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George Mason Basketball

George Mason Basketball: April 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

Recruiting class getting more attention

When has Mason ever had two recruits honored as first teamers on the Washington Post's All-Metro team? The answer is never and this official announcement in today's Post just reinforces what avid Mason hoop fans already know: we got a damn good recruiting class coming to Fairfax. Cameron Long and Vlad Moldoveanu were honored on the first team and Isaiah Tate was an honorable mention making the group one of the most decorated recruiting classes in Mason's history. If you look at the rest of the first team they are made up guys will be playing in the Big East and the ACC conferences. Maryland and Georgetown won't be stealing all the best local recruits anymore. Also notice that on the first team Vlad is joined by teammate Chris Wright who averaged 30 points a game and was a McDonald's All-American. Amazing Vlad was able to get enough attention for himself with a guy like Wright hogging the ball during the year. The more I read about these recruits coming in next season the more confident I feel about the future of this team. Usually Coach L has to settle for players who are basically overlooked by everyone and than have to be molded into guys like Lamar Butler and Tony Skinn. Now he has the luxury of having guys come in that have the talent to step in and contribute right away. And thats not a knock on the previous recruiting classes that Larranaga has brought in, but these new guys that he is bringing in have played against much better competition and in some cases have carried their teams. Cameron Long for instance did have much of a supporting cast at Freedom high school in Woodbridge but he was able to get them to the state semi-finals. Vlad is a 6'11" versatile player who shot 42.3% from the three point line. Usually players over 6'7" are hard to come by for mid-major teams, let alone a guy nearly 7-feet tall that can knock down three pointers. Vlad will have a huge advantage over most of the competition in the CAA at the 3 or 4 spot creating mis-matches for other teams. Mason returns its entire starting lineup and two guys on the all-met first team; oh yeah the future looks bright.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Stars come out tonight

Cameron Long; a Mason recruit that continues to be decorated by the local media, has been named to the Associated Press All-Group AAA second team for Virginia. Tonight he will be playing in the Capital Classic All-Star game with fellow Mason recruit Vlad Moldoveanu on the Capital All-Star team. They will be taking on other high school all-stars from around the US in a game that will be broadcast on local ESPN Triple X radio. Isaiah Tate is playing in the first game of the night on the District All-Star team as all of Mason's 2007 recruits will be active in this classic. Keep in mind that current NBA stars Lebron James, Camelo Anthony, Antawn Jamison, and Dwight Howard all played in this game while in high school. The Washington Post has Long as one of the Capital All-Stars to watch tonight:

G Cameron Long, 6-4, Freedom-Woodbridge: The George Mason recruit averaged nearly 20 points per game during a postseason run that ended in the Virginia AAA semifinals for the third-year school. He held his own against top area opponents such as Montrose Christian, St. John's and Eleanor Roosevelt, even though opponents knew he was the focus of the Eagles' offense.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Where are they now?

Jai Lewis, Tony Skinn, and Lamar Butler were local heroes that carried Mason all season last year. One year after the cinderella story, where are they now? Yahoo sports ran an article last week detailing the journeys each one of them have taken into foreign countries to keep living the dream of playing professional basketball. Most of us know that Jai Lewis had his little stint with the New York Giants while Lamar and Tony got try-outs with the Wizards, but what happened after that?

The truth is the road to playing basketball for a living after their years at Mason has been tough. Each has ended up in a foreign country they would rather not be in but at the same time they get paid to play the sport they love. The article is a must read for any fan.

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