Brann...it's good for you.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Finally, some rumors are heating up...

...it's been a quiet week since Paul Hewitt was given his walking papers by Mason; however, things are starting to heat up as we enter Week 2.  Jay Larranaga rejected the Patriots this weekend, deciding to stay in the pro ranks with the hopes of getting a head coaching gig there.  No loss.  He's never coached at the college level, and we would be trying too hard to connect to an era that's passed.

The GMU Hoops Blog mentioned a couple candidates in a post from last night that I also saw on Twitter last night.  The two he mentions are Steve Prohm of Murray State and LaVelle Moton of N.C. Central.  In addition, I saw a rumor on Twitter about Mason interviewing Albany coach Will Brown, who's taken the Great Danes to five NCAA tournaments.  All of these coaches would get a bump in salary at Mason, and the opportunity to escape one-bid conferences.  Brown is expected to interview at Fordham as well, who fired their coach Tom Pecora last week as well.  

Stay tuned...

GO MASON.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Paul Hewitt: Done.



The inevitable finally happened today for Mason men's basketball coach Paul Hewitt, who was let go by Mason with one year remaining on his 5-year contract.  Hewitt will get 750K to NOT coach Mason next season (in addition, combined with the dollars that he's still getting from Ga. Tech, he'll be paid 2.1 million dollars next year to not coach either school).  Hewitt's first two years were successful in the CAA with 24 and 22 wins respectively, but it all changed in a tougher conference with his own recruits (11 wins and 9 wins).  It was time for a change in Fairfax.  Hewitt's not a bad guy; he's just not a good coach.  

The search for his successor began almost immediately; in fact, it quickly focused on a familiar name in Fairfax:  Larranaga (no tilde).  Former Mason coach Jim Larranaga's son Jay Larranaga, currently an assistant with the NBA's Celtics, is a favorite based on his pedigree and potential as a rising 39-year coach.  But, he's never coached a college program.  Others on the early list:  Former Mason asst. Chris Caputo (Jim Larranaga's top recruiter) and former Alabama and VCU coach Anthony Grant (who did quite well as a coach at a hoops-only school).  

I'm curious to see how many on the current roster remain after this firing.  I'm rooting for Thompson, Moore, and Jackson to stay the most.  Those three are good building blocks for season three in the A-10, which I hope is at least a .500 season.  However, I'm willing to give a new coach some time to build a program back to the place where it belongs:  Among the top mid-major programs in the country.  Sure, we got spoiled in 2006 with Mason's Final Four run.  But, we've seen other mid-major program like Butler, Gonzaga, VCU, Wichita State, and others maintain high levels for their programs nationally.  Mason graduates/fans expect and deserve the same.  

Time are a'changin' in Fairfax...and that's a great thing.

GO MASON.



Friday, March 13, 2015

Murray takes the $$s and runs



On Thursday, Cowboys free agent RB DeMarco Murray - fresh off a historic year in Big D - took the $$s and ran to the rival Eagles for 5 years and 42 million dollars.  At first glance, this is a painful departure from the Cowboys line-up.  However, this article accurately portrays the risks of Dallas resigning a 27-year old RB with a history of injury issues to a long-time, big money deal. In two years, his career will likely be over and Philly will be stuck with a large contract. 

Sorry, Murray...looking forward to shutting you down twice a year when the Cowboys and Eagles meet, and Dallas proving most anyone can dominate behind our stud OL.  

GO COWBOYS.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It's over. Now, we wait.

George Mason lost for the 4th time in the last two years, and the 5th time overall to Fordham last night to end its 2014-15 season of misery.  We finished 9-22 overall, 4-14 in the A-10, and 0-1 in the A-10 tournament for the 2nd year in a row.  Now, we wait to see if the Mason President and AD have the guts to do what must be done:  Fire Paul Hewitt. 

Stay tuned...this story is just getting started.

GO MASON.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Hewitt's last days begin

George Mason dropped its regular season finale to VCU on Saturday in a game that they were down by 14 at the half, cut it to 4, and then lost by double-digits.  That's the season in a nutshell.

