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Around The Rim: Sherrod By Any Other Name
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 12/27/2012

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  If Sherrod Wright is going to make a habit of sinking game-winning shots at the buzzer, then he deserves a nickname. The redshirt junior guard did it again last weekend when his 22-footer to the right of the key beat the clock and Richmond for a 67-64 win in the inaugural Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic at the Richmond Coliseum.

    The shot sure made holiday meals taste much better for Mason players, coaches and fans. Last Valentine's Day, Wright delivered what may have been the most exhilarating moment of the season when his 30-footer at the buzzer provided a 62-61 victory against VCU that sent the Patriot Center into hysteria.

   As for nicknames, how about Mr. Big Shot, with apologies to Chauncey Billups of the NBA? Mr. Clutch? SureShot Sherrod? Let's hear other suggestions.

   Based on degree of difficulty and that the Patriots were behind against VCU as opposed to being tied against Richmond, the VCU shot was more dramatic.

   "It probably was," Wright said. "It was farther and I had to dribble up the court. But as long as we got the win, I can't complain."

    And he wasn't complaining that he got fouled on the Richmond shot, though nothing was called. Wright clearly has the confidence of teammates and the coaching staff as reliable go-to player. Afterwards he was asked if he has always been a clutch shooter.

  "Yes," he said, matter-of-factly, with a laugh. "I don't care who we're going against. I always want the last shot ... or at least to make good plays at the end of the quarter or half. That's something that has been going on for me. I'm blessed with that."

    The Richmond game-winning play was executed up by a pair of New Yorkers. Point guard Corey Edwards of Queens penetrated and dished the ball back to Wright, who is from Mount Vernon.

    "I'm confident in Sherrod all the time," said Edwards, a sophomore. "Anybody from New York I'm confident in."

    "That means you have confidence in me, too?" asked coach Paul Hewitt, who was born in Jamaica but grew up in Queens.

    "Yes, coach," said Edwards with a sheepish expression that produced laughter.

    "I'm from his neighborhood and he grudgingly gives me confidence," Hewitt said. "How about that?"

     Edwards, who has moved into the starting role the past three games, was crucial down the stretch as the Patriots finished the last 7:31 on an 18-3 run. The Patriots had six players score during the stretch including Wright with six of his game-high 22 points and Edwards with three plus the key assist.

   "He's stabilizing us right now," Hewitt said of Edwards, who finished with 13 points, three assists, three steals and just one turnover. "One of the reasons I think he's earned his playing time is we chart deflections. Even though he was eighth or ninth in minutes, he leads us in deflections.

    "Defensively he takes charges, getting his hands on the ball and bothering ballhandlers. We said let's give him a chance and see what happens. Now the offensive play is coming back to where it was last year prior to the concussion."

   Edwards, who missed two non-conference games last year with the concussion suffered in practice, is one of the team's quickest wits. Maybe he has a good suggestion for a nickname for Wright.