Since their first two games of defensive ineptitude, Mason has shown improvements on the defensive end every single game. They capped it off with a masterful performance against Albany, where they held the Great Danes to 26.2 percent from the field and a staggering 8.7 percent from behind the arc.
A lot of this defensive success has started with strong, man to man defense from guards like Corey Edwards and Vertrail Vaughns, including the addition of a pestering full court press, forcing teams to speed up their offense, make mistakes and turn the ball over often.
Against Bucknell, the guards are going to have to come to play again, particularly against three point specialist Bryson Johnson, who drilled six threes in Bucknell's last game against Morehead State. Much like with Albany, Mason cannot give Johnson a clean look the whole night, or he will be tough to stop.
That being said, it can't be understated how important it is to contain Mike Muscala. The guy has been a dominant force in the paint and his huge size can cause matchup problems all night. The Mason forwards—particularly Mike Morrison, Erik Copes and Jonathon Arledge—need to stick to this guy all night and try to keep him away from the basket to avoid the easy points.
Muscala is also a proficient free throw shooter and gets to the line often, so Mason will need to find that healthy balance between close, tough defense, without fouling.