The 2015-16 college basketball season is just around the corner. In honor of the Flyers winning 53 games the last two seasons (and because I couldn’t come up with 2,015 reasons), I’m counting down 53 reasons (in no particular order) to look forward to the season.
Follow the blog between now and the season opener against Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 13. I will have four to five updates per week.
I’ll post links on Twitter (@DavidPJablonski) and on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DavidPatrickJablonski.
No. 12: George Mason game
The Paul Hewitt era began with a bang and ended with a whimper: 24-9 in 2011-12 to 9-22 in 2014-15. George Mason’s will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Final Four appearance this season, but it’s a long way from returning to that level as a program.
However, George Mason has something no other A-10 team has, the Doc Nix Garden Gnome. Doc Nix is the leader of the Green Machine, the George Mason pep band. The Flyers will get to experience their entertaining show on Feb. 6 when they visit Fairfax.
George Mason’s new coach is Dave Paulsen, who guided Bucknell to the NCAA tournament in 2011 and 2013. He inherits a team that returns its top three scorers: center Shevon Thompson (12.5 points per game); guard Patrick Holloway (10.9); and guard Marquise Moore (9.5). The fourth-leading scorer, Isaiah Jackson (8.7), transferred to Providence.
Thompson led the A-10 in rebounding (11.3). At A-10 media day, Paulsen said, “I have to believe that Shevon Thompson, at his best, is as good as anyone in the league.”
Paulsen also revealed at media day that freshman guard Otis Livingston II might start. He’s one of six freshmen on the roster.
“I don’t know if he weighs over 160 pounds so we have to artificially restrict his minutes really in the year so he doesn’t wear down,” Paulsen told Adam Zagoria. “He comes from a winning program, he’s got a charisma about him, and he’s got a great work ethic. He’s really tough. He doesn’t weigh anything but he’s a tough kid. He’s been a really, really pleasant surprise.”