BY JALEN STUBBS, MANAGING EDITOR
PATRIOTS FALL TO HAWKS
Mason men’s basketball came up short against Saint Joseph University this past Sunday with a final score of 79-76. This being their second loss at home this season, the Patriots hope to build off mistakes made moving forward.
“If we’re gonna become a team, we’re gonna have to defend, we’re gonna have to be disciplined,” said Coach Kim English. “Our discipline just has to go to the next level, it’s executing plays offensively, not making unwise fouls, it’s executing to our principles consistently.”
According to Coach English, Saint Joseph has had a better season this year as opposed to last season. The Patriots have had many issues on the defensive from the jump.
“They had a great team with a really good offense,” said Josh Oduro. “We have to be a defensive unit and that starts with me. I have to set the tone–wasn’t very great guarding the ball making sure we were executing, that’s something we have to get better at.”
Coach English believes that the lack of communication within the defense was the main reason for the loss.
“Just fight in those key moments and definitely communication–like switches, we don’t even have to practice switches because it’s so easy,” said Coach English.
Coach English knows that what he’s looking for out of his team is a process. It requires time and energy to build the team the way it should be. In addition to what he’s looking for as a unit, he mentioned how he’s noticed much growth among individual players such as Malik Henry. His dynamic with his teammate, Oduro, is playing a huge role in the development of the team’s offense.
“They’re figuring it out,” said Coach English. “Malik especially in the second half [had] little jitters to start, it’s a different win when you start the game, your conditioning hits a little differently.”
The Patriots have had two additional lineups added to the roster which has been very helpful for this team offensively and defensively. Coach English believes there is room to improve. He explained how players have to make their free throws and avoid turnovers. In his perspective, this is how you make a positive impact.
“Individually I think guys are getting better, I thought Devin Dinkins gave us really good minutes tonight, Malik was great, Justyn Fernandez is getting better,” said Coach English. “It doesn’t stop.”
PATRIOTS DEFEAT UMASS
The Patriots were victorious at home against the Minutemen with a final score of 70-59. Freshman Justyn Fernandez tallied a career-high of 18 points (5-8 FG). After earning more minutes on the floor, Fernandez took full advantage of this opportunity.
“Just staying consistent, being the first one in the gym, last one out of the gym,” said Fernandez. “Playing more defense, locking into what the Coach is saying, and believing in that.”
Coach English has recognized much growth in his players since the beginning of the season. He looks to continue to put more freshmen on the floor to produce good results.
“We’ve just been focusing on how hard we play and how disciplined we play,” said Coach English. “There’s always room to grow in those areas but we had some really good moments tonight.”
The Patriots will head to Loyola University this Saturday, Feb. 4 where they will face the Ramblers at the Joseph J. Gentile Arena at 2:30 p.m.
THE GREEN MACHINE
Dr. Michael Nickens, also known as Doc Nix, was honored at the George Mason Men’s Basketball Black African Heritage Month Game for his achievements with the Green Machine. A fantastic way to kick off the first week of Black History Month.