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:

Paul Hewitt talks about scheduling on ESPN980

Yesterday afternoon George Mason head coach Paul Hewitt was on the ESPN 980’s “March Madness Today Hour” show. Along with the NCAA tournament they also talk about a little bit about George Mason and Hewitt’s first season here. The most interesting part of Hewitt being on the show is when they discuss scheduling and differences between the ACC and CAA. When the topic of scheduling local schools comes up Hewitt says he wants to play them and they are working with John Feinstein to play in the BB&T Classic again. Perhaps against Maryland? Hewitt ends it with saying it’s a “we’ll see what happens” type of thing. With Gary Williams no longer there you have to wonder if this might actually happen. Listen to the podcast below:

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Also, some recruiting news that we came across today as it appears Hewitt and his staff have shown interest in a new point guard, per TheRecruitScoop:

George Mason is now expressing interest in Trey Dickerson, a 2012 PG from Price (CA). He decommitted from Seattle yesterday.
— Alex Kline (@TheRecruitScoop) March 20, 2012

This interest shows that like most of us fans, the staff probably isn’t completely sold on either Bryon Allen or Corey Edwards running the point next season. Perhaps the staff is just doing their due diligence on a recruit that just hit the market again and nothing more. He says in this interview that he wants to play in an uptempo offense and be on a team that is on TV a lot. Hopefully the staff can sell him on the CAA’s new NBC Sports TV deal! Also in that interview he states a lot of big time programs were looking at him and I’d have to figure most don’t have a scholarship open for next season like Mason does. The Recruit Scoop also seems very high on him and says he does a good job getting his teammates involved, an area Mason was really lacking in point guard play this season. This could be an interesting development to follow but the bottom line is I don’t see them using this last scholarship on a point guard.

UPDATE: I received word that the staff does not plan to offer Dickerson a scholarship.

Listen to Paul Hewitt on ESPN980

Yesterday Paul Hewitt was on the Sports Reporters on ESPN980 radio in DC. He talks about Ryan Pearson, the team’s point guard situation, and how he thinks two CAA teams will make the NCAA tournament this year.  Definitely don’t agree with that last one.

Listen to the audio here:

http://www.stationcaster.com/player_skinned.php?s=65&c=426&f=396881

[via ESPN980 radio vault]

Andre Cornelius and Luke Hancock got banged up in practice yesterday

There are two media outlets reporting today that Andre Cornelius and Luke Hancock left practice early yesterday with ankle injuries.  The Washington Times tells us it was due to new shoes sent to Mason by Nike and the Washington Post goes as far as telling us Hancock was wheeled off the court on a rolling office chair. The local media is probably blowing this out of proportion and the coaching staff is most likely just being cautious about their two starters but this still isn’t news Mason fans will take lightly.  
Nevertheless Coach Larranaga didn’t put Mason fans on ease today when he was asked about it during an interview on 106.7 The Fan this morning with the Junkies. You can listen here:

He dodged the question and it shouldn’t be surprising as you don’t want to show your cards to an opposing team before the start of an NCAA tournament game where any info can be an advantage. Even if the injuries to the two prevent some minutes you have to remember that guard is where the Patriots are the deepest. Injuries to guys like Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison would disrupt the teams flow a lot more but this could still be significant.  

You can watch a video from ESPN’s “All-Access with George Mason” that includes some interviews and footage from yesterday’s practice below. The team leaves for Cleveland today. 
What’s funny is in the video is that Mike Morrison asks Luke Hancock how he likes his new Nikes. Bet he had a different answer after practice.

Also from ESPN you can vote for Rashad Whack in their “Coolest name in the NCAA tournament” bracket.

Don’t forget you can still join the GMUHoops.com Bracket Challenge:
http://gmuhoops.mayhem.cbssports.com/e (password is mason)

Coach Larranaga is making his rounds with the media

Here is audio from him on with the Junkies this morning on 106.7 the Fan, in my opinion it’s one of his better interviews with these guys:

Here is video of Coach Larranaga with CSN’s Jill Sorenson:

Here he is on ESPN’s First Take morning show talking about that funny cartoon the athletic department put out the other day:

A few other notes:

-I wrote an article for SB Nation the other day titled “Five Things You Need To Know About George Mason, D.C.’s Hottest Team”

-Don’t forget George Mason has a good 2 for 1 deal going for this Saturday’s game vs JMU, the game isn’t sold yet but it usually does given all the JMU alumni in this area.