking of Virginia Tech, Skinn landed a flamethrower in Darius Maddox. The Bowie native is a career 42% three point shooter and started nearly all the games he appeared in for the Hokies last season. Maddox can do other things well, but his ability to score is at the forefront and he does that damn well, having finished in double figures in 12 of Mason's last 13 games. He will be tough to stop tomorrow if he gets going - I'm guessing Jacoi/Max will be guarding him, but if JB has to face him on a switch that could spell trouble.

Two other local guards transfer in as well - Jared Billups from Siena and Woody Newton from Oklahoma State (via Syracuse). Billups stuffed the stat sheet for the Saints last year. Given how things have gone for Carm this year, that team could certainly use him. He generates his offense largely by going downhill, shooting from the midrange or closer but earns his minutes by being an impactful defender - whether that's rebounding or being feisty swiping the ball away along the perimeter.

Newton's ability to handle the ball like a guard at 6'9" and rebound is a nice amenity to have. While he's never been particularly good at the FT line, he has been able to shoot the three well this season and half his attempts for the year have come from there. Not sure why he wasn't able to shoot the ball as well at Oklahoma State (he started more games there than he has at Mason), but I think that might have to do with Boynton's inability to coach offense more than anything else.

With a couple exceptions, this GMU team is fairly tall overall and former UNCW/Duquesne transfer Amari Kelly and UNLV transfer Keyshawn Hall contribute to that height. Kelly faced GW four times while a member of the Dukes. Two of those came during the COVID season when there were weird back-to-back games played against the same team. In game 1, he couldn't miss, putting up 13 points and 5 rebounds but then followed that up with a scoreless performance the day after. The latter performance more closely matched what he did as a freshman against us. Having said that, expect him to be a bigger factor tomorrow - he's scored in double figures in six straight games while occasionally letting it fly from deep. Kelly may be the X-factor for them tomorrow.

I may be mentioning Hall last, but he's been Mason's best player this season. He was a hot commodity in the transfer portal last offseason after turning in a successful freshman season at UNLV (notably in the month of January - when he scored 54% of his points for the season). This year, he's averaging a near double-double, and has posted 8 double-doubles for the season. Mason's last game against Richmond was the first time in over a month that he failed to finish in double figures and he's 0-5 from 3 in his last two games. His one fault is that he can be careless with turnovers given how much he has the ball so hopefully we get a few miscues tomorrow.

Mason is no doubt going to come into this one motivated having lost their last two games. Can GW put together a full 40 minutes of high quality basketball? It definitely felt like the team didn't really lock in until after halftime. The team guarded the three point line well throughout, but was noticeably burned on drives to the rim. I'm not too worried about the free throw shooting - it certainly wasn't an issue when GW shot 81% from the line on the road against VCU. Garrett entered the game as one of the best FT shooters in the country, but had an uncharacteristically off game which happens. Let's not forget his clutch FTs against VCU and Ohio from earlier in the season to give GW the chance to win. I'm not too worried about Jun yet either, as I think he was a bit banged up during the game. Virtually all of his misses were short which may have been part mental but I think it may have been a bit of fatigue too. CC did a great job down the stretch as he's shown on multiple occasions as others have mentioned. That Max play to win the game was beautiful even if not executed well. Jacoi was the MVP that game for me (never expected that dunk, but his ability to make things happen on defense is something this team didn't have last year and he's shot the ball significantly better than I expected), but Garrett made some huge 3s as well. JB's three point shooting has been great all season and deserves a shoutout as well. Good to see Benny back and Antoine get some chances as CC goes a bit deeper into the rotation.

Mason likes to minimize possessions and are relatively conservative defensively so hopefully unforced turnovers aren't too much of an issue. They also don't move the ball as well as they did under English (at least in year 1 under Skinn) and will give GW chances to shoot from 3 (which should be a good thing as long as we don't have another poor shooting performance like we did last time we faced them at home).

Regardless of the other team's stats though the thing that worries me the most is offensive rebounding. GW did better against Davidson after halftime but the amount of second chance opportunities the Revs have given up has been insane. It's not surprising that we're last in opponent offensive rebound percentage in conference but hopefully there's some improvement there by the end of the season. Mason shoots the ball well as it is - they certainly don't need a second chance at it. 

Projected Score: George Mason 74, GW 71. 39% chance to win (KenPom). ESPN gives us a 34.9% chance to move to 3-1 in conference.


1/14/2024 7:27 pm  #3

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

This Mason team is very tough in the glass on both ends.  I’m sure rebounding is a big emphasis in the scouting report and I’m hoping the desire we shows after halftime yesterday carries over.

They are also elite defending inside the arc (6th in 2pt FG defense in the nation). 

But they are fairly weak at defending the arc - they are 270th in the percent of shots from three against them, while also just 234th in 3pt FG% defense.  For those of you hoping for fewer threes (for reasons I don’t understand), this is not the game for that.  The threes will be there and we just have to knock them down.  We’re currently 16th in the nation in 3Pt%, a stat that must have their fans nervous given the way they’ve guarded the arc. 

