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George Mason Basketball

George Mason Basketball: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Recruiting update: George Mason eyeing impact guards for 2013 class

With the 2012 recruiting class complete it's time to move on to the 2013 prospects. So far it looks as though Paul Hewitt and his staff are going after impact back court players for their 2013 recruiting class. They are high on Tim Quarterman, the 6'5" shooting guard from Savannah, Georgia, but so are a lot of other big programs. Quarterman has also played point guard in high school and has great size for a guard. He's been receiving a lot of praise recently in his area and truly fits the mold of a Paul Hewitt type guard. How desperately could this team have used a wing player who could dish and handle the ball well last season?

Quarterman isn't the only guard they have offered, as there is news today that the staff has offered a scholarship to AJ Riley, a 6'2" point guard from Peoria, Illinois:
Riley was the MVP of the Philly JamFest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this past weekend and most certainly caught the eye of a few coaches. He's already received several offers from MVC schools

Current starting point guard Bryon Allen will be a senior for the 2013-2014 season and Corey Edwards will be a junior, so the search for their successors at the point is something the staff is making a priority this off season. Hewitt's offense relies heavily on strong point guard play and a lot of the team's struggles from this past season stemmed from there.

The interesting thing to follow with this recruiting class is how much an official announcement of George Mason moving to the Atlantic 10 could have. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Marko Gujanicic officially signs on for 2012 recruiting class

We have been talking about Marko Gujanicic for awhile now since he verbally committed to George Mason back in  late January. There is still a lot of mystery to him since most of his playing experience comes from overseas but now that he has officially signed his letter of intent we will start to learn more. Gujanicic joins Patrick Holloway in the 2012 recruiting class, which is probably now complete, otherwise I think they might have waited to release this news officially in the event that another prospect signed on. Paul Hewitt initially saw Gujanicic in Lativa when he was coaching the USA U19 team last summer and he continued to follow him when he went to Stoneridge Prep in California.

From the school's official release:
A native of Cacak, Serbia, Gujanicic most recently played at Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, Calif., where he averaged nearly 17 points and more than ninerebounds and six assists per game. A 58 percent shooter including a 40 percent mark from 3-point range, Gujanicic is a versatile post player who has the ability to shoot from beyond the arc as well as put the ball on the floor. Gujanicic helped lead Stoneridge to a 25-win season this year, earning team MVP honors and a selection as one of the top five prep players on the West Coast.
His versatility will be a huge asset to the team, as he has size and can handle the ball well. The team might have a much easier time breaking presses next season with guys like him and Anali Okoloji. Also the fact that both incoming recruits have impressive three-point shooting numbers is something to get excited about.

Here is what Marko's high school coach had to say about his recruitment:
"Marko is the ultimate skill player for any level of Division I basketball," said Stoneridge coach Les Bean. "He is an excellent player and excellent teammate, can do anything and can be a size mismatch on the floor.

"He had so many options but as soon as Coach Hewitt and Coach [Roland] Houston started talking to him, the level of professionalism and selling the program really turned heads with me, Marko, and his family and friends," Bean added. "I have such a level of respect to see Coach Hewitt and Coach Houston recruiting the right way, and I think that's why Mason got the quality of player in Marko that they did."
Next year's team is going to be very different from the 2011-2012 team and there are a lot of question marks. It's difficult to project just what kind of roles Holloway and Gujanicic will have next season. Gujanicic probably have a chance to see the floor more as the team lost two key forwards and he can play at a number of different spots. If his shooting is as good as advertised I think Hewitt will definitely find a way to get him into the rotation, especially at the three or four spot.  


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ODU's AD says new round of conference realignment could be coming by end of April/early May

A poster on our message boards noted some interesting comments that ODU's athletic director had on their local ESPN radio station. Aside from the talk about ODU specifically, he fielded a lot of questions from the callers and host Tony Mercurio about the rumors of George Mason and VCU moving to the Atlantic 10 conference. He says early in the segment that he thinks there is going to be a "musical chairs" like atmosphere in college athletics in terms of conference realignment, that could start by the end of April/early May. He isn't directly talking about the CAA/A10 and mentions a bunch of other teams and conferences but it's just an interesting thing to say with the swirl of rumors being thrown around lately.

