BY DOMENIC ALLEGRA SPORTS EDITOR
On Friday, Mason fell to Dayton, 74-65, for the Patriots’ eighth loss of the season.
“You just got to put in the work and the preparation and our guys have been great in practice,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “We’ll prepare for Fordham and we’ll look forward to playing a game at home after being shipped all around the country to fill in for other people who had COVID issues. So we’ll just get back to work and keep trying to get better.”
This was another game where the Patriots fell behind early and never made a comeback.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
IS THE TOP FOUR IN SIGHTS?
While a top four ranking is out of the picture this year, Paulsen believes that the team is close.
“I don’t think we’re that far away, but those final few steps are the hardest. I think if we get everyone playing well on the same day, I think we can beat anyone,” Paulsen said. “But the big issue is consistency across the board. And that’s a subtle thing, so clearly we’re not there right now. And yet I think we’ve shown stretches in every game that we can be.”
He continued, “It’s just a matter of getting more consistency from our veteran guys. I think what’s key is getting a little more consistent productivity off the bench. I think that that’s important in being able to go on the road in a tough environment and finish plays.”
CAN MASON TAKE ON FORDHAM?
The Fordham Rams have beaten teams that they should not have beaten. This included Dayton and now La Salle, but Mason could be next if they don’t prepare.
“Fordham can beat anyone, we can beat anyone, you can lose to anyone. There’s no way of ensuring anything,” Paulsen said.
The Patriots can’t underestimate the Rams. They have a pattern of playing down to their opponents, and this season is no different.
MALIK HENRY WAS ABSENT
Henry was highly touted in an interview by Paulsen early on in the season, but has only seen three minutes of conference play. Paulsen provided some reasoning why Henry has been absent from team play.
“He’s battled some injuries, you know, so he wasn’t available,” Paulsen said. “He’s going to be a very good player, and he’s been working hard, and he’s coachable. So part of it is his continued improvement, part of it is he’s playing behind guys like Josh [Oduro] and AJ [Wilson] and Jordan [Miller], who are scoring the ball for us and rebounding and stuff like that.”
He continued, “He’s close to playing, but part of the deal is playing a game like this, a game on the road, he’s just not quite there — but he’s really close.”
With the regular season wrapping up soon, Mason could use the extra depth on the bench.
Mason will take the floor again Feb. 10, unless another schedule change is made.