New Jersey shooter George Papas joins team as preferred walk-on

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Dave Paulsen added another player yesterday with the addition of George Papas from Plainfield, New Jersey. Judging from some of his posted highlights videos, see below, it’s mentioned that he was heavily recruited by DII and DIII schools but had also been offered preferred walk-on spots at DI schools. After confirming with him that is what is happening here.

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.

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Greg Calixte at signing day

636283845050931074-jm042117-Letters-14Recent George Mason commit Greg Calixte signed his national letter of intent last week at a ceremony at Mount Vernon high school. Calixte, who had a late start to the game, talks about how much work he had to put in to to get to this point:

“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.

Forward Greg Calixte commits to George Mason

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2017 recruit Greg Calixte took an official visit last weekend and today he announced he’s committed to George Mason:

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Goanar Mar shows off his game at the Capital Classic

Screenshot 2017-04-09 07.09.57Incoming 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:

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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.

2017 recruit Greg Calixte to visit George Mason

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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.

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.

Goanar Mar takes over in Minnesota state championship

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George Mason commit Goanar Mar will leave DeLaSalle high school in Minnesota as one of the greats after helping the school win it’s sixth straight state title; four of which he was a part of. The kid is a winner and it’s easy to see why Dave Paulsen is so high on him with the production he has on both ends of the court. In the semifinal playoff game he had 20 points, 15 rebounds, three steals, three blocks, and three assists. The 6’7″ forward also went 3-for-4 on three-pointers. Yesterday in the championship game he took over and was a “matchup nightmare” for the opposing team finishing with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals:

“Mar has been a matchup nightmare for the past four years. He’s a 6-foot-7 forward with guard skills who can hit the open jumper, create for himself and others and crash the glass.

“Gonar was an absolutely monster out there,” Austin coach Kris Fadness said. “We couldn’t throw the ball around him. … and Goanar is a one-man fast break on his own when he gets a rebound.”

Hearing that Mar plays like a guard at 6’7″ is very encouraging to hear. Mason has plenty of guards that can play the 1 or the 2 but few who can play on the wing and defend bigger players there as well. If Mar can do that at the Division I level I think he’s pretty close to being a day 1 starter. On top of that, he can step out and shoot three-pointers, something we are seeing more and more from the big guys in college basketball. Mar seems versatile and athletic enough to play at multiple spots so I’d imagine we will see him all over the court next season. I can’ stress enough how much of a need he fills for Mason heading into the 2017-18 season.

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Three players are transferring out

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Three players are transferring out from George Mason, DeAndre Abram, Kameron Murrell, and Danny Dixon. All are sophomores and players brought in during Dave Paulsen’s first season in Fairfax:

We knew this move was coming since word has started to spread of the coaching staff still looking at 2017 recruits. Turnover was expected considering Paulsen had to come in late in the recruiting cycle and bring in guys just to fill the roster. In the end there just wasn’t enough minutes for everyone. These moves allow Mason to hopefully fill some holes in the roster, especially on the wing and in the front court.

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[Photos by Bill Bride]

What does JTIII’s firing mean for George Mason and area recruiting?

GettyImages-632411596I was in the group that thought Georgetown would never fire John Thompson III, so yesterday was surprising. It’s a move that will impact DC area college basketball, especially on the recruiting scene. What does this mean for George Mason basketball and head coach Dave Paulsen? Mason has already had an uphill battle trying to get local recruits and now a new head coach in town could change the landscape a bit. Despite the program’s lack of recent success, Georgetown was still landing a lot of top local talent in the area. Will that continue with a new coach? That depends largely on the who they hire.

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Mason’s season officially over after CBI loss to Loyola

2017-03-16 10_55_48-Patriots fall to Loyola in CBI - George Mason University AthleticsGeorge Mason fell to Loyola (Md.) last night in a game they didn’t look all that interested in. Hosting the first round of the CBI tournament costs the school money and Mason had one of their worst performances of the season. Mason shot 33% and was out-rebounded by the Greyhounds. Loyola came out strong and just looked like they wanted the game more than Mason did. They out-hustled Mason all game long, who struggled badly to make any shots in the first half. Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins combined for 7 total points in their final game as Patriots. Dave Paulsen opted to go with the young guys for the majority of the minutes, a teachable moment I’m sure. After the game Paulsen said that perhaps it was a mistake to play in the tournament:

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Mason signee Goanar Mar a finalist for 2017 Minnesota Mr. Basketball award

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Future George Mason Patriot and member of the 2017 recruiting class Goanar Mar, has been named a finalist for the 2017 Minnesota Mr. Basketball award. Quite the honor for the standout 6’7″ forward from DeLaSalle high school in Minneapolis. It will be interesting to see what Mar’s role is next season, at 6’7″ he helps to replace some of the size lost with Jalen Jenkins’ eligibility running out. You can see from highlights that he does well in transition and can step out and hit three-pointers. He may be more suited for the 3 spot instead of the 4 or 5. Perhaps they want him to come in this summer and put on muscle to fill more of the role that Jenkins had this season. Troy Temara looks like he’s being groomed to play the 5 next year and don’t forget AJ Wilson will be in the mix next year as well in the front court. It Mar cab bring his long range shooting and help cover opposing wing players, he will be a great asset to Mason right away. Regardless it will be great to have another forward in the mix, considering we already know we have plenty of guards that can play right now