Based on Saturday's A-10 games, the bracket is set for Wednesday in Brooklyn.  Mason, the 13th seed, takes on Fordham (12) in one of the first two games on Wednesday.  If we somehow win and get another game, then it's VCU (the #5 seed...they really tanked at the end of the regular season, but they can still beat us) again on Thursday.  Hewitt's career at Mason should be over by this weekend or early next week.

Here's the bracket, if you're interested.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Dez gets tagged; Beasley is back

The offseason is starting to heat up in the NFL, and my Cowboys will be one of the hotter teams in terms of moves.  This week, they tagged star WR Dez Bryant with the franchise tag, guaranteeing his return to Dallas for 2015.  Bryant - a free agent - was hoping for a long-term deal for more money, but that's still a possibility.  In addition to Bryant, the Cowboys signed restricted free agent Cole Beasley to a four-year contract, ensuring one of Romo's favorite targets for big catches won't be going anywhere.  Beasley and Bryant have both become two of my favorite Cowboys, so it's good to see them back for another title run in 2015.

As for stud RB DeMarco Murray...still TBD.  I'd love to have Murray back, but the Cowboys plan to let him test the free agency waters.  Personally, I expect he'll resign in Dallas for a chance at a title run and the Cowboys will pay him what he's worth on the free agency market.  But, we'll see.  If not, one of the returning runners, a free agent, or a rookie will have a great offensive line in front of them.

GO COWBOYS.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Mason wins at St. Louis

Last season, Mason lost two heartbreaking games in OT to St. Louis - one at home, and one on the road.  This year, it's been a different story vs. the formally dominating Billikens.  Mason beat SLU last night in St. Louis 78-50 in a rare game where the Patriots dominated from start to finish.

Mason was led by four players in double-figures on a rare hot-shooting night.  Mason shot over 70% in the 1st half and over 60% for the game.  Freshman Isaiah Jackson led the way with 18 pts. (14 in the 1st half), followed by Moore with 14 pts. and 6 assists, Jenkins with 13 pts. and 10 rbs., Thompson with 10 pts. and 7 rbs., Holloway with 9 pts., and Royal with 8 pts.  Mason even shot an incredible 94% (17/18) from the FT line.  

With the win, Mason gets briefly out of the cellar and moves to 4-12 in the A-10 and 9-19 overall.  We are tied with Fordham at 4-12, but they have a win against us in our only match-up.  Duquesne sits at 5-11, but they've beaten as well in our only match-up.  The Patriots, even if they somehow beat GW and VCU this week - tall orders - will need others near the bottom to lose in order to avoid the first day games in the A-10 tourney.  The tourney starts on March 10.

Congrats on the win, Patriots.  However, in a season like this one, I won't get too excited.  The Hewitt era is coming closer to an end with each game.  There's little to nothing he should be able to do now that will save his job.  Let's not feel too sorry for the guy, though...he got a 85,000 dollar bonus by being employed by Mason as of today, and he's likely to get 700K to sit at home next season.

GO MASON.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The kiddos




It's been awhile since I posted any pics of the kiddos, so here's a couple from this week.  Tyler finished third in his Cub Scouts troop Pinewood Derby on Monday night.  We spent a few weekends working on his first derby car.  Sophia and the rest of us met new cousin Zoe this week, who was born on Monday in Manassas.  Both kids are having great school years.  I haven't done a "What's Going On" post in awhile.  Let's hope winter is winding down. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In case you missed it...

...George Mason lost again on Saturday.  My family was supposed to attend the latest embarrassment, but a predicted snowstorm on Saturday (which turned into reality) forced me to ask for a credit on my Mason tickets.  I can use that $26 for another Mason athletic event.  Tyler and I are thinking baseball may be a good option.

Mason lost to Rhode Island on Saturday, who is tied for first in the A-10.  They're good.  We're not.

Shevon Thompson had 15 pts. and 14 rbs. It was his 15th double-double of the season.

Mason is now 8-18 overall, and 3-11 in the A-10. Mason is now dead last in the A-10.

Until this team wins again, I've decided to not waste any posts on them.  So, this blog may be very empty until I post the Paul Hewitt dismissal story.  


