The Washington Times - February 19, 2009, 02:39PM

If there’s one thing that stood out about last night’s trip to Fairfax – beyond the dearth of points scored – it was that freshman Michael Morrison looked a whole lot better than he did earlier in the season.

George Mason is down to an eight-man rotation at this stage, and it’s imperative coach Jim Larranaga gets something out of his three freshmen off the bench. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.


Last night it happened, with Morrison scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds in 19 minutes of work. He also missed five free throws, but that doesn’t stand out much on a team that is struggling at the line.

In any case, he was a major reason Mason (18-8, 11-5 CAA) completed a season sweep of Drexel.

“I just asked him in the locker room, ‘You looked like you just wanted to dominate the game for a while,’” Larranaga said.

That was true in the first half, when Morrison played 14 of his 19 minutes.

The 6-foot-9, 222-pounder is still averaging less than 10 minutes a game. That could change, though, as Mason approaches next month’s CAA tournament in Richmond.

“He’s really been coming on,” Larranaga said. “He’s really been doing a wonderful job of working on his skills, recognizing situations and what shot he should shoot. ‘Should I use my jump hook? Should I try driving the lane?’ We work on those things every day, and there was a period of time when I wondering if he would take this step this year as a freshman. It’s coming at a perfect time.”

Patrick Stevens