January 21, 2008 8:14 pm ET by Kyle Whelliston
A 6-0, 185-lb. junior point guard from Houston, Texas had the shooting night of his life -- or most people's lives -- on Saturday. In a 96-75 blowout of James Madison, George Mason's Dre Smith scored a career-high 34 points on astonishing 11-of-12 shooting. But, as you might have heard already, 10 of those shots were 3's, and all 10 of them went in. That is an NCAA record for 3-pointers made without a miss, and kudos to the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record's WINS radio reference. Give Dre Smith 28 minutes, and he'll give you the world.... and we'll give him our 11th Mid-Majority Baller of the Week honor.
Smith's performance lit up the possession-based, geek-stat board like no other night has this season. In effective field goal percentage (with weights threes as a regular shot plus a half), his 10 long-distance makes helped him notch a 133.3% mark -- easily the best performance in eFG% for the year, blowing out the 123.1 that former MMBOW Samuel Haanpaa turned in on Dec. 15. Using the NBA Efficiency Model, which rewards "good" stats (points, rebounds, etc.) and punishes "bad" ones (turnovers and missed shots), Smith scored a 40. Others have had higher numbers, but when you "tempo-free" it by applying the new (new!) Basketball State statistic of "efficiency per possession", Smith's .890 was this season's highest one-game number of any player who spent 20 or more minutes on the court. All of this is a long-winded way of saying, dude played a solid game.
Mr. Smith went to Fairfax two summers ago, a key juco recruit that was drawn to George Mason because of the Final Four run. At Cochise Community College (Ariz.), he scored 23.1 ppg and was named a first-team juco All-American. He was previously chased by Creighton and Mississippi State, but he ended up as a Patriot. It took him a little time to adjust to Division I life, averaging 8.0 ppg in half-games in 2006-07, but he heated up big-time in the CAA tourney, averaging 17.3 ppg in the four-day run to the championship game. He was named to the all-tourney first team, and there's no question the Patriots wouldn't have made it to that final step if not for him.
And after hitting a December rut here in 2007-08, George Mason is back to fulfilling the promise of its solid and stacked roster, winning four of its last five games to climb to 5-2 and a tie for second in the CAA race. A lot of that wouldn't have happened if not for the Patriots' 11.1 ppg man, who also happens to be our 11th MMBOW.
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