Thursday, February 19, 2015

The disgraceful Patriots lose again

I'll keep this simple:

Mason wasted my family's dollars last night.  I decided to attend this game spur-of-the-moment based on cheaper than normal seats on StubHub.  When we got to the Patriot Center, there were maybe 9000 empty seats.  There's no way there were 2600 fans in the stands (official attendance).  Not...even...close.

Mason lost 80-68 in another winnable game.  We lost to the league's "worst" team, according to the standings before last night's game.  Shevon Thompson was brilliant again with 19 pts. and 10 rbs., and a couple other guys scored in double figures.  You can look up the box score. 

When you allow your opponent to make EASY baskets and drain 11 three-pointers, you're not going to win.  Digusting.

With their latest loss, Mason falls to an embarrassing 8-17 overall and 3-10 in the A-10.  We're down to the last six games of Paul Hewitt's disgraceful period as Mason men's basketball coach.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mason wins on Homecoming vs. UR



After getting blown out by Davidson this week in NC, I didn't have high expectations for Mason's chances vs. Richmond on Homecoming 2015.  But, the Patriots proved me wrong with a 71-67 OT winner vs. the Spiders.  Mason was led by an impressive five players in double figures:  Thompson with 15 pts. and 14 rbs. (love him), Jenkins with 15 pts. (he's getting back to the promise he showed as a freshman), Holloway with 13 pts. (including 3 three-pointers), and both Moore and Jackson with 11 pts. apiece.  Thompson's double-double was his 13th of the season.  I really hope we can keep him for his senior season.

Mason shot a lot better than behind the arc, shooting over 54% against a good-shooting UR team who excels from behind the three-point line.  We also held Richmond's best player, Kendell Anthony, to 10 pts. on 3/15 shooting.  Overall, this was a good team win for the Patriots in a very frustrating season.

Mason "improves" to 8-16 overall and 3-9 in the A-10 with the win.  Next up:  League bottom-dweller Fordham (who could beat us!) on Wednesday at home and Rhode Island next Saturday at home.  We will be attending the R.I. game next Saturday.

GO MASON.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Once again, Mason loses

As you can tell, my desire to post anything about Mason basketball is taking longer and longer.  

Well, Mason lost again this weekend.  This time, we lost to St. Joseph's in Philly in another winnable game.

Mason had 19 turnovers, shot 41% from the field, and only 53% from the FT line.

Shevon Thompson was the only bright spot with 15 pts. and 16 rbs.  He is now third in the COUNTRY with 11.9 rpg.  He's giving a great audition to whoever ends up being his next school.

With the loss, Mason falls to 7-15 overall and 2-8 in the A-10.  We are tied with Duquesne (who beat us) and St. Louis (who we beat) right ahead of Fordham (1-9 and fresh off their 1st conference win over St. Louis).

Mason travels to Davidson on Wednesday, before heading home for Homecoming on Saturday vs. Richmond.  I don't expect a good week.  The bright spot:  We're probably nine games away from Hewitt being fired and the start of the rebuild.

GO MASON.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Mason comes close, but falls to #18 VCU at home

In full disclosure, I didn't watch one minute of this game because I had to attend a school meeting that started at the same time.  I missed our 7th loss in our last 8 games, but at least Mason wasn't embarrassed by a ranked VCU team.  

Mason fell 72-60 in a game that they led by two at the half.  But, Mason's Achilles continues to be taking care of the ball.  Mason had 18 turnovers, which led to 27 VCU points.  That's pathetic.  Shockingly, Mason did have four players in double figures:  Jenkins with 15 pts. (he's alive!!), Holloway with 13 pts. (first game back since 1/17), Jackson with 12 pts. and 10 rbs. (first double-double), and Edwards with 11 pts. (and 3 three-pointers - he hits them, so I don't know why he doesn't shoot more).  Thompson led the way on the boards with 16 rbs., but was held to only 6 pts. on 1/4 shooting.  

With the loss, Mason falls to 7-14 overall and 2-7 in the A-10.  We're tied for next-to-last with St. Louis and Duquesne.  Fordham is 0-9 in the A-10, so there's hope we won't finish in the cellar.  (Maybe.)  

Next up:  St. Joe's in Philly on Sat.  They're beatable.  But, so are we.  

