Posted In Blog, News - By Chris Jollay On Sunday, December 1st, 2013 With 0 Comments


Did you watch the game yesterday, Mason’s extremely unofficial A-10 opener? The Patriots defeated Rhode Island at home 61-54, and redshirt freshman Jalen Jenkins had a monster game, with nine points, five blocks and 11 rebounds in just 17 minutes. While we never really could put away the Rams until the end, and despite being AWOL on the court for short stretches, the victory was a big improvement over the last two games where the Patriots went missing for two entire halves.


I can stomach some bad games on the road, against average to good teams, which Iona and Princeton are. What I won’t accept is anything close to last year, when teams like Georgia State crushed us in the Patriot Center. It just can’t happen. And so far it hasn’t, although granted we haven’t played great games against, well anyone yet. And Saint Francis (PA) and American certainly gave us better games than we expected. But right now we’re still 5-2, undefeated at Patriot Center. Which is fine.


Well, except for one guy. Jon Arledge has cleaned out his locker, and he ain’t coming back. Ever. It’s a big blow, but certainly one we can better sustain with the emergence of Jenkins and Marko. Still, what a disappointment. There’s no doubt the guy had a skill set we could use, and his strong end to the season last year hinted he could put up some impressive stats this year. But he wants a fifth year, and we’re not going to give it to him at George Mason. After a car accident this summer, Jon wanted to be at his best in front of the NBA scouts that typically visit the Patriot Center almost never. Now he’ll try and get another year of eligibility at another school, because Luke Hancock.


Well, you can’t blame him. He’s got his NBA career to think about. It’s tough sledding to get into the NBA–only one player in the entire A-10 (Reddic) is currently expected to be drafted in most 2014 mocks. But look for Jon to put up 20 and 10 at an ACC school next year after his mysterious back injury fully heals. Rainbows. Unicorns. Obamacare.


They certainly are, for now. Coach Hewitt got a nice ovation last night when he came to Brion’s, and he deserved it. He got his team to play some decent basketball yesterday. It’s what we expect from a senior-laden, deep and fairly talented team–with or without Jon Arledge. At 5-2, the Patriots are now halfway through their non-conference schedule. Unfortunately, the schedule now gets harder, with South Florida at home Wednesday, Oklahoma at Verizon Center, three in Hawaii, then home to Penn and at ODU. If we can equal the 5-2 start next seven games, and get through the non-conference slate with ten wins somehow, the Patriots will be in very good shape entering the A-10 slate.


Whoa, slow down! Unless you see a line like Rhode Island +9. I mean, I’m a fan–I’m not stupid. Although I do feel slightly ashamed for actually becoming aroused when I saw that easy money-maker yesterday.


It was an eye-opener. It was a painful trip–after the first half I wanted to gouge my eyes out. Plus “Voice of the Patriots” Bill Rohland was driving, and he is a certified maniac behind the wheel when slowed by heavy traffic. But I learned a lot about the program as well as myself from the journey. I also was honored to spot longtime boards friend “Mr. Sock” at the game, who like me had his heckling energy sucked from him by a listless first half from the Patriots.

I was also honored to be able to ride in a car with interim Athletic Director Tom O’ Connor and GMU legend Ric Wilson. I learned much–for instance did you know Ric is a vegetarian? Did you know Tom, like me, enjoys drinking in his spare time?

I have to tell you, I was going to spill the beans about what I learned in that car ride, but once again I was bought off to keep mostly silent. I’ve been demanding many things of the athletic department the past few years, and if you noticed the fancy “from below” beer fillers in the hospitality rooms yesterday, the AD is finally starting deliver on what I’ve been clamoring for recently. Beer delivered more efficiently and quickly to program donors can cover up a great many defects on the court, I’ve always maintained.

I will say that Mr. O’Connor does read what you people on the boards write. As he enters the twilight of his career and the onset of his golden years, just be warned he is not above just extending Paul Hewitt for spite, even if he doesn’t deliver. And though an extremely nice guy, he’s not above tracking some of his critics down. He sees me as a bridge to the new technology known as the Internet; I told him to let me know if he ever wants to overtly threaten anyone, and I’ll help deliver the message.

But none of that is necessary for right now. Because things are good in Patriotland.

About - My name is Chris Jollay. I like George Mason so I went to college there in the 1990's. I majored in History there and built the pond outside the arts center. One time I was on the news for being homeless and another time I got to meet Mikey the Chimp. I like my two dogs, "Patrick" and "Holloway" very much but I don't like most people from VCU very much at all.

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