Grading A10 Non-Conference Performances: George Mason
After its recent 71-60 home victory over Wagner, George Mason finishes the non-conference slate of its schedule with a 6-7 record. It enters conference play with a difficult road mathcup against VCU looming next Saturday. The Patriots certainly have some work to do if they want to finish in the top half of the A10 this season, but here’s a quick look at how they did during non-conference portion of the year.
The Patriots got two huge wins at the beginning of the season when they competed in the Charleston Classic. They took down Ole Miss 68-62 in the first round and then advanced to the championship game after taking down Oklahoma State 71-68 in overtime. Though their run was stopped by then #6 Virginia, a second place finish in a tournament with a talented field was certainly a good showing for George Mason.
Another good win for the Patriots came later in the season when they dominated Wright State 66-39 on their home floor. This was arguably George Mason’s best defensive showing of the young season, as it was able to hold its opponent to just 12 of 52 from the floor. After losing on the road to Towson, they got a solid win at home against Penn, a team that’s expected to do pretty decently in the Ivy League this year.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, one of their worst losses came right at the beginning of the season. They got embarrassed during their home opener when now 4-7 Colgate came in and outscored the Patriots by 15 in the second half and won. That one hurt. Nevertheless, they’d rebound with their performance in the Charleston Classic.
The only other really “bad loss” came on the road against Towson. After trailing by just two in the first half, the Patriots allowed their opponent to score 45 in the second and run away with the game. The Patriots were probably the slim favorites in this one, so it hurts to lose a game like that by 21 points.
The other losses on George Mason’s schedule weren’t that bad; Virginia, Mercer, and Northern Iowa are all undoubtedly superior opponents. The Patriots had one of their wort offensive performances on the road against James Madison, but overall, the Dukes were the better team.
George Mason: C+
The Patriots got good wins early on in the Charleston Classic, however, they needed to do a lot better against inferior opponents. Entering conference play with a slightly sub .500 record is by no means ideal, but let’s just say it could’ve been a lot worse. The Patriots will try to rebound and would be very happy to finish in the top half of the A10 this season.