The Washington Times - January 3, 2013, 09:23AM

There’s no telling what might change with George Mason’s rotation as it ventures into CAA play starting Thursday against Northeastern.

It might stay at 11. It might get winnowed down to nine.

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One thing the Patriots (7-5) seem likely to do is to lean a little more heavily on freshman Patrick Holloway, who is averaging 5.3 points and 11.8 minutes.

To say the guard is assertive on offensive is an understatement; despite playing less than 30 percent of the available minutes, he ranks second on the roster in 3-pointers taken (37). Only Sherrod Wright (44) has more.

So, why isn’t a guy with a clear aptitude for offense not playing more for a team that has struggled with scoring on a few occasions? Unsurprisingly, it has to do with the other end of the floor.

“I think he’s getting better,” coach Paul Hewitt said Wednesday. “But defensively, that’s the thing we’ve been hanging our hat on all year and I think Patrick would be the first to tell you that’s something he has to keep working on getting better at. With that said, I think he’s getting a lot better and I would anticipate – I don’t want to paint myself into a corner, but I would anticipate his minutes going up as we go on in the year.”

Hewitt also made it a point to note Holloway still has work to do on offense, though an example he provided – Holloway’s late shot in a November game against Bucknell with a player in his face – suggested much of the growth there has more to do with learning from experiences than anything else.

“I think it’s a a combination of decent defense and shot selection,” Hewitt said. “I want him to be aggressive, but I think he understands that it’s not necessarily ‘Don’t shoot the ball,’ but there are some opportunities where he can shot fake and get a better shot as opposed to getting off a hurried shot. Now, he’s got a lot of confidence, which is why I love him and he thinks he can make tough shots on anybody. But we’ve watched on tape and showed him ‘You can get an easier shot if you throw a quick pump fake.’”

Patrick Stevens