Tag:George Mason
Posted on: February 22, 2012 8:30 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 12:40 am
 

Poppin' Bubbles: Avoiding bad losses is key

Wyoming saw its bubble burst with an overtime loss at San Diego State. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Tuesday was a prove-it day for bubble teams, as seven of them played ranked teams and another two had to pass road tests. Only three teams out of that group came out victorious. Wednesday is another huge night for bubblers, but in a different ways. Only a few have a chance to get statement wins, but nearly a dozen teams have to avoid bad losses. With so many different things at stake, we’ve expanded our categories too. 

Note: This page will be updated throughout the night, with bubble discussion and analysis. 

Status quo

Purdue: The Boilermakers didn’t suffer the same fate as Illinois over the weekend, throttling Nebraska out of the gate en route to an 83-65 win. The win moves the Boilermakers to 8-7 in the Big Ten heading into their final stretch against Michigan, Penn State and Indiana. If Purdue can get one of the two road games (Michigan, Indiana), it will feel awfully comfortable heading into the conference tournament.

Memphis: The Tigers suffered a really bad loss at home over the weekend to UTEP, so they could not afford to lose another questionable game. That wasn't a problem, as Memphis handled East Carolina with ease in the second half. The Tigers also took over first place in the league standings after Southern Miss' loss, but their Selection Sunday fate will be decided down the stretch. They have road trips to Marshall and Tulsa sandwiched around a home against UCF. The Tigers need to prove themselves in those three games.

Iowa State: Heading into a very difficult three-game stretch to finish the season, the Cyclones needed to beat Texas Tech on Wednesday to get to 10 wins in the Big 12. It wasn't as easy as expected, but they still dominated the final 10 minutes en route to an 18-point win. With road games at Kansas State and Missouri and a home date with Baylor still on the docket, Iowa State will have chances to seal its bid. One win would make the Cyclones feel pretty good.

Hurt itself

West Virginia
: The Mountaineers hung with Notre Dame for a half, but the Fighting Irish came out of the break with a bang and simply ran away with the game. The loss is West Virginia's sixth defeat in eight games, and drops them to 7-8 in the conference. On Friday, Marquette comes to Morgantown in a game that would really solidify the Mountaineers' at-large hopes. If they drop that one, they need to win the final two games of the regular season and then do some damage in the league tourney.

Southern Miss: Things are getting dicey for the Golden Eagles. They survived a loss to Houston over the weekend and remained in pretty good shape, but Wednesday's double-overtime loss to UTEP (by the way, when did the Miners become such a giant-killer?) moves them into suspect territory. They are now tied for second-place with Tulsa in the standings and have three sub-100 losses. Southern Miss has to survive its next two games -- Rice and SMU -- before the season finale against Marshall. The Golden Eagles are still in, but nowhere near as safe. 

South Florida: Despite a gaudy Big East record, the biggest knock on the Bulls is their lack of good wins and their soft conference schedule. They jumped out to a double-digit lead at Syracuse, but couldn't make plays late in the game and fell short. They are now 10-5 in the league with three games left. They have Cincinnati, Louisville and West Virginia remaining -- two of them coming at home -- so there are still chances. Right now, though, one good win over Seton Hall isn't getting it done.

Saint Joseph's: The Hawks were one of the final teams out of the bracket this week, but that will change next week after their loss at home to Richmond, which came into Wednesday with an RPI nearing 150. Unless the Hawks beat Temple and St. Bonaventure to finish the season and then get a couple quality wins in the Atlantic 10 tournament, Phil Martelli's club won't have a happy Selection Sunday.

Minnesota: Farewell, at-large hopes. The Golden Gophers have now lost four in a row and six of their last eight, and suffering a heartbreaking loss to Michigan State. Tubby Smith's troops had the game in their grasp, but completely malfunctioned in the last three and a half minutes and will now be relegated to the NIT. Barring a crazy run the rest of the season, Minnesota is done. 

