Monday, March 24, 2008

Ryan Pearson- Ready for George Mason

Ryan Pearson of Christ the King (NY) put on one of the top performances at the 2008 Prime Time Shootout. The 6'5 senior displayed a nice inside-outside game, and thrived on the low post. Pearson was listed as a guard on the team's roster, but he likely projects to a forward spot at the college level. Ryan will be a George Mason Patriot when he does bring his game to the NCAA. I caught up with Pearson after his team defeated Trenton Central (NJ).

NB: You had a great game out there today. What do you consider to be your forte, because you’re [listed as] a guard, but you’re able to play down low [on] the post? How do you think that helps you, and what do you consider to be the best part of your game?
RP: I think the best part of my game is playing down low, because I feel that . . . I’m a mismatch for all my defenders so if I see that a guy is bigger than me, and if the post is not working, I can go and take him off the dribble, or [because] I’m a good team player also, so if I’m not having a good game, I always try to get my team involved, never give up, and just keep playing.

NB: What do you consider to be your biggest weakness that you need to work on?
RP: My biggest weakness, I got to work on more perimeter defense, guarding the perimeter, because I know in college I’m going to guarding a lot of “3” guys, and they [are] going to be quick with the ball and I have to work on sliding my feet and getting my perimeter defense together.

NB: What was it like playing in this atmosphere where you’re in Trenton, playing against a team from Trenton, with the crowd being . . . for the team you’re playing against? Was that [in] any way affecting the way that you guys were playing, or not at all?
RP: It didn’t affect us. We came out psyched for this game, because last year we came here and we lost, so we just wanted get it won for the road, because we [are] seniors and we [are] going off to our college, and we didn’t win this tournament, . . . so we just wanted to get this all won and we [were] really hyped up about the game. We played out-of-control a little in the first half, but in the second half we kind of pulled it together and played like how we [are] supposed to.

NB: You mentioned being a senior, what are some of your goals [for] your senior season?
RP: I want to win [the] championship, I want to win it all. Last year, we won the city championship, but we didn’t go to Glens Falls, so I now I just want to re-cap that, win the city championship and go to Glens Falls and win it all, and I’ll just go out with a bang.

NB: Have you made a college decision yet?
RP: Yeah, I’m going to George Mason. I signed a Letter of Intent to George Mason.

NB: And what went into that decision to go play in the CAA?
RP: I like the conference. I like the conference, I like the area where the school is located at, I like the coaching staff, the guys down there [are] cool, . . . we all get along. I like . . . everything about the school, the campus, . . . everything they have to offer for me, it just felt like a good fit, that’s why I just chose [to go] there.

NB: Was their Final Four run a few years ago a part of your decision?
RP: Yeah, that too. I knew they were going to be a tough team, and I knew they [are] a team on the lookout, so they [are] upcoming and arising, and they always play a tough schedule, so we [will] always be able to knock down some of the Top 25 teams.

NB: There [are] a lot of kids from New York who are going to the CAA. What’s it going to be like playing against them in college as well?
RP: [It will be] just like high school, just like AAU basketball, it’s going to be the same thing. . . . I’m cool with a lot of them, so . . . it [will] be fun just playing around them all year long.

NB: What are you most excited [for] about playing for George Mason next year?
RP: [Pause] That hopefully [I will] have a chance to do my dream, and go to the NBA. If not, I just want to have a successful college career.

The Patriots of George Mason were back in the NCAA Tournament this year, and although they didn't make another magical run to the Final Four, the squad did have a solid season, winning the CAA Tournament. Although the team will lose Folarin Campbell and Will Thomas, GMU should still be competitive next year, and Ryan Pearson will certianly be able to help. Pearson is a fine talent and if he Prime Time Shootout performance is any indication, he will be a successful CAA player. Ryan Pearson is ready to take the Colonial Athletic Association by storm, and the rest of the league had better watch out.

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