GO MASON.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

The kiddos in January














January was a busy one in the Brann household.  Tyler has started his first season of basketball, playing with the Upward league out of a local Baptist church.  He just had his third game yesterday, with five more to go before the season ends in March.  (We already have him signed up for another season of soccer after b-ball ends.)  

Sophia is very busy, too; she took part in a Pyramid concert this week at the local high school as part of our elementary school choir, and she was inducted into the National Elementary Honor Society (the first chapter in PWCS) on Friday. Sophia's a very hard worker when it comes to academics.  I'm proud of her smarts and effort.

Mason looks pathetic in Pittsburgh

It seems like old times.  Fresh off a strong win over St. Louis, Mason returned to the Mason of old, with a 62-53 pathetic loss to the Dukes of Duquesne in Pittsburgh.  I watched this game online, and it was incredibly frustrating and painful.  

Here's the gist:
  • Mason's best player, Thompson, is held to 5 pts. on 1/7 shooting.
  • Mason shot 25% for the game.
  • Mason shot 13% (!!) in the 1st half.
  • Mason shot 23% (6/26) from behind the arc.
  • Mason shot 65% from the line.
Mason had no answer for Duquesne's zone, since its usual slash to the basket offense was cut off.  Thompson had a very off night - he was rushing shots and Duquesne's interior defense was very solid on him all night.  Of course, no one else was up to the challenge in terms of helping out.

With the loss, Mason falls to 7-13 overall and 2-6 in the A-10.  Mason is still in 11th place, ahead of the Dukes, St. Louis, and Fordham.  Our "goal" (this is sad) should be to avoid the last two places in the conferences, so we don't have to play the play-in game of the A-10 tourney again this year.

Next up:  VCU.  The no. 14 ranked Rams lost to city rival Richmond on Saturday, and lost their stud senior and team leader Briante Weber to an injury (knee).  Still, they have enough talent to destroy us by 20 without him.  

GO MASON.


Friday, January 30, 2015

With Thompson leading the way, Mason breaks a losing streak



Led by Shevon Thompson's 19 pts., 14 rbs., and 3 blocks (his 10th double-double of the season), the Patriots defeated the St. Louis Billikens last night at home 68-60.  Thompson was joined in double figures by Marquise Moore with 15 pts. and 5 assists, and a career-high 16 pts. from Corey Edwards.  Mason's strong defense and efficiency from the FT line (82%) were keys to this victory.  

St. Louis had no answer for Thompson inside.  I continue to be more and more impressed by this big man from the islands, who has only been playing hoops a few years.  He's been a godsend for Mason, especially considering the issues we've had with keeping players healthy.  This is the one player Mason can't afford to lose.

With the win, Mason improves to 7-12 overall and 2-5 in the A-10.  We are in 11th place, ahead of St. Louis, Duquesne, and Fordham.  We have another winnable game on Saturday night in Burgh vs. the Dukes, but that's the kind of game where Mason slips up. We could use a couple wins in a row heading into next Wed.'s battle vs. the league's best team, VCU.

GO MASON.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mason blows a win in OT vs. the Wildcats

If you're the George Mason Patriots during the Paul Hewitt era, you find a new way to lose on a regular basis.  Once again, Mason had an opportunity to defeat a better team, only to snatch defeat from the jars of victory at "home sweet home."  Mason came back to a take a six-point league vs. the Davidson Wildcats.  With 21 seconds to go, the Patriots "simply" needed to stop Davidson's long-range game and make some foul shots.  

They did neither one.  Mason allowed Davidson to hit two three's in the final 21 seconds, including the typing three with a second to go.  In addition, Mason's Jalen Jenkins had a chance to give Mason the game with two freebies from the foul line.  He missed both.  In fact, he air-balled the second one, setting up Davidson for the game-typing three at the buzzer.  Davidson dominated in OT to take the win.  Mason did what it does best during the "reign" of Hewitt:  Choke.

With the loss, Mason falls to 6-12 overall and 1-5 the A-10.  Shockingly, we're not in last in the A-10, because Duquesne and Fordham are temporarily worse.  Mason was led by Marquis Moore with 18 pts. and Shevon Thompson with 15 pts. and 15 rebounds.  Even though he hasn't done much lately, Mason could have benefitted from Patrick Holloway being available to play.  He was out due to illness.  Nonetheless, Davidson was without their leading scorer, Jack Gibbs, and still came away with the win.  

