Jim Larranaga on His Team
In a huge upset, Jim Larranaga's booth at the ESPN Zone has proved the most popular.
(A side note about the ESPN Zone: there are bright lights highlighting the CAA's men's and women's statistical leaders from last season, a loop of men's and women's highlights running on various monitors, an empty game room (complete with air hockey, which I would play if Post staff writers Eric Prisbell and Steven Goff hadn't already bailed), and a large painting of men wearing the Redskins uniforms, with some sort of war feathers coming out of their helmets, plus one Redskin on a horse with a bow and arrow, battling with men in Cowboys uniforms, some of whom are wearing cowboy hats, others of which are wearing the Cowboys helmets. It is a real masterpiece.)
Anyhow, Larranaga has proved predictably popular with media members, spinning stories about scheduling difficulties and RPI stuff and his conversations with other college coaches, all the usual stuff. Items that may be of interest:
On Juco transfers Smith and Monroe: They are adjusting very well, but their playing time will depend on how much progress they make on defense.
On his starting lineup: It will also depend on who wants to play defense.
On this year's breakout candidate: Jordan Carter. He lives with Will Thomas, Folarin Campbell and John Vaughan, all of whom have logged many minutes, and Larranaga said the experience of playing in the Final Four in his hometown seems to have energized Carter in some way. Look for him to be a regular part of the rotation.
On Mason's Final Four run: Bear in mind, Larranaga asks, that this didn't come out of nowhere. He said that there are only nine programs in the country that have won at least 10 league games in eight consecutive seasons. These are the teams: Duke, U-Conn., Arizona, Kansas, Gonzaga, Southern Illinois, Creighton, Kent State and George Mason. This was Larranaga speaking off the top of his head, so I can't vouch for the list's accuracy, but it's a pretty impressive group.
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