I 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.
George 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:
George Mason's Dave Paulsen on the CBI: "Hindsight being 20/20 this was a bad decision."
— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) March 16, 2017
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
Point guard prospect Javon Greene visited George Mason campus this weekend and apparently didn’t need to take any other visits. He announced on twitter last night that he will commit to George Mason and be apart of the 2017 recruiting class:
Honored to announce my commitment‼️ pic.twitter.com/DUcm1RKnyd
— Von™✨ (@_javon23) August 30, 2016
It was important for Dave Paulsen and his staff to get another point guard in this 2017, as Marquise Moore is getting ready to play his final season. Greene is known as being able to create plays and having excellent court vision. Some have mentioned him as one of the best point guards in the state of Georgia. He looks to be an excellent back up to Otis Livingston and will be another solid ball-handler in Mason’s future back court.
This is another smart, high basketball IQ guard, that Paulsen has added in his short time here in Fairfax. Mason’s back court is quickly getting more talented and deep as the days go by under this coaching staff. The program has struggled for over four years trying to find some stability at the point guard position and Paulsen has already seemed to have righted the ship in that area.
Late addition to the 2016 recruiting class AJ Wilson will redshirt this season, according to Corey Evans of Hoop Seen:
Missed it yesterday but solid, late add for George Mason. AJ Wilson will enroll this fall and redshirt. High energy and versatile forward
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) August 10, 2016
Given all the young players on this team it makes sense that someone would be redshirting this season. Wilson was considering an extra prep year of school before heading to college anyway. Now he gets to come in this fall and develop his game with the coaching staff before stepping up to the college ranks. In 2017, he and Goanar Mar will definitely help to revamp the front court and overall be tougher on defense.
Dave Paulsen, who said he wanted to make a point to recruit local when taking the George Mason job, has landed local recruit AJ Wilson. You may remember me mentioning recently on twitter that Wilson was undecided between coming to George Mason as a 2016 recruit or doing a year of prep school. Mason just won that recruiting battle and they will add immediate help up front and on the wing with Wilson.
— AJ Wilson (@Justdewit12) August 9, 2016
Last night head coach Dave Paulsen got a great start to his 2017 recruiting class, a commitment from four star forward Goanar Mar. First reported by Evan Daniels, the news brings a bold start to Paulsen’s second year at George Mason. Mar (6’7″) is known as a versatile wing with good fundamentals and a lock-down defender. He is currently attending De La Salle high school in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2017 Goanar Mar of D1 Minnesota has committed to George Mason. Versatile wing, lock down defender, good shooter w/a high ceiling #VaHoops
— Jack Herron (@jwherron10) July 26, 2016
Troy Temara, a 6’8″, athletic forward has signed his letter of intent to play at George Mason after verbally committing to the program back in September. Temara is probably the most athletic and physically gifted of the 2016 class and has plenty of highlight reels that include monster dunks. The interesting thing with him is if he can bring that outside jumper in the post, a staple in Dave Paulsen’s pick and pop offense that we didn’t see this season. With Shevon Thompson and Marko Gujanicic gone, the team is in desperate need for some athleticism and scoring up front. The question will be whether or not he can form a formidable pair in the front court with Jalen Jenkins.
Temara joins a Mason recruiting class that includes sharp-shooters Kamari Newman, Justin Kier and shooting guard Ian Boyd.
One of the most exciting players that will be joining George Mason basketball next season is Ian Boyd from Apex, North Carolina. The former football prospect who committed to Mason just recently celebrated hitting the 2,000 point milestone in his high school career. You can watch some highlights from the game here, where he often looks like a man playing against boys. He’s 6’4″ and is built like a linebacker, could be maybe play the three here at Mason? Would be a great complement to Moore and Livingston in the back court.