Of course, Mason shoots the three well, too, so our defense needs to be better than it’s been. Can’t allow another team to knock down 16 or more threes against us. Amazingly, GMU lost the VCU game by 4 because they went 0-15 from three. 

The turnover battle has been a problem for us all year, but fortunately Mason is not a team that forces them (314th in forcing turnovers, which is worse than us)

They’ve lost 3 games besides Tennesee (Charlotte, VCU, Richmond). In two of those, they shot really poorly. In the Richmond game, Richmond shot 10-20 from three, 19-21 from the line, and only had 7 TOs so I’m guessing it was a case of Richmond playing great and not Mason playing poorly.

I’ve extremely confident all year in just about every game. But given that GMU has lost 2 in a row and will be desperate and given the way they rebound, I’m less confident this time.  We are going to need to play really well to win it.


1/14/2024 7:31 pm  #4

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Jun needs a tooth guard to play with like Steph Curry does during foul shots.  Anything that keeps him relaxed would help.  CC not making a big deal out of it is wise.  The more attention to it the worse.  As is the case with golf, when you analyze you paralyze.  A free and easy swing is much better than a tense tight stroke.  Fatigue and tired legs definitely contribute.

This team is very supportive of each other and together they will improve.



1/15/2024 2:35 pm  #5

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

What was with the long line to get in at 1:55? Longest line all year

Also, the scarf is nice, but why did they put GMU on it? Why would i want to wear something with GMU on it? I am a GW fan. I don't get it.


1/15/2024 2:36 pm  #6

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Antoine Smith Jr!

Great Start for GW

Last edited by The Dude (1/15/2024 2:36 pm)

     Thread Starter

1/15/2024 3:01 pm  #7

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Alum '04 wrote:

What was with the long line to get in at 1:55? Longest line all year

Also, the scarf is nice, but why did they put GMU on it? Why would i want to wear something with GMU on it? I am a GW fan. I don't get it.

I teach at Mason and I still agree with you on the scarf!


1/15/2024 3:04 pm  #8

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Max has got to be kicking himself for missing the lob play for the second time in 3 days


1/15/2024 3:32 pm  #9

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

The lads are doing a really nice job weathering the storm. Feels like they are doing well managing the work of maintaining Caputo’s patented calmness alongside the needed intensity.


1/15/2024 4:05 pm  #10

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

WOW.  Great win in style over an excellent Mason team !!

14-3, with wins over VCU Davidson and Mason to start the slate 

Another A10 POY of year caliber performance for JBIV, Buchanan, brilliant   


     Thread Starter

1/15/2024 4:08 pm  #11

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Missed my 2nd game in a row ….and both wins at home.  Not that I am superstitious but I may not be attending the rest of the year. 😂


1/15/2024 4:08 pm  #12

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Wonderful win.


1/15/2024 4:11 pm  #13

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

This team has not folded when faced with adversity. Another gutsy win today when they could have folded in the second half.


1/15/2024 4:11 pm  #14

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

That was impressive!!!  Strech was a force, Rebounding and Free throws were better and the bench contributed.  Gotta love it!



1/15/2024 4:13 pm  #15

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

87.5% from the line. Not sure how many of these games GW can win missing 3 FT’s…out of 24. Hope Caputo addresses this shortcoming by having his team out shooting FT’s in the snow under the lights. Not enough to get to the line. Should be shooting 100%, if not higher. Well, at least they won.


1/15/2024 4:14 pm  #16

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Excellent in weathering the storm, as noted above. Good win against a tough team.
 Stretch back to form--and much, much more, showing how he can make a real difference.
He gets the game ball, as we are used to Max and JB's heroics, Jun and Garrett's smooth play. And Jacoi, once again comes up with a key play on defense and plays years above his freshman level.
Mr. Smith comes to Washington with some nice 3s. A good reminder that we really need to play the bench more, even for spots of rest.
     Not gonna be fun playing them at Mason, so glad we hung tough and got this one.


1/15/2024 4:45 pm  #17

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Rank us


1/15/2024 4:54 pm  #18

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Nice win and I don't want to be a stick in the mud, but this team is still much too sloppy! Not slowing the ball down when necessary, too many turnovers and bad decisions with the ball, not blocking out on defensive rebounds (except for Stretch taller teams are hurting us), not extending out defensively against 3-point shooters, etc. If it hadn't been for Stretch, Mason's poor play, and our free throw shooting the outcome of the game, in my opinion, would have been in doubt.14-3 is certainly terrific, but we need to correct these problems or we will struggle as the season progresses. Last, I'd like to see Caputo yell at his players once in a while as the message often doesn't seem to be getting through.


1/15/2024 4:55 pm  #19

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Also I don't understand why Smith is not playing a lot more!


1/15/2024 5:14 pm  #20

Re: GW beats George Mason !!

Great effort and  intensity on defensive. As someone else noted too much sloppiness still, amd Mason had about 9 shots rim in and out, but that’s the way the round ball bounces. Superb effort.


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