Next up for the Patriots:  St. Louis at home on Thursday night.  A year after winning the A-10 tourney, the Billikens are struggling at 9-10 overall and 1-5 in the A-10.  They did lose all five of their starting five from a year ago.  What's our excuse for being even worse?

The Paul Hewitt "Era" countdown:  12 more regular season games and probably one A-10 tournament game.  Then, we're done.  However, one of the A-10 feeds that I follow on Twitter was sharing a rumor this weekend that Hewitt may be fired as soon as February. We'll see.  It can't end soon enough.  I know I could coach this team better than him at this point.

GO MASON. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Post focuses on the downtrodden Patriots



The Washington Post had a feature article on George Mason basketball yesterday, and it wasn't for good reasons.  Goff, who follows the Patriots, focused on how far we've fallen since the Final Four run in 2006.  It's a depressing read.  

From the Post:



Cast in light and shadow high above sections 108 and 109 at Patriot Center, the Final Four banner watches over the George Mason men’s basketball program like a hovering parent.

It offers a reminder of an unfathomable feat almost nine years ago, when the Patriots became the first in a rush of midsize programs to crash a postseason party reserved for the sport’s elite.

Before Butler, Wichita State and Virginia Commonwealth, there was a giant-killer called George Mason. But while the others have maintained a national presence, the Patriots have fallen back into the cluttered well of dreamers.

In eight seasons since the Final Four appearance, George Mason has won one NCAA tournament game, in 2011. And with a 6-11 record entering Saturday night’s game against visiting Davidson, the Patriots are on a path to consecutive losing seasons for the first time in 17 years.

The team has sputtered since leaving the lesser Colonial Athletic Association in 2013, dropping 16 of 21 Atlantic 10 games. Its lone visit to a postseason tournament under fourth-year Coach Paul Hewitt was the third-tier College Basketball Invitational two years ago. 

Attendance has declined to pre-Final Four years, an optic amplified by a 10,000-seat arena too large for the program’s needs even in the best of times.

“We have work to do, a lot of work to do,” said Brad Edwards, the former Washington Redskins defensive back in his first academic year as George Mason’s athletic director after two years at Jacksonville University. “We need to catch up on many things.”

I'll let you finish the article on your own. 

Mason takes on a very good Davidson team at 7 pm tonight in Fairfax.  Davidson, new to the A-10, was picked to finish last in the conference.  They've been near the top all season.  The difference?  Coaching and a commitment to the school's most major sport.  

Pray for an upset tonight.

GO MASON.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Caps stumble into the All-Star break



Tyler's Christmas was full of sports gifts, including many hockey-centric items.  He received a couple small hockey goals with sticks and "pucks" (little balls); he received a NHL poster; and he received a Caps helmet and jersey.  His Aunt Stacey gave him a Caps sweatshirt.  So, a couple nights ago, I purchased a couple upper decker seats on StubHub to take him to his first professional hockey game in March when the Minnesota Wild visit the local Caps.  We wanted to see the Wild when we were in Minnesota in October, but they were on a road trip at the time.  We also bought Tyler a Wild sweatshirt from a local Target (where else?) before we left the hockey state.

I'm not sure who Tyler will root for on March 5, because both teams are struggling going into the break.  The Caps lost their third straight game last night, 5-4, on a shootout in OT.  The Caps had 2-goal leads on three seperate occasions in this game, and lost them all.  This loss follows two over the weekend to a strong Nashville team and a good Dallas team; losing to the Oilers...not so good.

From the Post:


In the aftermath, Coach Barry Trotz raised an idea that recently seemed unthinkable. He had hoped for a dominating effort in what he had called “a must game.” Now, he ushered the Capitals away with biting criticism.

“It’s like a script,” Trotz said. “I said to the guys, maybe we don’t make the playoffs. There’s some good teams in there. Maybe we don’t make the playoffs, and there’s a point we gave away. If we’re going to be a good team, you’ve got to secure that. We get three goals in this league, you’ve got to be able to win the hockey game.”

