Weekend hoops preview: Mason, CAA on CSN

Weekend hoops preview: Mason, CAA on CSN
February 15, 2013, 6:15 pm
Share This Post

Comcast SportsNet is all about the CAA this weekend with three games, including George Mason, William & Mary and James Madison.  For game previews, keep reading.

(Also on out air Saturday, Georgia Tech at Wake Forest at 2 p.m. followed later by George Washington at VCU at 7:30 p.m.)

*William & Mary (10-14, 4-9 CAA) at Old Dominion (3-22, 1-12) -- Saturday, 12 p.m.

If the Tribe shoot 3-pointers like they did in Wednesday's 92-86 win over UNC Wilmington, good luck to the Monarchs. Then again, if William & Mary simply show up that might be enough. We kid, we kid, though that's the kind of year it's been this season at ODU, losers of 12 of 13 games - plus a head coach. Way back on Dec. 1, the Tribe won the previous meeting 71-62 behind 21 points from leading scorer and former Bishop McNamara star Marcus Thornton.

*Georgia State (13-14, 8-6 CAA) at George Mason (15-10, 8-5) -- Saturday, 4 p.m.

Just when the Patriots appear headed the wrong way down the CAA standings, they pull you back in with a strong performance like Thursday's 68-62 payback win at Drexel. Offensively challenged throughout the season, George Mason scored 44 points in the second half against the Dragons, overcoming an eight-point second-half deficit. Vertrail Vaughns paced the scorers with 14 points as the Patriots essentially flipped the script from last month's stunning home loss to the Dragons.

While there is no previous history this season with the Panthers, a 61-43 winner over Hofstra on Wednesday, the Patriots Homecoming weekend game plan should be rather apparent. For starters, stopping 6-foot-5 wing guard R.J. Hunter, the runaway leader in the CAA Freshman on the Year race, who is averaging 17.1 points and 5.3 rebounds. The second best 3-point shooting team in the conference, Georgia State struggles on the glass, averaging three less rebounds per game than the George Mason.

*James Madison (15-12, 9-5) at Delaware (14-12, 9-4) -- Sunday, 7:30 p.m., CSN-plus

Second place is at stake - well, almost - in this matchup, as is staying alive at having any shot at catching first place Northeastern. The Dukes, winners of six of eight, knocked off Towson on Tuesday to move into a tie with the Tigers, one-half game behind the Blue Hens. Arguably the hottest team in the CAA, Delaware has won three straight including a 76-74 thriller over Northeastern on Wednesday. Last month JMU won the first meeting 64-50 behind 15 points and 13 rebounds from senior forward Rayshawn Goins.

and beyond the CAA...

*George Washington (11-11, 5-4 Atlantic 10) at VCU (20-5, 8-2) --Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Recently Colonials coach Mike Lonergan said he originally took the Foggy Bottom job because of the challenging A10 roster of teams  - and that was before Butler and current conference-leader VCU showed up. Well, now in consecutive games GW faces arguably the top two teams, having come up short against the Bulldogs last Saturday after rallying from 17 points down to within one. We'll see if any rallying is in the Colonials future, but they certainly will be scrambling because that's what happens when teams face VCU's "Havoc" defense.

With waves of perimeter speedsters in the mix including sophomore guard Briante Weber, the Rams lead the country with 12.1 steals per game. Yes, the Colonials still start four freshmen and no matter what the backcourt trio of Joe McDonald, Patricio Garino and Kethan Savage have faced this season, nothing will compare to VCU's full court pressure. Then again, George Washington has thrived under a different type of pressure, having won three straight road games.

Since losing two straight games last month, the Rams have won four straight including an 86-68 Valentine's Day beat down over UMass. D.C.'s own Trevon Graham leads VCU with 16.0 points.