George Mason Basketball: Can This Be Another Cinderella-Story Run?

Andy CContributor INovember 24, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 01:  The George Mason Patriots fans cheer their team on against the Florida Gators during the semifinal game of the NCAA Men's Final Four on April 1, 2006 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

All five starters are returning for the 2010/11 season. Having depth all over the floor has been a staple of coach Jim Larranaga teams and this one is no different. Look for almost every player to get playing time. Let’s take a look at some of the key personnel this year.

G Cam Long: The 6’4”, 185-lb senior is without a doubt the leader of this team. He averages around 12 points a game. As with all leaders, his ability to be the general on the court is what separates him from the others. If everything goes as planned this year, he will become the 30th player in George Mason University history to score 1,000 points.

G Andre Cournelius: He is a 5’10", 172-lb junior who was one of the most highly decorated recruits the Patriots have ever secured. His ability to slash to the basket and deliver the ball is definitely his strong suit. Whether or not he is able to knock down the outside shot will determine how well the Patriots will be able to stretch defenses. Last year he led the CAA in three-point shooting at just over 43 percent.

F Luke Hancock: This 6’5”, 185-lb sophomore is currently leading the team in scoring. 

F Ryan Pearson: This 6’6”, 230-lb junior is a rebounding machine.

F Mike Morrison: Coming in at 6’9”, 222 lbs, this junior can and should play a versatile role rotating with Pearson down in the low blocks.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) we won’t know this team's true identity until sometime in January when the conference schedules pick up. One key game to watch is at Old Dominion down in Norfolk, VA on January 8th, 2011. The Monarchs are always a great bellwether and will no doubt show if this versatile team will be able to maneuver the CAA this year.

After going 17-15 last year and 12-6 in the CAA, the Patriots will look to rebound in a mighty way by utilizing their versatile lineup and amazing freshmen class to write another Cinderella story.