[PREVIEW] George Mason vs. Princeton -- Men's Basketball

Sherrod Wright leads the Patriots in scoring this season averaging 15.0 PPG (photo by John Irwin).
Sherrod Wright leads the Patriots in scoring this season averaging 15.0 PPG (photo by John Irwin).

The Mason men’s basketball team travels to Princeton, NJ to take on Princeton at 8 p.m. tonight at Jadwin Gym. The Tigers and Patriots (4-1) meet for the first time in program history.

Princeton at a glance

Princeton (3-1) is on a two-game winning streak, with their most recent victories coming over Rice and Lafayette.

Last season, Princeton shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc, the fifth-best in the country. The team returns nearly 75 percent of its scoring from a year ago, despite graduating reigning Ivy Player of the Year Ian Hummer, who led his team in points, rebounds, assists, free throws and blocks last season.

The Tigers are once again one of the tallest teams in the country, led by 6’5” guard T.J. Bray, 6’8” shooting guard Denton Koon and 6’10” small forward Will Barrett.

Key returning players

2012 – 2013 Statistics

Denton Koon – Forward – 6’8” – 10.5 PPG – 3.0 RPG – 1.4 APG

T.J. Bray – Guard – 6’5” – 9.9 PPG – 3.8 RPG – 3.6 APG

Will Barrett – Forward – 6’10” – 9.3 PPG – 4.7 RPG – 1.6 APG

The team returns Bray, Koon, Barrett and 6'8" forward Hans Brase, all having started at least 18 games last season.

Bray was named to the Second-team All-Ivy League, and tallied 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds against Rice, when he returned to the court for the first time this season after missing the first three games due to injury.

Koon possessed a 61.1 true shooting percentage last season, and hit his first career double-double in the home opener against Florida A&M with 17 points and 11 rebounds. This season, Koon is averaging 13.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Barrett shot 51 percent on three-point field goals last season, and is currently shooting at 50 percent from beyond the arc through the first four games played so far this season. Barrett is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 11.5 points per game.

Brase is averaging 11.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, and continues to be a strong rebounder on both ends of the court. Brase played for Germany’s U-20 team in the European Championships this summer, and returns as the team’s high-post big this season.

Incoming threats 

2013 – 2014 Statistics

Spencer Weisz – Forward – 6’4” – 9.0 PPG – 5.0 RPG – 2.3 APG

The Tigers have a six-member freshman class, with five having seen action in games already this season. The roster includes Khyan Rayner, Hashim Moore, Steven Cook, Peter Miller and Spencer Weisz. Miller has played in every game this season, while Weisz is the first freshman player since 2008 to open the season as a starter and has started in all four games.

How Mason stacks up

Although Princeton has the size, Mason possesses the athleticism and up-tempo offense to penetrate the Tiger’s defense. Princeton is a strong three-point shooting team, so Mason will need to improve their perimeter defense.

The Patriots will also need to limit their number of turnovers, after giving up 26 points off of 15 in their last game against Iona. Marko Gujanicic, Johnny Williams and Jalen Jenkins accounted for ten of those turnovers, and will need to handle the ball better in this matchup. 

This will be Bryon Allen’s second game back after returning from injury.








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