Tuesday night, two teams fighting to maintain an outside chance at an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament face off in one of the most important CAA contests of the season.
- What: VCU Rams (22-5, 13-2) visit George Mason Patriots (21-6, 13-2)
- Where: Patriot Center
- When: Tuesday, February 14thth at 9pm
- Watch: Comcast SportNet or George Mason Athletics Website ($8.95)
- Listen: 107.3 or Online
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While George Mason is not VCU’s main rival, the Rams and the Patriots have fought some incredible battles over the past five years. Each has has serious consequences come the second week of March.
Tuesday night, two teams fighting to maintain an outside chance at an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament face off in one of the most important CAA contests of the season. Both teams are tied for first place in the conference, and with Drexel on a roll, the loser of the game will likely be out of the hunt for the CAA title.
In a year when good shooting has been hard to come by in the CAA, George Mason is the exception. By design George Mason leads the conference in two-point shooting percentage. George Mason’s two best players are senior forwards Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison, and combined they take 34% of the Patriot’s shots while connecting on 53.7% of their attempts.
The Ram’s front-court depth will definitely be tested against this much more experienced squad. Don’t be surprised if foul prone Juvonte Reddic and DJ Haley get into trouble and minutes are required of David Hinton or Jarred Guest.
When these two teams faced off last year in the CAA tournament, the guard oriented Rams got bailed out when Mike Morrison fouled out in only 20 minutes of play and Vertrail Vaughn fouled out in only 11 minutes. The Rams will look to get the Patriots in trouble but 4th and 5th fouls are always tougher to force on the road.
While forward play is their strength, the Patriots are very turnover prone. They turn the ball over on 21.6% of possessions and they rank 9th in the CAA in turnover percentage. The Ram’s need to force turnovers if they hope to steal a win on the road against a team that shoots so consistently.
Ryan Pearson is having a spectacular season. Picked to the CAA preseason first-team he is averaging 17.6PPG and 8.5RPG. At only 6’-6” he is an extremely capable rebounder, and the Rams defense will definitely be tested by his versatility.
Ken Pomeroy favors VCU to win 66-65 with a 52% chance of victory. Like Saturday’s game it’s an absolute toss-up. At the end of the game, the result will come down to who makes plays…hopefully one of the Rams can channel Eric Maynor:
George Mason Profile
- Location:Fairfax, VA
- Conference: CAA
- All time series: VCU leads 29-17.
- Last meeting: VCU 79-63 in the CAA tournament.
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