So far this season, Trotz has been a great addition on the bench.  We'll see if he can motivate this often underperforming squad to the playoffs, and if they can do anything if they get there.


With the loss, the Caps fall to 4th in the Metropolitan Division behind the Isles, Pens, and Rangers.  They are 24-13-9 at the break.

GO CAPS.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Nats make some noise



The local baseball club, the Nationals, made some big national news on Monday with the signing of top free agent pitcher Max Scherzer.  I was hoping for Scherzer to end up in pinstripes, but alas, it's the local Nats who get the top target of many this off-season.  With Scherzer in tow, Washington has a starting pitching rotation most teams only dream about...we'll see if they keep all of the current members of that staff, or if they use some as trade pieces (especially with Fister and Zimmermann entering free agency years).

From the Post:





Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras, is among the most powerful and influential characters in the sport, and he had long described the pursuit of the offseason’s most expensive free agent as a decision for ownership. To that end, Boras met with Ted Lerner privately earlier this month, and according to officials with knowledge of the talks, negotiations started at the highest level.

Though another, unnamed team remained in the mix Sunday night, according to multiple people with knowledge of the negotiations, the Nationals were “aggressive” by that point, and the parameters of a deal came into focus. Though the average annual value of the contract is $30 million, it is structured creatively. According to an official with direct knowledge of the negotiations, it includes a $50 million signing bonus that is spread out over several years, and the end result is Scherzer will receive $15 million annually for the next 14 years — including seven years after the pact ends. 

Scherzer could fit into the team’s current financial structure, meaning the Nationals don’t necessarily have to trade Zimmermann (due $16.5 million this season) or star shortstop Ian Desmond, also an impending free agent who will make $11 million in 2015. Before Scherzer’s deal was complete, the Nationals owed about $130 million in payroll for the upcoming season. The structure of his deal means they will only pay out $145 million — not a huge leap from their opening day payroll of roughly $134 million a year ago.

In a year, they could lose Zimmermann, Desmond, Fister and center fielder Denard Span to free agency. But their farm system is stocked with perhaps the best group of starting pitching prospects in the game. “They’ve been able to play it both ways,” said an official from another club.

For right now, though, they are now loaded. This one move that put Washington at the center of the sport guarantees nothing but anticipation and what’s sure to be a hotly contested debate: Which one of these star pitchers will get the ball on April 6, when the Nationals open the season boasting an accomplished rotation that just got better.

The expectations will be huge for the Nationals in 2015.  We'll soon see if they can live up to the hype.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mason loses its 4th in a row vs. the Colonials

From the Post:

Eighteen miles separate Smith Center from Patriot Center. The distance between the men’s basketball programs performing in those arenas continues to grow.

George Mason stuck with surging George Washington for much of Saturday afternoon’s affair in Foggy Bottom before succumbing to the Colonials for the third consecutive time since the Patriots joined the Atlantic 10 last season.

I think Goff from the Post gets to the heart of what's it's like being a Mason fan/grad these days.  Folks, it sucks.

Mason had another chance to win on Saturday afternoon/evening vs. the local Colonials, but it was not to be once again against a better team.  With the loss, Mason falls to 6-11 overall and 1-4 in the A-10.  We're not in last place, but we're darn close.  

Mason was led by Corey Edwards with 13 pts. and Shevon Thompson with 11 pts. and 11 rbs.  I'm been very disappointed with the play of Jalen Jenkins and Patrick Holloway this season, who should have been key contributors.  Mason got a boost yesterday from the return of Julian Royal, who has been out since the 5th game of the season with a hurt hand.  Still, it wasn't enough.  GW clearly has more talent right now, and it may be a long time before we beat them.

Next up:  A week off, and then Mason returns home vs. the league's newest team, Davidson.  Davidson was picked by the league's coaches and many college hoops publications to finish last in the league.  So far, they've been near the top all season.  

We are 13 games from the end of the A-10 regular season.  After one or maybe two A-10 tourney games, Hewitt will be fired.  We'll have a season or two of rebuilding after Mason's new hire comes in.  Things don't appear to be looking up anytime soon.  