You can listen to the full segment here:


Friday, April 20, 2012

George Mason and VCU to the A10 on May 1?

So here we go again. New York Post sports writer Lenn Robbins tweeted today that the schools will join the Atlantic 10 conference on May 1st:

And of course both VCU and GMU denied the reports shortly after, but didn't make any date specific comments:

These so-called rumors are obviously coming from somewhere and now we have multiple news agencies saying this is going to happen. Both VCU and GMU probably have a time when they want to announce this and don't want to be pressured to do so early because of news leaks. I just can't believe that once again these respected members of the media are just flat out making this stuff up.

More from Robbins:
From Adam Zagoria:

Forum discussion on GMU/VCU to the A10 talk here

Mike Morrison to play professionally in Belgium

Senior forward Mike Morrison posted this morning on his Facebook page that he is heading to Belgium to play professionally. He also mentions that he is still going to graduate on time, so we don't have to worry about Mason's APR score taking a hit. Here is the Belgium team's website release of the news. Morrison will be remembered most for his high energy and emphatic dunks. Now more memorable than the one that sealed an NCAA tournament victory over Villanova in 2011. Good to see Morrison getting this opportunity as he vastly improved his offensive efficiency this past season. 

The last George Mason player to play in Belgium was Will Thomas and he had a lot of success there. Thomas played most recently for Armia in Georgia and averaged over 17 points a game last season. We still haven't heard any news on where Ryan Pearson might end up but I imagine he will be playing somewhere overseas as well.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Patrick Holloway is the Washington Post's All-Met Player of the Year

The Washington Post officially released their Winter All-Met teams today, we already knew recruit Patrick Holloway was on the first team but turns out he was also named Player of the Year. A great honor for Holloway as he becomes the first ever George Mason recruit to earn this award.

Here is the write-up the post had on him:
"George Mason recruit saved his biggest performances for the season’s biggest games, leading the No. 1 Panthers to a 35-3 record, their first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship, the City Title and a Virginia private schools championship. Made a buzzer-beating three-point shot to beat No. 1 DeMatha during the regular season and made the game-winning basket in the teams’ rematch in the WCAC championship game. One of the region’s best pure scorers, the 6-1 guard averaged 13.2 points and shot 35 percent from three-point range."

[Photo by Ricky Cariot/Washington Post]


ESPN drops CAA from Bracketbusters

An interesting story broke yesterday involving sports TV giant ESPN and CAA basketball. ESPN is dropping CAA from their annual Bracketbusters event that takes place one weekend every February. The CAA did not receive an invite for the 2012-2013 series due in part to their new TV deal that involves leaving ESPN and going all in with NBC sports for coverage of games instead. The move makes sense for the CAA though because after this new TV deal why give a competing network prime coverage of key games in February. 

The whole Bracketbuster event was originally designed to give mid-majors another non-conference game that could help their resumes' before Selection Sunday. However the event has morphed into a different animal recently and last season over 100 teams were in the event. For all by a handful of teams it doesn't do much good besides providing unnecessary, costly games for smaller programs. The interruption of conference games during an important part of the season is something I don't think most CAA fans or coaches for that matter, will miss. 

Sure George Mason and VCU's wins over Wichita State in 2006 and 2011 in the event certainly helped get them in the NCAA tournament during those seasons. But it's not like they couldn't have scheduled a home and home series with any such MVC team or another top mid-major without ESPN's help. Some of ESPN's match-ups in recent years have been head scratching decisions, and the event certainly didn't give Drexel much help this year.

Hopefully the Missouri Valley leaves the event too. Wouldn't a CAA/MVC challenge be a better event anyway? Are you listening NBC?


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Former George Mason walk-on Jimmy Nolan wins bracket challenge

With Kentucky taking home the national championship title last night our bracket challenge is complete. The winner of our challenge was actually a former George Mason basketball player, Jimmy Nolan. He played two years for Jim Larranaga as a walk-on and transferred in January of 2010 to pursue a scholarship at a Division II school. He currently plays at Molloy College in New York. This challenge was just for fun and there won't be any type of prizes being awarded, sorry Jimmy. But there's always bragging rights to be earned.

Thanks to everyone that participated. 

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