2017-18 Schedule Update
Schedule update: George Mason to open Cancun Challenge vs Louisiana Tech
Virginia transfer Jarred Reuter commits to George Mason
Greg Calixte at signing day

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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George Mason will play in the CBI, host Loyola (MD) Wednesday night

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While it was disappointing to not see George Mason advance further in the Atlantic 10 tournament after a much improved season. However, there will still be more basketball played as the team will play in the CBI tournament. Mason will host Loyola (MD.), a 15-16 team from the Patriot League, on Wednesday night. Dave Paulsen certainly has familiarity with the Greyhounds from his Bucknell days. Also in the field is Revolutionary Rival and fellow A-10 foe George Washington. GW, Toledo, and San Francisco appear to the only real threat to Mason in this tournament so hopefully they can get to the finals again like they did in 2013. Will there be another game at the RAC?

The full bracket can be found here and if I remember correctly from four years ago I think there will be some re-seeding that occurs after the first or second round of games.

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Mason falls to VCU in Atlantic 10 quarterfinals

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First of all, George Mason basketball exceeded expectations this season and overachieved to a 20-win campaign that has brought this program new life. How Dave Paulsen got these guys to buy into his system of hard work, especially on the glass and on defense, is nothing short of amazing. What a turnaround and yeah it sure would have been nice to finally knock VCU out a conference tournament but the program just isn’t there yet. But boy did this group fight, all season long. Seniors Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins tried to keep Mason in this one late but fell short. Moore set an A-10 tournament record averaging 18 rebounds a game but his 11 points just weren’t enough. As a team they didn’t let turnovers or VCU’s big front line beat them but they failed to shoot the ball well when they needed it, especially on three-pointers.

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Mason survives and advances over Fordham in OT

17240250_10154434708461527_7566929403240806197_oGeorge Mason finally got their first ever Atlantic 10 tournament victory last night in a hard fought battle over Fordham that went to overtime. They advance to face #2 VCU tonight at 6 pm. Hey just like old times in the CAA tournament! Otis Livingston II had an amazing pass underneath to Jalen Jenkins to force overtime as Mason battled back being down by as many as seven points with only seconds remaining. They had looked like they were out after Marquise Moore missed two big free-throws late but they stayed calm and never stopped fighting.

In overtime Mason looked like a different team and never looked back after taking the lead and riding their own momentum. They went 6-for-8 in the extra period with some great shooting from Jaire Grayer and Justin Kier. Here is Kier’s three-pointer that was the dagger:

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George Mason will be the 7th seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament

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George Mason fell to VCU yesterday on the road 72-60 to end the regular season and will be the 7th seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament. Once again they are slated to start the tournament off against Fordham (10 seed) with the winner playing VCU. The good news is this is the first year in the A-10 that Mason will most likely advance to a further round but the bad news they will have to go through VCU to get to the semifinals. The tournament gives Mason a fresh start, which they need at this point, and will give them another chance to play with a do-or-die attitude. Hopefully these last few games have shown them what they need to work on most before the tournament begins.

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