When the Gators have the ball (national rank listed):
Fla O GMU D AdjEff 6 15 eFG 3 7 TO% 144 220 OR% 91 68 FTs 19 15
Florida has a unique combination of a high ranking in both shooting stats (eFG% and FTRate), with Duke as the only other team in the top 20 of both. But GMU brings an equally lofty status on the defensive side, with UConn and Iowa as the only others possessing top 20 defenses in the shooting categories.
While previous Mason opponents had a clearly identifiable offensive weakness on the individual level, Florida really doesn’t. Yes, Lee Humphrey and Taurean Green are much more dangerous behind the arc than inside it. But that doesn’t matter when you have Florida’s frontline. Al Horford and Joakim Noah both shoot 60+%, but Horford gets his points further from the hoop on average.
Florida turns the ball over a bit much, but maybe it’s not so surprising considering they like to play at a faster than average pace.
When the Patriots have the ball:
GMU O Fla D AdjEff 53 8 eFG 21 18 TO% 77 83 OR% 233 104 FTs 223 45
Mason’s offense is the weakest unit of anyone in the Final Four. They get a lot of value out of each field goal attempt, and they better, because they don’t get many second chances or whistles. They’ve shot 51.0% from 2/41.9% from 3 during the tourney against teams currently ranked 3rd, 44th, 51st, and 55th in eFG defense.
Florida’s defense, like their offense, is well-rounded. Their team rebounding isn’t all that great considering they have two very good individual rebounders.
GMU spreads out its offense among its starters very well, but they have less depth than anyone left. They are not going to get much offense from anyone coming off the bench.
Florida prefers to play a pace of 68.7. George Mason prefers 64.5. We’d expect 66 possessions in this game. The Patriots average pace in the tournament is 64. It is extremely important that they keep the pace down in this one. Florida is patient in the halfcourt, but does like to run when possible. If this thing ends up with around 60 possessions, then GMU doesn’t have to worry as much about foul trouble. But additionally, Florida fares worse in slow games.
Pace Opponent Result 56 G'town W, 57-53 57 S. Car. W, 49-47
Those two games are the only times Florida has played in a game under 60 possessions, and each time the game came down to the last possession. Probably because their transition opportunities were limited.
George Mason has specialized in containing transition. They’re going to need to continue that against Florida. The closer the pace gets to 70, the more likely the Gators advance.