Drexel at George Mason (Colonial)
Patriot Center -- Fairfax, VA
7:00 PM EST
We here at The Mid-Majority are 100 percent for early conference games and schedule gerrymandering if it gives us games like this, contests that will shape the conversation in leagues like the CAA for weeks to come. Whether this is the first step towards 40-game regular seasons and/or starting the action in mid-October, I guess we'll find out eventually.
Tonight, the lone league game in Hoops Nation will be played under the green and yellow banners of Gunston U.. Both teams are 5-1, but Mason has definitely been the more impressive of the two so far. There was the nationally televised gang-up on the Beasleys of Kansas State, followed by a close loss to Villanova and a wire-cutter against South Carolina to take third place in the Bruce Campbell Classic in Orlando. Will Thomas and Folarin Campbell, mid-major household names both for their 2006 heroics, are seniors now and they're acting like seniors. They have 31.8 ppg between them, and Thomas has a zoinks-worthy 12 boards a game. Then there's John Vaughan, who everybody said was the best player on crutches at the Final Four that year. Now that he's back, he's averaging 11.8 ppg in six games.
The Dragons? They've been drawn into hard slogs with Loyola (Md.), Robert Morris and Virginia. We spent the Thanksgiving weekend with Drexel at the Philly Classic, and we saw flashes of greatness. When they can set up their halfcourt offense -- with Frank Elegar and Randy Oveneke on the opposite blocks with those young guards buzzing around the perimeter -- they Dragons are a sight to see. Unfortunately, they've been too sloppy and silly to do that for long stretches so far. Coach Bruiser Flint, in yet another in a string of unforgettable press conferences, made Friday's subpar performance a generational issue... he said that in his day players didn't take Thanksgiving off from practice, and that coaches didn't cave in to moms demanding their sons get to leave campus. Kids these days!GMU 85, DREX 38