CLEVELAND —- Unlike Maryland, there isn’t an ultra-convenient set of full-season plus-minus data for George Mason.
But there are numbers from Friday’s 61-57 defeat of Villanova in the NCAA tournament’s round of 64:
Cam Long: +13 (35 minutes)
Luke Hancock: +7 (32 minutes)
Mike Morrison: +7 (36 minutes)
Isaiah Tate: +7 (29 minutes)
Johnny Williams: +3 (17 minutes)
Rashad Whack: +1 (1 minute)
Ryan Pearson: -1 (26 minutes)
Paris Bennett: -1 (1 minute)
Vertrail Vaughns: -5 (3 minutes)
Andre Cornelius: -11 (20 minutes)
Both Tate and Williams established season-highs in minutes played. Both, it should be noted, played very well.
And it stands as a superb lesson that limiting moves isn’t always undercoaching, but rather excellent coaching. Mason’s Jim Larranaga left the same lineup on the floor for more than six minutes in the latter stages of the second half. It held Villanova to seven points in that stretch.
That meant Tate and Williams played and Cornelius and Pearson sat with the outcome very much in doubt.
“If I find a combination of players that are working well together, I’m going to stick with them,” Larranaga said. “So Isaiah Tate was doing a great job defensively. Johnny Williams was doing a great job at both ends of the floor. Luke Hancock and Cam Long were sharing the ball-handling responsibilities and Mike Morrison was anchoring our defense. I didn’t feel the need to make changes, and it’s something that I guess is just a personal preference.”
—- Patrick Stevens