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The No-Name Gang and the Three-Story Alley-Oop

The GoMason Blog was at men’s basketball picture day on Wednesday and not only did we get a look at the new uniforms, we also had a chance to talk to a few players and Coach L about them as well as what picture day means.

First we caught up with Coach L, who told us that he still hadn’t seen the new uniforms. He leaves picking out each year’s model to the seniors. Cam Long and Ike Tate sat down with the Nike catalogue, got input from their teammates and came up with this year’s model. So Coach L called Ryan Pearson over and the junior showed off the white uniform, which, among other things, has “Patriots” in gold on the side of the shorts. Coach seemed to approve and then pointed out the only input he had into selecting the outfits – No names on the jersey.

Pearson said he didn’t like that at first, but he got the idea behind it. And the more he’s thought about it, the more he thinks it can be a good thing. Luke Hancock and Cam Long both agreed that it can only help team chemistry. Mike Morrison had the best response to being asked about no name on the back of the jersey.  “E pluribus unum, thirteen into one.” Well, close Mike. It’s actually “Out of many, one.” But major props for busting out the latin. Morrison also said that while other teams had started going with just “Mason” on the jersey, the men’s basketball team was going to keep it “old school” by going with the full “George Mason.”

We asked all of them what picture day meant to them, if anything. Hancock said it means “things are getting started.” Pearson said he tries to do something different every year with his hair. Coach L said he went back and checked out the 2007-08 picture, when we won the CAA title, and the 2005-06 picture, when we went to the Final Four, so he could try to wear a similar tie. Why not just wear the same tie? “We auctioned that one off,” Coach L said. The GoMason Blog nearly smacked itself in the forehead after hearing that.

Finally, last year we asked Cam which of the six freshmen the fans were going to enjoy watching the most. He didn’t hesitate to answer “Luke Hancock.” This year, we asked him who improved the most over the summer.  His answer? Luke Hancock. “Because that’s one person that stays in the gym. One thing he didn’t really do last year was shoot the 3. Now he’s one of the people we go to on the perimeter.”

Below is a never-before-seen video of Luke Hancock tossing a three-story alley-oop pass to Mike Morrison. We’re pretty sure this won’t work in a game.

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SAAC Olympics

The George Mason Student-Athlete Advisory Committee held an Olympics this past Sunday. Watch the video to see some highlights and congratulations to the Purple Team of Adam Carter, Brad Erickson, Katie Frey, Lauren Goodell, Paige Impink, Kimmy Moss, Ryan Pfaeffle, Rachaunn Ruffin, John Schmitz, Isaiah Tate, Brig Tison, and Ran Yin which won the event.


Saturday in the Park

It was a good weekend to be wearing the Green and Gold.
The men’s soccer team, after second-place finishes each of the past two seasons, finally broke through and won the D.C. College Cup, beating American on the Eagles’ home field, 1-0. The Patriots scored midway through the first half and survived some ridiculously good shots by American. The Eagles had a slew of scoring opportunities but the Patriots stepped up repeatedly. Maybe that’s why a pair of Mason defenders were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Mason probably doesn’t win the D.C. College Cup without contributions from their freshmen. Sean Cote, Alex Herrera and Wesley Sever all started for the Patriots while Hugh Roberts, Geaton Caltabiano and Zak Haapaoja all played significant roles in the wins. It was just a few weeks ago that Mason’s recruiting class was named 13th in the nation and they showed why in the victory. Here’s Mason junior Eber Martinez speaking about how satisfying the win was and how well the Mason defense and midfield played in the two games:

The men’s team will return to action next weekend, playing at Penn on Friday night at 8 p.m. and at Villanova on Sunday at Noon.

The women’s volleyball team got off strong in the Patriot Invitational, rallying from two sets down on Friday night to beat Army, then topping West Virginia on Saturday morning, 3-0. A win over Charlotte in the nightcap would give Mason the Patriot Invitational title for the third time in four seasons. Holly Goode and Kelsey Bohman have picked up where they left off last year, leading the team in kills and blocks, respectively. Danielle Cook and Kelly McCarter have each made contributions this year.

The women’s soccer team may not have beaten 22nd-ranked Georgetown, but don’t think some important things didn’t happen at North Kehoe Field. Midway through the first half, Zoe Doherty made her Mason debut after missing the first three games. She was cleared by the NCAA on Friday evening and the transfer from Dublin City University in Ireland finally got on the pitch. Mason coaches think she will be an impact forward for the team. Also making her collegiate debut in net was Lyndse Hokanson. The freshman who did play in the field against Howard found her way into the net against the Hoyas. Hokanson, who may be the future in net for the Patriots, allowed two goals but did make three saves INCLUDING stopping a penalty kick.

Hokanson’s instincts proved right when Caitlin Durkee lined up for a PK in the 89th minute and as Hokanson went low and to her left stopping the shot cold.
We have it on good authority that Georgetown head coach Dave Nolan, who was an assistant under Mason head coach Diane Drake when she was with the Hoyas, might have mentioned to his team that he didn’t want his former boss to pick up her 100th career win on their field. Drake will look for that milestone on Monday against American in a match played at Georgetown as part of the D.C. Invitational.

Finally, the women’s cross country team has run once this season but has a 5-1 record. That’s right, the women’s cross country team is 5-1 after competing at the Mount St. Mary’s 5K Duals. The meet was scored using the dual-meet format, so Mason beat Mount St. Mary’s, Maryland, UMBC, Saint Francis (Pa.) and George Washington, but lost to American. Laura Sinclair was third overall while Sandy Castro and Victoria Saimyn were eighth and ninth, respectively. The women’s cross country team will return to action on Sept. 18 at the Delaware Invitational.