The George Mason Patriots were up 31-7 on the Northeastern Huskies in the second round of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, and everyone in the Richmond Coliseum though Mason would be cutting down the nets and heading to the NCAA Tournament two days later. But, Northeastern came back, GMU lost, and the Patriots are now playing in the Collegiate Basketball Invitational Tournament on Tuesday night.
Mason accepted an invitation to the 16-team CBI Tournament and they will travel to future-CAA rival, College of Charleston at 7 p.m. at the TD Arena. The College of Charleston accepted an invitation to join the CAA from the Southern Conference last fall.
The Patriots will enter their opening match-up riding two perimeter players who were extremely efficient in the CAA Tournament. Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen played terrifically down in Richmond, despite losing to Northeastern. Wright averaged 16.5 points in Mason’s two CAA tournament games while Allen averaged 18 points per game on his way to earning a spot on the All-CAA Tournament team.
This season, all of Mason’s key contributors were juniors or younger. While they did fall short of their preseason goals of winning the CAA and earning a berth to the NCAA Tourney, this team will certainly be hungry and prepared for another successful season in 2013-2014. With that in mind, head coach Paul Hewitt and his staff will most likely be looking to use this tournament appearance as an opportunity for his players to continue to grow and better themselves for the year ahead.
Considering so, the other members of the CAA better watch out.