Saturday, December 09, 2006

George Mason Preview

Only a brief preview (busy Saturday). Mason, as I'm sure everyone knows, was the darling of the basketball world last March, putting together the most improbable final four run since Villanova in '86 or Penn in '79 (take your pick). Only two of the five starters return this year, Folarin Campbell and Will Thomas. These two play a lot - 88% of all minutes for Campbell, and 92% for Thomas. Expect to see them for close to the full 40. Personally, I was really impressed with Thomas when I saw him in person at the CAA tourney last year, and thought that Mason lost its game to Hofstra when they took him out of the game for the last 4 minutes. This year, he's still not doing enough to assert himself - he's the most efficient scorer on their team (.613 EFG%), but takes only 19% of the shots while he's on the floor, while Campbell and John Vaughan bomb away at 29% of the shots each. Thomas also happens to be their best rebounder, and has the added bonus (rare for a big man) that he doesn't turn the ball over. Personally, I'm more than happy if Mason continues to run its offense through the guards rather than through their big forward for at least one more game.

Bonus speed analysis: expect this game to be slow, even glacial (think Air Force in terms of possessions) - Mason is 322nd in the country at 61.7 possessions per game, and Duke is 289th at 64.7. Look for a possession number between 57-63, and a score of Duke with something in the 60s, George Mason with something in the 50s.


Anonymous said...

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Paul Rugani said...

Thanks for the comments and the support - glad to have you reading!