Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A couple of suspended guards: Andre Cornelius and Jerime Anderson

George Mason's back court cannot afford another hit.

With Cam Long and Luke Hancock both gone, the Patriots are already without their two best playmakers -- the two combined for roughly 50% (240 of 483) of the team's assists last season -- which is why the suspension of starting guard Andre Cornelius is a big deal. According to the Washington Times, Cornelius was suspended after being arrested for credit card fraud and credit card larceny on Friday.

“Cornelius has been summarily suspended from the team as a result of the charges filed against him,” the school said in a statement. “The suspension will be in effect until the legal and University judicial processes have been completed.”

That leaves the Patriots with a major void in their back court. Who steps in? One option is Vertrail Vaughns, a redshirt sophomore that seems primed for a breakout season. He was the most efficient player on the George Mason roster a season ago and had a high usage rate (20.9%) while playing limited minutes (9.5 mpg). But he also was more of a spot-up shooter than a point guard or a creator.

That means the point guard role will likely be filled by either sophomore Byron Allen, who was one of the top 50 point guards in the country when he graduated high school, or freshman Corey Edwards, a New York native that is known for his ability to put the ball on the floor and create. Also expect redshirt sophomore Sherrod Wright to get minutes in the back court after missing last season with a shoulder injury.

And, for what its worth, I'm not expecting Cornelius to miss too much time. These things tend to result in a suspension of a handful of games, but I don't know if Cornelius has had disciplinary issues in the past. So we'll have to wait and see.


If you didn't believe me when I said that these things tend to result in a minor suspension, well, here's your proof.

UCLA senior point guard Jerime Anderson was arrested back in July for allegedly stealing a laptop. After pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of appropriation of lost property and trespass, Anderson will have to do 300 hours of community service and will have his record expunged if he can stay out of trouble for two years.

"Jerime has been very remorseful in acknowledging his mistake and accepting responsibility for his actions," UCLA Coach Ben Howland said in a statement. "I believe he has learned a valuable lesson."

Apparently he did, because Anderson's suspension is officially for two games but, well, actually, no. Its not. Anderson will sit out an exhibition game before missing the team's season opener against Loyola Marymount.

Expect something similar for Cornelius.

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