UCF: The talk of the Knights as an at-large team seemed to be jumping the gun a little bit in the past couple weeks, and Wednesday's horrible second-half loss to Rice pushes them further out of the field. They now drop to a fourth-place tie in the league standings, and still have to go to Memphis in next-to-last game of the season. 14 of their 17 wins are sub-100. 

Still alive

Dayton:
The Flyers made it into several brackets this week on the basis of their seven top-100 wins and victories over Temple and Saint Louis. However, they are only one questionable loss from falling from the picture. They survived on Wednesday, going on the road and beating Duquesne. They still probably need to win their final three regular-season games.

Marshall:
The Thundering Herd shook off a double-digit first half deficit to dominate Houston in the second half. It is their third straight win, and with chances sitll remaining against Memphis and Southern Miss, Marshall has the opportunity to play itself into the league title -- and at-large -- race.

Drexel: The Dragons still have plenty of work to do to move into consideration for an at-large berth, but the Dragons stayed alive with a win over James Madison. An outright regular-season title could really help their profile, so they need to win at Old Dominion on Saturday and also hope George Mason drops one to VCU.

VCU: Like Drexel, VCU just needs to keep winning and hope quantity of wins is enough for the Selection Committee. The Rams survived a trip to UNC-Wilmington on Wednesday night, and now get a shot at co-league leader George Mason this weekend. A win there and a Drexel loss to Old Dominion would give the Rams a share of the regular-season title.

LSU: The Tigers popped on the radar in the past week, and they kept their winning ways going with a victory over Georgia on Wednesday. That's now four straight victories for the Tigers, leaving them 7-6 in the SEC -- good enough for fourth in the conference standings. If they can win out in the regular season, LSU will have an interesting at-large case. It owns wins over Marquette, Alabama and Mississippi State.

Bubble Popped

Wyoming:
The Cowboys looked like they were about to revive their at-large hopes by leading at San Diego State for most of the game. However, the Aztecs tied it late and then dominated the overtime period. Wyoming is now 4-7 in the Mountain West and in sixth place. Their at-large hopes are likely gone. 

Ole Miss:
The Rebels have completely fallen off since getting some serious consideration a couple weeks back. Their 13-point loss at Tennessee on Wednesday night was their third in a row, and fifth in their last six games. Barring an amazing run to -- at least -- the SEC title game, no NCAA for them. 

La Salle: If the Explorers could have won out and then done damage in the conference tournament, they had a chance. Their overtime loss to Temple on Wednesday ends their at-large hopes.  

George Mason: The Patriots can still win a share of the CAA title with a win over VCU this weekend and a Drexel loss, but their loss at Northeastern on Wednesday night ruins their at-large hopes. Despite their 14 CAA wins, they have just two top-100 wins and four sub-100 losses. 

Posted on: February 15, 2012 12:25 am
Edited on: February 15, 2012 12:29 am
 

Night Court: Sherrod Wright's 3 highlights V-Day

Sherrod Wright hits a 25-footer at the buzzer to give George Mason a two-point win over VCU. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: VCU and George Mason have battled for CAA supremacy several times over the past decade, but they might have had their most exciting game on Tuesday night. The two teams were back and forth throughout, but the final 82 seconds were electric. They combined for 21 points in that span, with George Mason knocking down three 3-pointers and VCU hitting seven free throws. It all ended when Mason’s Sherrod Wright hit a 25-footer at the buzzer to give George Mason a one-point win, 62-61. Mason is now tied with Drexel atop the standings.

Win to brag about: LSU is finally starting to put some things together lately. The Tigers have won three of their last four games, the latest coming against Mississippi State on Tuesday night. Freshman guard Anthony Hickey hit a runner in the final seconds of overtime to give the Tigers a 69-67 win. With wins over Arkansas, Alabama, Marquette and now Mississippi State, the Tigers are no longer an easy out heading down the stretch.

Loss to hide from: Clemson fell just short against Virginia the first time the two teams played, but the Tigers broke through this time. Clemson outscored the Cavaliers by 12 in the second half, en route to a 60-48 victory. Virginia’s Joe Harris was held to two points as he struggled with a broke left hand. Tony Bennett’s troops have now lost three in a row, dropping down to sixth in the ACC standings.

Player who deserves improper benefits: TCU guard Hank Thorns knocked down 8-of-12 from 3-point range en route to 32 points, leading the Horned Frogs to a 102-97 overtime victory over UNLV. They were down by 18 points with 15 minutes remaining, and 15 with 10 minutes left. Eight of Thorns’ points came in overtime, and the senior also dished out four assists and grabbed five rebounds in the upset win.

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: Coming off a 28-point outing against LSU, Alabama’s Rodney Cooper was feeling his oats heading into Tuesday’s game against Florida. It didn’t really work out well, as he shot 2-for-9 from the field and turned it over four times in a 61-52 loss. Without Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green, someone needed to step up for the Crimson Tide – on Tuesday, it wasn’t Cooper. 

Numbers don’t lie:

  • 24-for-26: In the last two games, Southern Illinois has allowed teams to shoot 24-for-26 from behind the 3-point line.
  • 3: George Mason knocked down three 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds in its comeback victory.
  • 77.5, 85.7: Creighton shot 77.5 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from 3-point range in its 88-69 win over Southern Illinois.
  • November 27: Tennessee-Martin hadn’t defeated a Division-I team since late November, but the Skyhawks defeated Kennesaw State on Tuesday night. 

Three other notable results:

  1. Ohio State bounced back from its loss to Michigan State on Saturday with a 78-68 victory at Minnesota. William Buford had 24 points and Jared Sullinger went for 23.
  2. Texas won its fourth game in a row, outscoring Oklahoma by 16 in the second half en route to a 69-58 win. Myck Kabongo had 13 points and seven assists.
  3. Seton Hall won its third in a row after dropping six straight games, destroying St. John’s by 30. 

Notes:

  • Cleveland State lost its third game in a row since looking comfortable at the top of the Horizon standings, falling to Milwaukee, 86-84.
  • Butler won its third in a row, beating Loyola Chicago. With the Horizon getting more unpredictable everyday, could the Bulldogs be the conference tournament favorite – again?
  • Kent State knocked off Buffalo, 76-71, putting both teams at 9-3 in the Mid-American. Each team is now 1.5 games back of Akron.
  • Manhattan took another hit in its quest to for a regular-season MAAC title, dropping one on the road to Siena, 70-64.
More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:28 pm
 

Hewitt gets first look at Cornelius today

By Jeff Goodman

Paul Hewitt will get his first look at Andre Cornelius in practice today.

Cornelius, who was projected to start for the new George Mason coach, will miss the first 10 games of the season as a result of pleading guilty to credit card fraud of less than $200.

"To get someone like Andre back is invaluable to this team," Hewitt said. "It'll be a huge addition."

Cornelius hasn't been allowed to participate in any team activities since Sept. 19.

"I haven't seen him, but I know exactly what we're getting," Hewitt said.

Cornelius was an "instant offense" guy a year ago, making 61 3-pointers and starting every game as part of a talented group of perimeter players that also included Cam Long and Luke Hancock.

"He's also a very good on-ball defender," Hewitt said of Cornelius. "He's tailor-made for our style of pressure defense."

But for the first 10 games, Hewitt will likely go with a starting unit of sophomores Bryon Allen, Vertrail Vaughns and Sherrod Wright on the perimeter and seniors Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson up front.

The strength of the team - once Cornelius returns - could be its depth as Hewitt said that freshman big man Erik Copes should make an impact this season.

"He's got a chance to be a big-time player," Hewitt said.
Posted on: October 7, 2011 12:58 pm
 

Former Hewitt commit onto ... the ALCS

By Jeff Goodman

Paul Hewitt's final words to me prior to last night's Yankees game were similar ones he uttered about seven years ago.

"It's a wrap," said George Mason's head coach, a New Yorker who is a diehard Yankees fan.

Just as was the case seven years prior, Hewitt was licking his wounds again.

That one was worse since it came against the Red Sox, but this one was ironic since Austin Jackson was celebrating on the field at Yankees Stadium as Hewitt was likely cursing out Alex Rodriguez for his inability to deliver in the clutch. Jackson is the same kid who was set to play point guard for Hewitt at Georgia Tech until the Yankees threw a hefty signing bonus at him and he opted for a career in major league baseball. Jackson was later traded by the Yankees to the Tigers. 

"It was ironic," Hewitt said. "I'm very happy for the kid -- even though it ticked me off to see the Yankees lose." 

Jackson doubled in the fifth inning and scored the eventual game-winning run on Victor Martinez' base hit.

Hewitt said the plan for Jackson was to play both sports at Georgia Tech, but that changed when the Yankees threw in excess of $1 million his way.

Jackson's biggest asset on the court, according to Hewitt, was his speed. 

"He could really push the ball," he said. "He was a Ty Lawson-type guy. I'm not saying he was at the same level, but that's the type of player he was. Really fast from foul line to foul line." 

"I don't know if he was an NBA player," Hewitt added. "But one thing you know about him is he could perform on the big stage. He has the mental make-up."

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: September 27, 2011 5:13 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2011 5:14 pm
 

Paul Hewitt is character witness for Crittenton

By Jeff Goodman

George Mason coach Paul Hewitt spent today flying back to Atlanta to testify as a character witness on behalf of former player Javaris Crittenton.

Hewitt told CBSSports.com that he answered questions for about five minutes, but did not - as was reported - co-sign the $230,000 bond that allowed the ex-NBA player to go free following testimony.

Crittenton has been charged with murder in a drive-by shooting in Atlanta last month.

Hewitt said that Crittenton's high school coach, Courtney Brooks, was the one who signed the bond - along with his pastor, seventh-grade teacher, ex-teammate Darryl Slack and ex-girlfriend Mia Fields.

"There was no money involved with signing of bond," Hewitt told CBSSports.com. "It was symbolic gesture by the judge that Crittenton would be letting them down."

Crittenton played for Hewitt at Georgia Tech and was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft. He also played with the Washington Wizards - where he was involved in a locker room incident with then-teammate Gilbert Arenas that resulted in a gun charge.
Posted on: September 20, 2011 4:59 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 5:00 pm
 

George Mason, UCLA backcourts get suspensions

By Matt Norlander

Didn't want to let Tuesday afternoon slip me by without getting on record here at the blog a couple of stories that deserve to be spread.

George Mason and UCLA have seen starting members of their basketball teams get in trouble with the law in the past few days. We'll start with Mason, which will most likely start the season without junior guard Andre Cornelius (right). He was busted for credit card fraud and larceny Friday. The team has indefinitely suspended him.

According to the university’s police department incident record, the 22-year-old Cornelius was taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and released on $1,500 bond.

“Cornelius has been summarily suspended from the team as a result of the charges filed against him,” the school said in a statement. “The suspension will be in effect until the legal and University judicial processes have been completed.”

Enter your pithy commentary about the plight of players here if you must, but there's never an excuse or reason good enough for that kind of petty crime. Cornelius was a starter in every game for the Patriots last season, with an effective field goal percentage of 53.7 (pretty good). Paul Hewitt, the first-year coach at Mason and former Georgia Tech head man, gets an early crack at discipline. How hard will he hit one of his best players?

He and the school well let the legal process play out until a decision is made, but this lack of judgment probably calls for a few games on the pine, I'd think. At least if Hewitt wants respect from his team in the early going.

As for UCLA, Ben Howland had some good news and bad news with Andersons on Monday. He couldn't be happier, I'm sure, that the Kyle Anderson's commitment Monday night came shortly after the school announced Jerime Anderson would be suspended two games for his involvement in laptop theft in late July.

The defined suspension comes after he was indefinitely suspended -- and in the offseason, what does that really mean? C'mon. -- by Howland soon after his arrest.

Anderson won't play in the team's exhibition on Nov. 6 against Cal State San Bernadino. He'll also be out for the first real game of the season, the Nov. 11 matchup against Loyola Marymount at home. From the AP:

Howland said Monday that Anderson has been "very remorseful" in admitting his mistake and accepting responsibility for his actions. Anderson pleaded guilty last week to charges of appropriation of lost property and trespass. His attorney, Jon Artz, says the plea agreement was based on evidence demonstrating Anderson's good conduct and moral character from community members.

Anderson must complete 300 hours' community service in a two-year period to have the plea of appropriation of lost property withdrawn. The misdemeanor charge of trespass would stand.

Heavy community service, certainly. A bad look for Anderson, who is a junior with decent defensive and passing skills. One real game isn't much a punishment. Given all that was levied against him, few could make a case against Howland if he wanted to sit Anderson for three or four games. But so few coaches actually have the courage to do that these days. We'll see if Hewitt bucks the trend soon enough.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 5:39 pm
 

CAA Offseason Report

By Jeff Goodman

CAA Offseason Report

Delaware – Phil Martelli Jr. came from Niagara and took the spot opened when R.C. Kehoe left to become the head coach at Holy Family. Delaware will play at Villanova (11-18), at BU (11-30), vs. La Salle (12-19) and vs. Temple (12-30) in the non-conference. Malcolm Hawkins transferred out of the program while Carl Baptiste (St. Joe’s) came in and will sit out this year.

Drexel – The Dragons will play in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands from Nov. 18-21. Bruiser Flint’s team has a non-league schedule that includes games at Rider (11-15), at St. Joe’s (11-30), vs. Bradley (12-17) and vs. Princeton (12-10).

George Mason – New coach Paul Hewitt has put together the following staff: Roland Houston (GW), Mike Wells (NBA), Chris Kreider (Georgia Southern) and retained director of basketball operations Scott Lombardi. The Patriots will play in the Preseason NIT (the Virginia Tech pod) and open against Florida International. Hewitt’s team will also have non-league games at Virginia (12-6), vs. Duquesne (12-21) and at College of Charleston (12-30). Luke Hancock (Louisville) and Rashad Whack (Mount St. Mary’s) left while George Mason added Anali Okoloji (Seton Hall).

Georgia State – Ron Hunter came over from IUPUI and assembled the following staff: Darryl LaBarrie, Everick Sullivan, Claude Pardue and Tony Bollier as the director of basketball operations. The Panthers will play in the Basketball Travelers Invitational at Washington along with Portland and FAU. Georgia State will also play Rhode Island (12-10) in a non-conference contest. Two players transferred out – Javonte Maynor and Harold Doby – while Manny Atkins has come in from Virginia Tech and will sit out this season. Jordan DeMercy will be eligible this year after transferring from Florida State.

Hofstra – Pat Sellars, formerly at UConn, has replaced Allen Griffin (Dayton). The Pride will be in the Legends Classic and also play home non-league games against Long Island (11-13), and Iona. Paul Bilbo (Mercyhurst), Roland Brown and Yves Jules (Fairleigh Dickinson) all transferred out while Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (UConn) and Taran Buie (Penn State) both came in. Stevie Mejia (URI) is also eligible after sitting out last season.

James Madison – Bill Phillips replaced Kevin Hargrove as the director of basketball operations. The Dukes will play in the Hoop Group Classic (11-22/25) and will also be at Central Florida’s Holiday Tournament, along with Rhode Island and Stetson, from 12-29/30. JMU will also play against Kent State (12-6) and at George Washington (12-22) in the non-conference schedule. Chad Jackson transferred to Northern Kentucky while A.J. Davis is eligible this season after transferring from Wyoming a year ago.

Northeastern – Bill Coen’s team will play at St. John’s (11-26), at N.C. State (12-22) and at home against Southern Illinois (11-19) in the non-conference. Alex Harris transferred out while Kashif Edwards, who averaged 12.4 points last season at Niagara, came in as a grad student and is eligible for this season.

Old Dominion – The biggest news of the offseason for the Monarchs is the missing ‘stache. Actually, coach Blaine Taylor got ride of his famous mustache. Drew Williamson replaced Joel Hines as the director of basketball operations and ODU added video coordinator Chris Kovensky. Old Dominion will be in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off (11-19/20) and also have a non-conference slate that includes games vs. Iowa (11-12), vs. Missouri (12-30) in Norfolk, at Richmond (12-20) and at Central Florida (12-17). Donte Hill becomes eligible on Dec. 17 after transferring in from Clemson last year.

Towson – New coach Pat Skerry hired Kevin Clark (Rhode Island), Luke Murray (Wagner), Kenny Johnson and Duane Simpkins as his director of basketball operations. The Tigers will play in the Mainland portion of the Maui Invitational and also have non-league contests at Kansas (11-11), at Michigan (11-14), vs. Oregon State (11-26), at UMass (11-30) and at Virginia (12-30). Isaiah Philmore (Xavier), Braxton Dupree, Dre Conner and Cephas Oglesby all left while Jerrelle Benimon (G’Town) and Mike Burwell (South Fla.) both transferred in.

UNC-Wilmington – Buzz Peterson’s team is currently in the Bahamas. Matt McMahon (Murray State) and Kevin Norris (FGCU) both left; Brooks Lee was promoted to assistant coach, Andre Gray was hired and the director of basketball operations spot remains open. The Seahawks will play at Maryland (11-13), at Dayton (11-19), vs. Marshall (11-22), vs. Davidson (11-26) and at Wake Forest (12-21) in the non-league. Matthew Wallace transferred out of the program.

VCU – Mike Jones (Radford) and Kyle Getter were replaced by Jamion Christian (William & Mary) and new director of basketball operations Mike Morrell (Charleston Southern). The Rams will play in the Charleston Classic and also have a non-league slate that includes games at Alabama (11-27), at Western Kentucky (11-23), vs. South Florida (11-30), at Akron (12-29), vs. UAB (12-20), vs. Richmond (12-10) and against George Washington on Dec. 4 in the BT&T Classic in D.C. Toby Veal left the program.

William & Mary – Kotie Kimble replaced Jamion Christian, who left for VCU. The Tribe will play in the Coaches vs. Cancer event and also have non-conference contests vs. Richmond (11-30), at Missouri (12-18) and vs. Iona (12-21).

Offseason reports: Big 12 Pac-12 | Big Ten | ACC | Big East SEC | A-10
Posted on: August 10, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 12:03 pm
 

Virginia Governor spearheads in-state hoops event

By Jeff Goodman

I guess the Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is a legitimate college hoops fan.

McDonnell spearheaded the Governor Holiday Hoops Classic, a new annual doubleheader which will feature the top teams in the state.

``Virginia teams have appeared in Final Fours, won conference championships and are regularly ranked in national Top 25 polls,” McDonnell said in a statement.  ``Unfortunately, given scheduling constraints and conference affiliations, we too rarely get to witness our in-state teams competing against each other. The “Classic” will change that.”


It’s set in stone for the next two years – and could go beyond. However, McDonnell’s term ends in a couple years – and you can’t serve consecutive terms in the state of Virginia.

In the 2012-13 campaign, Richmond will play George Mason and Virginia will face Old Dominion. The following year Virginia Tech and VCU will play for the first time since 1995 – and James Madison will play Hampton.

The games will be played at the Richmond Coliseum.

``He remembers an old tournament years ago (1976-1991) in the state which was run by the Richmond Times-Dispatch,” VCU athletic director Norwood Teague told CBSSports.com. ``And he wanted to bring something like that back.”

``We’re elated with the event,” Teague added.

My guess is that Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg and Virginia head man Tony Bennett aren’t jumping for joy, though, having to play dangerous mid-majors such as ODU and VCU.

Teague said that McDonnell attended the entire CAA tournament and was also at VCU’s NCAA tournament games en route to the Rams improbable Final Four run.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com