The Atlantic 10 schedule pairings are set for the 2015-16 season:
Dave Paulsen and his staff added two more 2015 recruits to fill some of the roster vacancies, 6’7″ small forward DeAndre Abram and 6’0″ point guard Otis Livingston. Livingston seems to be the more talked about player on the recruiting trail and is being viewed as a steal for George Mason. He’s labeled as a pass-first guard who has the ability to finish well at the rim.
2015 Otis Livingston of Linden (NJ) has reportedly committed to George Mason. One of the best passing PG's I saw all year. Terrific late get
— Corey Pegram (@CoreyPegram) May 20, 2015
— DeAndre Abram (@young_abram1) May 20, 2015
Isaiah Jackson and Eric Lockett were granted their releases yesterday leaving more vacant spots on the roster following the transfer news of Trey Porter. Lockett was supposed to be a promising back court player but battled injuries and Jackson really developed into one of the team’s top scorers at the end of the season. However both were small forwards in high school and were transitioning into back court player roles in Paul Hewitt’s system.
George Mason gave release to Isaiah Jackson and Eric Lockett today.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 18, 2015
Here is a breakdown of the scholarship situation from Verbal Commits’ site.
George Mason president Dr. Angel Cabrera mentioned last September that the university was seeking a naming gift for the Patriot Center and it was announced yesterday that it will become EagleBank Arena. The sponsorship deal is worth $6.6 million over 10 years and has an option to be renewed for another 10 years. The naming rights change is effective July 1 and it means more funds coming to the athletic department. This is another one of the first big changes new athletic director Brad Edwards and Cabrera have made and it certainly won’t be the last. Bringing money into the basketball program has always been a tough task and this is a step in the right direction.
Dave Paulsen and his staff snagged another recruit from the IMG academy prep today, 6’10” forward Danny Dixon. Yesterday the program got a commitment from combo guard Kameron Murrell, also from IMG in Florida. Dixon has been described as having good footwork for a big man, a finisher around the basket, and having a solid 15-foot jumper. Here’s a guy that won’t wow with alley-oop dunks like Trey Porter might have but will be a solid contributor on both ends and has better fundamentals overall.
Video highlights from his prep year at IMG:
Dane Fischer has been Dave Paulsen’s right hand man for years and now he has brought the up and coming assistant to George Mason. Fischer was in the running for the head coach job at Bucknell after being Paulsen’s top assistant and now with the news yesterday of Duane Simpkins being added, the staff is complete. Fischer is described as a “tireless recruiter and basketball tactician” and Paulsen says he has had a hand in “every coaching, teaching, and recruiting decision” he made while at Bucknell.
Dave Paulsen has added another assistant coach to his staff with DC area ties, Duane Simpkins. Simpkins held a similar position at UNC-Greensboro and played for Maryland from 1992-1996. He also coached a few local high school teams before entering the college ranks. Paulsen is following up his press conference statements about tapping into the fertile recruiting base in the DC area and this is another great step in doing just that.
George Mason has hired UNC Greensboro assistant Duane Simpkins to the same position.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 23, 2015
With a new head coach in town there are always transfers and roster changes. It was mentioned last night by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that Trey Porter is transferring from George Mason:
George Mason forward Trey Porter is transferring.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 21, 2015
On a team in desperate need of guards it is no surprise to me that one of the forwards didn’t see themselves fitting in Dave Paulsen’s scheme. Porter played with a lot of energy but was often a liability on the offensive end. He’s a solid rim protector but barely weighs 200 pounds and isn’t the type who can fight for rebounds in the low blocks. He does possess a lot of athletic ability though and in the right situation he can be a solid contributor.
UPDATE: Porter will transfer to ODU