With a full day to bask in the glow of what he calls "the school's greatest victory," Coach Joe Harrington of George Mason really didn't want to think about Sunday night's game against Virginia.
Meanwhile, Harrington's old boss, Lefty Driesell, hopes his team gets a chance to show off a little Sunday night in an 8 o'clock game against Lafayette at Cole Field House. Maryland won its opener Friday night against a slow-down St. Peter's team, 49-42, after which Driesell said, "It's a good win for us, but we like to play basketball."
George Mason reached the final of the Cavalier Invitational Friday night by jumping out to an early lead and going on to upset Virginia Commonwealth, 81-68, in the second game at sold-out University Hall.
The seventh-ranked Cavaliers crushed outclassed Fairfield, 107-66, in the first game although Ralph Sampson played only 21 minutes and scored only 13 points.
The matchup everyone here is waiting for is the 7-foot-4 Sampson against Andre Gaddy, George Mason's 6-10 senior center.
Gaddy scored 25 points, had 12 rebounds and blocked five shots while dominating VCU's standout center, Kenny Stancell. Although nobody expects him to match those figures against Sampson, he could give Virginia's all-America his first test of the young season.
"That man is good," Gaddy said of his rival. "I'm going to have to get some help against him underneath, but it will be a challange and I'm looking forward to it.
"It felt good to be back," the 210-pound senior said, alluding to missing most of last season with an injury.
After averaging 20.3 points and 10 rebounds as a sophomore and 18.5 points and 10 rebounds a game in his junior year, Gaddy broke his right thumb in the second game last season against Loyola of Baltimore and sat out the rest of the year.
"I've only seen Adnre play in three games now," Harrington said, "I really don't know what to expect from him, how good he can really be. I do know that he plays a lot better in games than he does in practice."
If George Mason is going to turn last year's 10-16 team into a winner, it will have to continue to get the same type of performance from Gaddy that he gave here when he controlled both backboards.
While Harrington had hoped that Gaddy would dominate inside, he was pleasantly surprised with the play of Carlos Yates, a 6-5 freshman from Flint Hill.
After months of speculation over his choice of colleges, which included offers from Big Ten and Atlantic Coast Conference schools, Yates decided to stay near home.
"I want to help make George Mason a landmark for area college basketball," he said. "There is a lot of potential here and I want to help start it."
Yates certainly did his part in his first college game, making seven of 13 shots and seven of 10 free throws for 21 points.
"Carlos is an excellent shooter," said Harrington. "He gives us the outside threat we need to keep the pressure off Gaddy. He's going to be a good one."