George Mason Men's Basketball 2012 Capsule

George Mason Patriots
Colonial Athletic Association (24-9, 14-4)

Former Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt has had a heck of a season in his first year in Fairfax.  They were neck and neck with Drexel all season in a battle for first place in the conference.  They have a great player in Ryan Pearson and a solid roster around him.  Mason is a streaky team.  After an uninspiring start, the Patriots had only lost four of their last 25 games before losing three of their last four.  Those wins have not been easy, but they made the shots when it counted (remember the first VCU game?). Can they duplicate the magic from 2006? If they do, it won’t be in the NCAA Tournament.  

Big Wins: 11/30 Bucknell (61-57), 1/5 at Old Dominion (63-54), 1/7 Georgia State (61-58)
Bad Losses: 11/14 vs Florida International (76-79), 11/19 at Florida Atlantic (75-80), 2/22 at Northeastern (82-85)
Coach: Paul Hewitt (1 season at George Mason)

Why They Can Surprise:
Much like their Drexel counterparts, Mason is more of a defensive team than they are offensive juggernauts.  They limit opponents to just over 32% from behind the 3-point line, and just 39.3 percent from the field overall.  They also get a lot of production in the paint in terms of blocking shots.  They are top 25 nationally in rejections at 4.9 per contest.  It’s a surprising stat considering they are not a very tall team.  This team will go as far as Ryan Pearson takes them.  He’s shooting a whopping 50.2% from the field and rebounds over eight balls per game.  This is also a deep team.  Hewitt can play up to 11 guys in a game.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Eventually, the size of this team will catch up to them.  They have three players listed under 6-feet tall.  Despite their production blocking shots and rebounding, they will run into some big boys under the hoop that will give them grief.  This is also a poor outside shooting team.  They average 4.7 three pointers per game and that will not get it done in a quick-paced tournament game.  Plus, they will need outside shots to fall if they get stifled on the inside.  They also turn the ball over 15.2 times per game.  They will ultimately pay for those turnovers if they don’t eliminate them.

Probable Starters:
Byron Allen, Sophomore, Guard, 7.5 ppg, 3.7 apg
Andre Cornelius, Senior, Guard, , 6.7 ppg, 1.1 apg
Vertrail Vaughns, Sophomore, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 1.1 apg
Ryan Pearson, Senior, Forward, 17.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg
Mike Morrison, Senior, Forward, 9.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.9 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Sherrod Wright, Sophomore, Guard, 9.6 ppg, 1.3 apg
Erik Copes, Freshman, Forward-Center, 3.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Corey Edwards, Freshman, Guard, 2.5 ppg, 2.2 apg
Vaughn Gray, Freshman, Forward, 3.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.4 (113th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.9 (114, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.3 (54, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.3 (26, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.7 (297, 11)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: na
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.8 (143, 6)
Rebound Margin: 2.3 (101, 3)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (169, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (293, 10)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
George Mason    2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Villanova
George Mason    2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Ohio State
George Mason    2010    CIT       First Round loss to Fairfield
George Mason    2009    NIT       First Round loss to Penn State
George Mason    2008    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Notre Dame
George Mason    2006    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Michigan State
George Mason    2006    NCAA    Round of 32 win over North Carolina
George Mason    2006    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Wichita State
George Mason    2006    NCAA    Regional Final win over Connecticut
George Mason    2006    NCAA    National semifinal loss to Florida

*all team stats through 3/4

See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules