George Mason just released the schedule for the games related to the Cancun Challenge tournament this November. It starts off with Mason hosting two games on campus; Binghamton (11/16) and Cal State Northridge (11/18), then traveling to Mexico for an opening round game against Louisiana Tech. Former Mason assistant Eric Konkol is LA Tech’s head coach and former player Tony Skinn is an assistant. In the next round they will face either Fresno State or Evansville.
Our opponents and dates for the 2017 Cancun Challenge have been announced! #GetPatriotic 😎🏝
Zach Garrett of Heritage high school in Leesburg, VA will be joining George Mason basketball as a walk-on. Garrett is a 6’4″ guard/small forward who will join fellow walk-on George Papas, added last month, on the practice squad. Like Papas, Garrett looks like a great shooter with long range. He’s a much bigger body though which is definitely needed on the practice court for Mason. You can watch some of his highlights here.
Congrats to one of our basketball players of the yr Heritige's Zack Garrett on his commitment to play basketball at George Mason University pic.twitter.com/yymdTNVTiz
We got news of Reuter deciding between George Washington and George Mason late last week after he was taking visits to both campuses. Since Reuter is a sophomore he will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will have two years of eligibility starting in 2018-19. He’s coming to Mason looking for more playing time as he only averaged just over 10 minutes a game with the Cavaliers last season. Despite that, his physical presence inside helped to be a difference in a number of games while at UVA.
Reuter just finished his sophomore year so he would have two years of eligibility left. He played in 32 games for the Cavaliers this season averaging 3.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 10.8 minutes per game. At 6’7″, 243 pounds Reuter would bring size and experience to the front court that has a lot of developing young players. I definitely like the fact the Dave Paulsen is looking into the transfer market to fill the available scholarships.
A preferred walk-on is someone who isn’t offered a scholarship but was recruited and invited to join the team. With these types of player a scholarship can possibly be offered later down the road. The difference between this type of walk-on and a plain walk-on who trys out for the team, is that a preferred one is typically treated like scholarship player and not just a practice squad member.
“There was definitely a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Calixte said. “I was bad. I was terrible. To actually come here, it still feels surreal. I’m just happy.”
Dave Paulsen and his staff must feel that Calixte probably hasn’t played his best basketball yet and still has a lot to learn. It will be interesting to see how quickly they can further development this big man; he certainly seems like he has the tools. You have to like that we have a kid coming in though who knows what hard work is and what the rewards can be. Welcome to Mason Nation Greg.
Many George Mason fans, including myself, were very excited when news broke that Therence Mayimba had committed to the program back in 2013. It appeared to be a big catch for Paul Hewitt and a player that could contribute right away on both ends. But Mayimba never saw the court and was sidelined behind eligibility issues with the NCAA. Mayimba came to the U.S. from Gabon as a teenager and unfortunately this issue is something that is not uncommon for foreign players from Africa. I was always told by the previous coaching staff that they were waiting on paperwork from his home country to clear and that the NCAA was just dragging their feet. Apparently that wasn’t the whole story.
Just last month Fan Rag Sports did a big article on the eligibility issues with the NCAA and African players and we get a lot more insight on what exactly happened with Mayimba. Hewitt and his staff complain that the NCAA kept “moving the target” and they kept making the issue about something else even after they proved Mayimba’s good grades and proved birth documents.
Incoming freshman Goanar Mar played with some of the nation’s best recruits Saturday at the 2017 Capital Classic and made his mark. He made his presence known among Power 5 school recruits with steals, blocks, and rebounds here and there. He definitely proved he belonged and he show-cased his defensive skills early. Here is a big time block he had to break up a 2 on 1 fast break:
When I asked Dave Paulsen about Mar a couple of weeks ago he said that he would exclusively be playing on the wing and not inside. Mason has needed a playmaker on the wing for quite some time and Mar looks like he will have a big impact on both ends there. His size at that spot and the ability to hit three-pointers will be a huge complement to Mason’s returning players next season.
With three players transferring, Dave Paulsen has some spots to fill this summer. And with that 2017 big man Greg Calixte, a 6’9″ 230 lb forward from Mount Vernon, NY will take an official visit to George Mason on April 7th.
Mount Vernon senior big man Greg Calixte will make his official visit to George Mason on April 7
Mason has a real need for some size the in front court with the departure of Jalen Jenkins. Calixte is raw in a lot of areas but has the measurables of the type of player Paulsen tends to bring in and develop. He has offers from several other schools but an upcoming visit is a good sign Mason is in the top of the running for his services. I doubt he would be a day 1 contributor but Mason is in need of some size and strength inside and Calixte can provide that.