GO MASON. :(

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mason embarrassed by the Bonnies in Rochester

I'll keep this short and simple:  Mason sucked on Wed. night.  I watched this game until the 16 pt. deficit at the half, when I couldn't take anymore.  I'm glad I didn't turn it back on.  Despite getting out to an early 10-2 lead, Mason was destroyed by St. Bonaventure 75-55 at a neutral site game in Rochester, NY.

For the game, Mason was led by Shevon Thompson with 18 pts., but only 4 rbs.  Little man Corey Edwards led the way on the boards this game with 9.  Jenkins and Holloway added 9 pts. apiece.  Mason shot a pathetic 38% in the game.  Both Jenkins and Holloway fouled out of the game.  Thompson, who was dominating early, was forced to sit with two fouls earlier than normal in the 1st half and the momentum quickly changed in the Bonnies' favor.  

With the embarrassing loss, Mason falls to 6-10 overall and 1-3 in the A-10.  Next up:  A likely butt-whipping by the Colonials of GW in DC on Saturday afternoon.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sucky Sports Sunday



It came down to one call.  Well, in reality, one call doesn't determine a football game, but it was a huge factor in Dallas's playoff loss to Green Bay on Sunday, 26-21.  Down by 5 with a couple minutes to go, Dez Bryant (above) made a miraculous catch at the one-foot line on 4th down that would have given the Cowboys 1st and goal and a chance to take the lead.  Who knows...maybe we wouldn't have gotten in.  Maybe the Packers would have scored on the next position.  But, we'll never know, because the guys in stripes made sure Green Bay got the ball back.

This was a game about missed opportunities, and I could probably spend a day talking about each one.  But, let's instead focus on the positives:  This team went 12-4 and won the division in a year most thought the Cowboys would barely get to 5 or 6 wins (5-11 and last place in the East according to SI) after their straight 8-8 seasons.  Romo, Bryant, Murrary, Witten, Williams, etc. and an underrated D all had great seasons. My son Tyler became a sports fan this year, and he got to watch my favorite team and now his favorite have a great season.  It was a joy to watch many games with him, even the bitter end.

My thoughts turn to the future, and it's a big off-season in Dallas.  Key FAs include Murray and Bryant, two guys this team can't afford to lose.  Plus, there are restricted FAs like Cole Beasley, an underrated gem who comes up big for a little guy.  I know not everyone will be back, so it's important for the organization and coaching staff to find gems in free agency or the draft to keep the momentum going.

Congrats on a great season, Cowboys.  I'm disappointed it didn't end with a Super Bowl win, but I think the future is still bright and there's always next year.  I didn't have that expectation before the season started.  It's amazing how things change.

As for my Mason Patriots, they also had a chance to win on Sunday.  It didn't happen.  Mason held a 2-pt. halftime lead over a beatable UMASS team, only to lose by 4 pts. at the end.  UMASS had a 10-pt. lead with about 6 to go, before Mason chipped away at it in the last minute.  The Patriots were led by Shevon Thompson (again) with 12 pts. and 16 rbs.  He got some help from Holloway and Edwards with 11 pts. apiece.  Jalen Jenkins, who I expected to score 15 ppg this season, added 9 pts., 6 rbs., and 4 assists.  Shooting 22% (!!) from the field in the 2nd half did in the Patriots this game.  

We're back to last season, where Mason puts together maybe one good half before things fall apart.  Or, vice versa.  With the loss, Mason falls to 6-9 overall and 1-2 in the A-10.  Next up:  St. Bonaventure on Wed. in Rochester, NY.

GO COWBOYS.

GO MASON.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

One 1st half run does in the Patriots vs. UR

One run.  That's all it took on Thursday evening for Mason to fall over 20 pts. behind the University of Richmond and seal the game for the Spiders.  Despite a valiant effort in the 2nd half to come back, Mason fell 10 pts. behind at the end, falling 75-65 in Richmond.  Mason will get a chance for payback vs. UR on Valentine's Day in Fairfax - a.k.a. Mason's Homecoming Game for 2015.  

