What to expect from Julian Royal next season

julian royalTrying to predict where the scoring is going to come from next season isn’t easy when looking at George Mason’s roster. A lot of new faces and a lot of guys who can score. The back court scoring tandem of Bryon Allen and Sherrod Wright are gone, but so are their turnovers and late game blunders. Jalen Jenkins and Patrick Holloway are the team’s most consistent returning scorers who should both be seeing a lot more minutes. Freshmen Isaiah Jackson, Eric Lockett, and Therence Mayimba will be filling in the rotation in the 1-3 spots but how much they can contribute right away is one of next season’s biggest question marks.

Another big question mark is what to expect from Julian Royal. The Georgia Tech transfer and once prized recruit of Paul Hewitt, is coming off shoulder surgery to treat an old injury but is expected to be a fixture on offense. He has been working out since April and Hewitt expects him to be cleared for full contact early next month. Royal is best labeled as a “stretch 4/5″ with an excellent scoring touch. He has three-point range and good hands around the basketball. His ability to hit a mid-range jumper will certainly be a blessing to this team next season.

Best case scenario for Mason is that he comes in and provides an immediate impact scoring the basketball. Providing a perfect complement to Jalen Jenkins’ bruising presence up front. He won’t be a rebounding force and you won’t see rugged intensity in the low post, but that’s why they have Jenkins, Copes, and Thompson. We cannot forget the fact that he could be rusty after not playing much in his first two season at Georgia Tech and then sitting out all of last year due to transfer rules. That was also a lot of time for Royal to work on different parts of his game, get stronger physically, and work with the coach that actually recruited him.

Whether or not he has to shake off some rust or not he will help George Mason next season. His versatility and length will be a major asset to the team and hopefully allow them to create mismatches in the Atlantic 10 next season. It would be great to see 12-15 points a game from him but those might be lofty goals. However, I do think to overcome low expectations next season, Mason will need Royal to be a big deal.

[Photo by Bill Bride]

  • GaMoo79

    “Low expectations next season.” Do you really think so? Several of the top teams are losing key players, and our recruits look to be as good as anybody’s in the A10, excepting maybe VCU. It will be interesting to see where the pre-season polls put us.
    Then again, we all know what pre-season polls are worth.

    • GMU2008

      You cannot tell me you have higher expectations for this upcoming season than you did before the beginning of last?

      • GaMoo79

        Actually, yes. At least that’s what i’m hoping for. Couldn’t get much worse than losing twice to the last place team. Which sorta makes us the REAL last place team. Hard to get worse than last, except to lose even more games.

        • GMU2008

          The comparison is between expectations prior to the season, not the actual results. Last year some were picking us to finish in the 6-8 range, I doubt anyone will be picking this young team we have for next year any better.

        • gmu95

          I’ve been rooting for GMU since 2000 and I’ve never had lower expectations going into the season. Last year at this time they were quite high – figured Hewitt had had three years with a group with some talent.
          I don’t see how Hewitt is going to do any better next year with guys with less experience. I like the talent he’s brought in, but we’re not talking the Fab Five here. Hewitt’s the X factor, as I doubt his ability to bring in enough talent to mask his coaching deficiencies.
          The upside to low expectations is that the offseason will seem shorter. Last year at this time I couldn’t wait for the upcoming season. Sure, I’ll be excited when next season gets here, but fear I’ll have seen enough after another month or two of Paul Ball.

    • David Houck

      Way too many question marks to have anything but low expectations. Will Moore be able to shoot? Can Holloway play defense? Can Copes show up consistently? Can any of these freshman come in and score? How long will it take for Hewitt to find the right rotation with a crowded front court? Is Royal the real deal?

      • GaMoo79

        Just hoping the glass is half full guys :)

  • GaMoo79

    Yes. I know.

  • gmusigs

    Not good to hear Royal just had surgery, I agree we need big production from him

  • SkinsGMU

    I still don’t understand why they didn’t add any true guards. It’s great that Hewitt wants Jackson and Lockett to play in the back court but is that a wait and see approach or can they help out right away? If not certainly seems like a gaping hole in the roster.

    • Petey

      This is something I was wondering as well as I saw this recruiting class come together. Even if Jackson is considered a point guard I’m sold on the team’s overall situation at that position. The team has been weak in this area since Hewitt’s arrival and now year 4 it doesn’t look much better. Moore still has a ways to go in my opinion.

  • georgiahoops

    For those of you who do not know Julian Royal, He is an “elite scorer” with ball handling skills, have been watching this kid play for years. It was unfortunate with what happened to him at tech, would not be surprised if he averages 20 and 10 this up-coming season. If he starts next season with a bang, league will be calling his name before seasons end

    • ricandersen

      20 and 10? Really?

      I know there are extenuating circumstances we like to take into consideration concerning his time at GT. But, he averaged 1.7 and 1.3 in his last season at GT, 4.4 and 2.4 in his first season at GT. Averaging “20 and 10″ isn’t hight expectations, it is unfair expectations.

      (Royal averaged 14 and 6 his senior year in high school.)

  • GaMoo79

    I still say we could be significantly better than last year. Only time will tell, of course, but I am sticking with my first two posts here.
    And GMU2008, whether we are talking pre-season expectations or actual results is really beside the point. Thanks for the lecture though.

    • Daniel Wu

      It could be better and it could be not. This past season many of the A10 teams were loaded with seniors with invaluable A10 conference experience and the conference was at its most competitive peak. This is something our players did not have as they all came from the CAA.
      Next season many of the A10 teams will be taking a step back and rebuilding. Especially St. Louis. Great opportunity for Mason to exploit this slight decline in the conference next season.
      However given the dissapointment this past season, I don’t blame many of the fans to be more pessimistic than optimistic. Both extremes can happen it’s 50-50. Good season finally or bad season once again with the Fire Hewitt bandwagon all heated up again.
      To be honest I would be suprised and moderately satisfied if we make NIT 2015. NCAA?…..we will have to see about that….too soon to say. It all depends how quickly Hewitt is able to come up with a good line up and stop schuffling players hoping something happens.

      • GaMoo79

        Thanks Daniel. Another thoughtful balanced post from you.

      • ricandersen

        I would be surprised and hugely satisfied if we make NIT. Seriously, hugely satisfied. As for NCAA, that is also an unfair expectation. After an 11-20 record (4-12 A10) and 162 RPI, we should all be earnestly ecstatic if we make NIT 2015.

        • GaMoo79

          A lot of unknowns next year or two with “Hewitt’s guys” all here now. Weakened A10 this year. New AD.
          I still say, though, we have the POTENTIAL to be better than last year.

          • ricandersen

            I think everyone agrees we have the potential to be better than 4-12 in conference play. Right?

          • GaMoo79

            Yes. But I really think we will be.