George Mason Patriots Preview
Date: Tuesday, November 26th
Time: 6:30 pm CST/7:30 pm EST
Location: John Gray Gymnasium, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
2018-19 Record: 18-15 (11-7 Atlantic 10 Conference)
2019-20 Record: 6-1 (0-0 Atlantic 10 Conference)
All-Time Series Record: This looks to be the first time the Cornhuskers will play GMU
Coach: Dave Paulsen (5th Season)
Odds: Nebraska -1.5
How To Watch: This game will only be available streaming online via Flohoops which requires a pricey subscription. FYI, the $12.50/month price tag they show is NOT one you can cancel at anytime. It’s for an entire year at once, which equals out to $12.50/month. The monthly subscription that you can cancel whenever before the next month’s bill is for $30.
You can also stream it via radio only at TuneIn.
This is not the cinderella George Mason team of the 2006 Cinderella tournament that made it all the way to the Final Four. Overall in their first four seasons under Head Coach Dave Paulsen, the Patriots have gone 65-67. His second season was the only non-losing season, and that saw a 20-14 record, 9-9 in conference, with a first round exit from the CBI.
On a purely personal note, I am happy to see they lost to American University where my husband works, 75-78 in overtime. They also beat George Washington three times on the season, where he went for his graduate studies and worked as well before moving to AU. Otherwise there’s nothing much of note in their schedule beyond a 58-59 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats and a 67-63 win over the Dayton Flyers.
George Mason sits at 6-1 on the season with wins over Navy (295th KenPom), Longwood (278th KenPom), LIU (272nd KenPom), James Madison (222nd KenPom), Loyola MD (210th KenPom), and Old Dominion (139th KenPom) with their sole loss a 86-63 blowout to the Maryland Terrapins (14th KenPom).
GMU ranks 20th in RPI and 148th in KenPom. Their adjusted defense is 130th, and they run a smothering defense that saw Old Dominion held to only 28% shooting in the second half of their first round game yesterday. On the offensive end, they can struggle just like a Tim Miles coached or present Husker team, ranking 186th in KenPom adjusted offense. At one point in the second half yesterday, they only went 3 of 12 on shot attempts for a prime example of their struggles. If the Huskers manage to push the tempo like Hoiberg wants, this will be devastating for the Patriots as GMU is 306th in adjusted tempo.
As for players to watch, sophomore guard Jordan Miller leads the Patriots with 13.8 points per game so far this season. Sophomore guard Jamal Hartwell II is second in scoring with 13.2 points. Meanwhile, junior guard Javon Greene is the third leading scorer with 12.7 points, is second in rebounding with 7.3 boards a game, and leads in assists with 3.3 and steals with 1.7 per game.
Junior forward, 6’7” and 210lb. AJ Wilson leads the team in rebounding with 8.3 boards and also in blocks with 3.7 per game, while also being the fourth leading scorer with 12.3 points. Overall, the team is averaging 32% from three and 41.6% from the field. They share the ball well with 13 assists per game, but also average 11.7 turnovers.
I feel more confident about this one than I did about WSU last night. Therefore I probably am cursing this with bad karma or something. Regardless, as long as the Huskers stay hot on shooting more than not tonight, and have the fresh legs on day two to push it, this won’t ever be in doubt. I think they have that in them before struggling on Wednesday. So bearing this in mind, let’s call it Huskers 75-GMU 65.