Mason was led by stud big man Stevon Thompson with 19 pts. and 17 rbs. (!).  He was followed by Patrick Holloway with 17 pts. off the bench.  They needed additional help, and unfortunately didn't get it on Thursday night.  Mason's 34% first-half shooting vs. Richmond's 68% first-half shooting was the difference in this game.

Next up for Mason is another beatable team, UMASS, on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm.  With Thursday's loss, Mason falls to 6-8 overall and 1-1 in the A-10.  The match-up on Sunday between UMASS big man Cady LaLanne and Thompson should be a fun one to watch; Mason will need their guards and Jalen Jenkins to step up in the game to help out.  Thompson is up to 4th in the NATION in rebounds per game. 

GO MASON.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Post-Christmas fun: ICE!, National Harbor, and U.S. Botanical Gardens














 

After the hustle and bustle of Christmas, we spent a little time away last weekend at the National Harbor in Maryland on a Groupon deal.  We attended the annual ICE! show on Friday and walked around the harbor on Friday afternoon and evening.  We haven't been over there in five years, so it was good to get back (plus, it's only 45 minutes away when traffic is light...not bad at all).  On Sunday, we took a short day trip to DC to make our annual holiday pilgrimage to the United States Botanical Gardens near the Capitol.  This year's nature-inspired and nature-made creations had a lighthouses theme.  We finally made it this year on the last day of the exhibit.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Cowboys 24, Lions 20



With their backs against the wall in the 3rd quarter of yesterday's playoff game versus the Detroit Lions, the Cowboys decided it was time to wake up.  Down 17-7 at the half, Dallas stormed back to seal the victory 24-20 vs. the Lions with 2:32 to go in the game on a Tony Romo strike to Terrence Williams (his 2nd of the day).  In addition, huge 4th down plays (a 4th and goal TD run by Murray and a 4th and 6 completion to Jason Witten) keep the Cowboys alive and headed to Green Bay next weekend.  

For the game, Romo finished with 2 TDs and 293 yds passing and completed the biggest pass of his career thus far.  Murray was limited to 75 yds, but most of those were in the decisive 2nd half when the Cowboys needed some ball control to open up the passing lanes.  Williams was huge in this game, since Bryant was mostly quiet except for one big 3rd down reception.  

Dallas, 8-0 on the road this season, travel to Green Bay next Sunday at 1 pm.  The Packers will be tough to beat, but it's not impossible considering how well Dallas is playing right now.  They didn't play their best on Sunday, but found it in them to come back for the win.  

Keep it up, Cowboys.  

GO COWBOYS.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Mason starts off 1-0 in A-10 play



Behind a balanced attack, Mason defeated LaSalle 70-62 last night at home to start 1-0 in A-10 play in 2014-15.  Four Patriots scored in double-figures in the victory (Jenkins, Thompson, Holloway, and Jackson).  Thompson added 7 rebounds, and back-up PG (starting for injured Moore) added 7 assists and 3 steals.  Mason shot an impressive 57% from the field and made 20/29 FTs.  

With the win, Mason improves to 6-7 on the season and 1-0 in A-10 play.  Next up:  The Patriots travel to Richmond on Thursday and take on the Spiders.  The game will also be televised nationally on NBCSN.  

GO MASON.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Mason falls on the road to no. 18 Oklahoma



In a game I didn't expect us to win, Mason fell hard to no. 18 Oklahoma 61-43 on the road in an afternoon matinee game on New Years' Eve.  Mason shot a horrible 29.5% from the field and shot 0/14 from behind the arc.  That's no way to pull an upset.  None of the Mason players finished in double figures.  Shevon Thompson and Isaiah Jackson, who have been the leaders lately, both finished with 9 pts. apiece.  

With the loss, Mason falls to 5-7 on the season and finishes non-conference play.  Now, it's about the 18 games coming up in the A-10.  I had high expectations last season in our first campaign in the A-10, but we ended up disappointing and finishing a pathetic 13th in the league.  This year:  Who knows.  The outlook isn't positive, but if we somehow finish in the top seven of the league, I'd consider it a successful season.  I don't think anything less than a NCAA bid will help Hewitt keep his job. 

A "new" season begins on Saturday night vs. LaSalle, Patriots.  Let's pull some surprises.

GO MASON.

Blog Archive...