|I WAS VERY FRUSTRATED!|
Deep, cleansing breaths. We won't speak of this one again.
George Mason, the Nuke Laloosh of the CAA (million dollar talent, five cent head), comes to Williamsburg this afternoon in a matchup of two squads smarting after recent defeats. Mason blew a seven-point halftime lead in a miasma of bad decision-making and cheesecloth-porous defense, yielding 54 second-half points at home in an 84-74 loss to preseason conference middlers Northeastern. (The Huskies, by the way, with a healthy Jonathan Lee joining Joel Smith in a dangerous backcourt, served notice that they'll dent some skulls in the wide-open Colonial.)
Patriot guard Sherrod Wright averages 17.5 points per game, and is on a serious roll, getting 21.2 per game over Mason's last five outings. No other player scores in double digits for GMU, but nine players average at least 11 minutes and four points apiece. Mason's capable of playing at a very high level - they beat UVA and Richmond earlier this season - but they've also shown an ability to disappear at key moments.
W&M's played enough games for Tony Shaver to know he can count on Marcus Thornton and Tim Rusthoven (17.9 and 14.0 ppg, respectively) for consistent offense. The open question heading into today's regionally televised contest (Comcast Mid-Atlantic) is which Brandon Britt and Kyle Gaillard will post. Over the Tribe's last 60 minutes of play, the two (who average a combined 22.5 ppg on 55.2% shooting) scored a grand total of...five points, all by Gaillard. Britt scored as many as Clarence did.
It's a simple game. You pass the ball. You shoot the ball. You rebound the ball. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes, it rains. And even then, you still play, because you're in a gym. Says here that Britt and Gaillard need to shake off the last two and get back to the aggressive play that made the Tribe's offense the most efficient in the conference over the season's first 10 contests.
Says here, too, that we're not predicting any damn thing about this game. Go Tribe.
(For kicks, check out Thornton's dunk/chin-up at the 2:05 mark. He got a technical, but you don't see many Tribe guards drive and dunk against SEC opponents. In fact, our research staff believes that this may be the first time its happened in the 319-year history of the school.)