- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
George Mason focused on working out the kinks
Question of the Day
There was, however, plenty to improve upon, a common theme early in the Patriots’ season.
Mason (4-2) at times has sputtered during an opening stretch of six contests in 12 days that ended with Tuesday’s 66-46 victory over Albany at Patriot Center, a plethora of turnovers the root of many problems.
“Some of the close calls, especially the games we had last week, were about making smarter decisions with the ball and making more accurate passes with the ball,” Hewitt said. “With that said, I like where we’re going. I like this team. I tell people every day, it’s a really good group of kids. They’re a lot of fun to coach. But if we want to be as good as we’re capable of being, they have to keep growing.”
It will probably happen, if only because it almost has to.
The Patriots’ backcourt is littered with players settling into vastly expanded roles, if they’re not newcomers altogether.
Freshman point guard Corey Edwards made his first start Monday. Sophomore Sherrod Wright, who returned after a one-game hiatus induced by a hand injury, is coming off a redshirt year. Starting wing Vertrail Vaughns averaged 9.5 minutes a year ago. Freshman Vaughn Gray’s role slowly has expanded, and he scored 10 points Monday after managing 13 points in Mason’s first four games.
Then there’s sophomore Bryon Allen, who started the first four games at the point but came off the bench Monday.
“I think Bryon has a lot of ability, but maybe he’s having an adjustment to playing point guard full time,” Hewitt said. “I thought he played better [Monday]. … Bryon’s got more in him and it’s our job to get that out of him.”
One of Mason’s pressing questions is how much it can get out of its entire backcourt — and whether it can avoid more missteps in nonconference play.
Saturday’s overtime loss at Florida Atlantic, a team picked to win its division in the Sun Belt, isn’t the sort of setback likely to hurt the Patriots. The same can’t be said for last week’s overtime stumble to Florida International, which has endured 11 straight losing seasons and isn’t expected to crack the top half of the Sun Belt.
That’s a potential RPI buster capable of haunting Mason in March. Avoiding another while the backcourt matures is a priority in the coming weeks.
“There’s still a lot of things we have to work on,” forward Ryan Pearson said. “We’re nowhere near as complete as we can be. We knew this coming in. We knew we had me, Mike [Morrison] and Andre [Cornelius] and our seniors would have to step up and lead this team in the right direction because we knew we had a lot of young guys.”
Pearson observed there were already plenty of changes as Mason transitioned from former coach Jim Larranaga to Hewitt. But the absence of Cornelius, who is suspended after pleading guilty to credit card fraud, hasn’t helped.
The senior, who ranks seventh in school history in 3-point percentage and 10th in 3-pointers made, won’t be available until Dec. 21 against Duquesne. That leaves the Patriots another four games to mature before the backcourt adds another element.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow