There are many reasons to not watch George Mason compete in the 2017 CBI Tournament. For starters, the NCAA Tournament and the NIT happening at the same time. No real need to go on.
Here are three reasons though to be thrilled about the Patriots playing in one of the lower postseason tournaments:
- It gives seniors, Marquise Moore, Jalen Jenkins, and Myles Tate a chance to play in a postseason tournament for the first time.
- The young sophomores and freshmen (11 on the roster) get the experience of playing in the postseason and playing together.
- Another chance to see a really fun George Mason basketball team
Not only is it a chance for George Mason (20-13, 9-9 Atlantic 10) to celebrate a successful season for the first time in quite a while, but the Patriots have a legitimate shot at winning the whole thing. Taking a look at the rest of the tournament field, George Mason and George Washington are on a collision course to the semi-finals. Earlier in the season, George Washington swept the Patriots 2-0. The Colonials are also the only other Atlantic 10 team in the 16 team tournament.
There are also five teams in the tournament with sub-.500 records, with three of them being in Mason’s section of the bracket.
Back in the 2012-13 season, the Green and Gold made it to the championship before losing to Santa Clara in a best-of-three game series. Only member of the current roster on the team was Jenkins who was red-shirting.
Before looking at another championship run in the CBI, in the First Round they have to face Loyola (15-16, 8-10 Patriot). A team that Dave Paulsen has plenty of experience playing against because of his days back at Bucknell. In his final season with the Bison, his squad swept the Greyhounds by double-digits in both games.
Loyola has two post players, Jarred Jones and Cam Gregory, that will look to dominate offensively with only Jenkins as Mason’s true post player.
Their deep ball will not be a huge threat as shooting 33 percent from behind the arc on the season. Therefore the Patriots will be able to continue and pack the paint with bodies like they have all season.
Junior guard, Andre Walker, is the team’s leading scorer with 15.7 points per game. He also is just short of four assists a contest. Likely that will be the responsibility of Otis Livingston II for a majority of the game, height-wise that is the best matchup.
LAST GAME: VCU ABLE TO HOLD OFF MASON FOR A THIRD TIME
Marquise Moore will have the chance to build on Mason’s single season rebounding record which currently stands at 360. In his two Atlantic 10 tournament contests he was averaging 18 boards a game. It will also be a chance to get his incredible 21 double-double on the year.
While the Patriots will not necessarily need their 3pt game going in this contest, the Green and Gold desperately need to find their stroke again. Over the last four contests, Mason is at 21 percent from behind the arc. Starters like Livingston and Jaire Grayer could benefit from a game like this to find their mark again. Otherwise the Patriots will not be able to rely on Kamari Newman and Ian Boyd off of the bench to make a tournament run.
Marquise Moore (1,269) is 46 points away from Erik Herring for 20th all-time.
Jalen Jenkins (1,100) is 13 points away from Kenwan Alford for 25th all-time.
Jalen Jenkins (706) is two rebounds away from Jesse Young for 11th all-time, 28 behind Herb Estes for 10th all-time.
Marquise Moore (685) is 21 rebounds away from Jalen Jenkins for 12th all-time.
Marquise Moore (360) is 20 rebounds away from Byron Allen for 5th all-time.
Jaire Grayer (100) is seven three pointers behind Sherrod Wright for 14th all-time.
Marquise Moore (575) is six points away from Mason’s ninth best scoring season (Herb Estes and Robert Dykes), 19 points away from Mason’s eighth best scoring season (Curtis McCants).
Marquise Moore (360) holds Mason’s single season rebounding record.
Prediction: Mason 79 Loyola (MD) 62
Prediction Record: 22-11