2022 Record: 20-13 (11-7)
Coach: Tony Skinn (First Career Season as a HC)
George Mason lost head coach Kim English to Providence last season and many of the players departed with him. However, newly hired head coach Tony Skinn did a good job of keeping enough of the in-house talent around while doing well in the portal too. Skinn has ties to the DMV area and also played at George Mason making this a really good hire for the Patriots.
PG: Ronald Polite III (11.5 Pts, 3.2 Reb, 4.0 Ast)
SG: Darius Maddox (Virginia Tech 8.5 Pts, 3.2 Reb, 1.1 Ast)
SF: Keyshawn Hall (UNLV 5.4 Pts, 1.6 Reb, 0.4 Ast)
PF: Jalen Haynes (ETSU 14.6 Pts, 6.4 Reb, 1.5 Ast) (Double Transfer, Waiver TBA)
C: Amari Kelly (UNCW 7.8 Pts, 5.5 Reb, 0.7 Ast)
6: SG Jared Billups (Siena 8.1 Pts, 6.6 Reb, 1.8 Ast)
7: SF Woody Newton (Oklahoma State 4.3 Pts, 3.4 Reb, 0.5 Ast)
8: PG Tre Wood (Long Island 7.6 Pts, 3.3 Reb, 4.3 Ast)
9: SF Malik Henry (4.1 Pts, 2.7 Reb, 0.1 Ast)
10: PG Devin Dinkins (3.1 Pts, 0.6 Reb, 0.8 Ast)
11: SF Austin Ball
12: C Nicolas Pavrette (Central Michigan 4.6 Pts, 4.5 Reb, 0.4 Ast)
13: PG Baraka Okojie
George Mason’s best returning player is Ronald Polite III who started nearly every game for the Patriots last season. Polite is a great passer that can take control of an offense, but he’s also a very capable scorer when he gets called upon.
Darius Maddox from Virginia Tech and Jalen Haynes from ETSU were also terrific portal additions for the Patriots. Maddox is going into his 4th collegiate season and he started every game he played in for the Hokies last season. Maddox will adjust to the A10 level really well and could be the Patriots’ leading scorer next season. Haynes is a double transfer so he could potentially need a waiver, but he’s a great scoring big having spent previous time at Virginia Tech and ETSU, Haynes will really thrive in the A10.
One of the most underrated additions this offseason for George Mason was UNLV transfer Keyshawn Hall. He is a big guard that is very capable of having a breakout season at Mason this upcoming year. He didn’t really get the chance to show his true potential at UNLV last season, but he’ll come on in full force with Mason this year. Another addition not being talked about as much is Siena transfer Jared Billups. He’s a very good rebounder for his size and also contributes efficiently on the offensive end.
Woody Newton is another addition that could potentially need a waiver. Having played for both Oklahoma State and Syracuse he is a double transfer. Nonetheless, he’s a player that could potentially breakout at the A-10 level and could be a near double digit scorer off the bench if he can get a waiver. Tre Wood played for a struggling Long Island team last season, but did show a tremendous ability to pass the ball and get his teammates involved.
UNCW transfer Amari Kelly should be the starting big man for the Patriots this upcoming season. He previously played for Duquesne so he is familiar with the conference. He had a breakout season this past year with the Seahawks going from 2.7 PPG with no starts in 2021-22 to 7.8 PPG and starting every game in 2022-23. George Mason also got a commitment from Central Michigan transfer big Nicolas Pavrette. He’s got A10 level size, but it could still take some time for him to adjust to the A10 level.
Other returning players for the Patriots are SF Malik Henry and PG Devin Dinkins. Both could potentially breakout this upcoming season, but for now with the offseason additions they project lower on the depth chart.
I expect George Mason to finish in the Top 5 of an improving A-10 conference. The Patriots should have around 20 wins next season and could potentially be a bid stealer, if not they could be in NIT consideration. It will be a successful first season for newly minted head coach Tony Skinn.