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GIVING DAY 2023
Tony is quite impressive!!
Yeah, I was completely stoked for KE, but most of that was drinking the Kool-Aid hype.Like that CTS and staff have a plan for how these guys are supposed to fit together. Really excited for the season…even more so than when we hired the last guy.
Dorms!!?? Back in my day....Oh never mind.
Tony Skinn and the coaching staff helping students with moving into the dorms
Thanks for pulling this together very informativeHere is a brief summary/cheat sheet with stats from last year and comments from Coach Skinn about each player. I give coach an offseason A+ for his ability to assemble a roster through the portal and bringing in potentially impactful freshman. To quote Timbuk 3, “The futures so bright I gotta wear shades.”
# 1- Senior - Ronald Polite (11.5 ppg, 3.2 reb, 4.0 assists, 44.1% fg, 36.4% from 3, 79.0% FT)
# 5 - Sophomore - Devin Dinkins (3.1 ppg, .6 reb, .8 assists, 35% fg, 33.3% from 3, 74.2% FT)
#35 - Senior - Malik Henry (4.1 ppg, 2.7 reb, 62.1% fg, 43.4% FT)
New Players - Transfer Portal:
#0 - Junior - Jared Billups (Sienna) - 6’4” Guard
8.1 ppg, 6.6 reb, 1.8 assists, 33.6% fg, 26.5% from 3, 71.8% FT
A 6-foot-4 inch guard, Billups is a gifted rebounder and outstanding perimeter defender who has improved in nearly all facets of his game during two seasons in the Hudson Valley.
"From a defensive standpoint, from a physicality standpoint and from a hard-nosed standpoint, Jared fits perfectly within our program," Skinn said. "He wears a bunch of different hats. He's a utility guy who wants to get better and take his game to the next level. I think we can help him from a development standpoint to help him piece it together and become that next-level player.”
#2 - Senior - Woody Newton (Oklahoma St.) - 6’9” Guard/Forward
4.3 ppg, 3.4 reb, .5 assists, 36.4% fg, 27.7% from 3, 61.8% FT
Former 4 star recruit who had offers from Arkansas, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Kansas State, Maryland, Penn State, Saint Louis, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Xavier. Went to Syracuse first then to Oklahoma St.
"I've always been a fan of Woody's game," Skinn said. "With his versatility and his size, he can do a little bit of everything. He can shoot it, handle it and defend. That can make him a very good player at our level. His length and wingspan will really help us on both sides of the floor and I think his ceiling is still untapped.”
#4 - Sophomore - Keyshawn Hall (UNLV) - 6’7” Guard/Forward
5.4 ppg in just 10 min per game, 1.6 reb, .4 assists, 47.9% fg, 50.0% from 3, 68.0% FT
Hall chose George Mason over offers from Georgetown, Louisville, Texas and vcu, among others.
"I watched Keyshawn two years ago while I was transitioning from Seton Hall to Ohio State and left the gym very impressed," Skinn said. "When he ended up in the portal, I knew he would get high major interest because he's that talented. He's a basketball junkie who's highly versatile, physical and can make an impact at multiple positions. With the way we're going to play, I knew he was someone we had to have.”
#8 - Graduate Student - Tre Wood (LIU & UMass) - 6’1” Guard
7.6 ppg, 4.3 assists, 3.3 reb, 40.0% fg, 33.3% from 3, 79.3 % FT
"Tre is a great kid who's just gotten better every year," Skinn said. He's been solid his whole career and I think he's ready to step up within our program. With the way and tempo we're going to play, he's the kind of guard who fits perfectly. He understands this league and he'll be a great addition to our backcourt.”
#11 - Junior - Jalen Haynes (East Tennessee St.) 6’9”, 255 pounds!
14.6 ppg, 6.4 reb, 1.5 assists, 57.2% fg, 14.3% from 3, 63.8% FT
"Jalen's a big, physical, scoring combo forward," Skinn said. "When you look at his numbers in a good league, he's been very productive. He's a skilled big - not just a back to the basket guy. He can put it on the deck and will give us the ability to spread out offensively, with him at the five or the four. With his girth, versatility and skill set, he has the potential to develop into an All-Atlantic 10 player at George Mason."
An All-SoCon selection for the Buccaneers as a sophomore, Haynes led the team in field goals made (176) and free throws made (111) while ranking second on the team in scoring and rebounding (6.4 rpg). He started 30 of 31 games and dished out 1.5 assists per contest.
#13 - Senior - Darius Maddox (Va Tech) - 6”5” Guard
8.5 ppg, 3.2 reb, 1.1 assists, 43.6% fg, 42.6% from 3, 87.5% FT
"Darius is going to be sensational in this league," Skinn said. "He's a gifted shooter and scorer. In a free-flowing offense, he's going to have the ability to take his game to the next level.”
As a sophomore in 2021-22, Maddox dazzled during the ACC Championship while leading the Hokies to the tournament crown in Brooklyn. During Virginia Tech's four wins in four days, Maddox hit the game-winning triple in second round action vs. Clemson, then followed that up with a career-best 20 points against North Carolina in the semifinals. For his efforts, he garnered a spot on the All-ACC Tournament Second Team.
#22 - Junior - Nicolas Pavrette (Central Michigan) - 6’11” Center
4.6 ppg, 4.5 reb, .4 assists, 59.4% fg, NA% from 3, 27.3% FT
"Nico's going to be an elite shot blocker," Skinn said. "I've been fortunate in the past to have guys like that at Seton Hall, including Ike Obiagu and Romaro Gill. Those guys have shown me, from a defensive standpoint, that there are some skills which can't be taught. The ability to protect the rim is one thing, but the ability to have a second jump is another. Nico can be that guy from a defensive standpoint.”
"He's very versatile on the defensive end of the floor," Skinn said. "He still has some things to work on offensively, like all developing players do. He'll be able to guard one through four and when he's playing the five, maybe even guard one through five sometimes. A guy that can play those two positions is going have a chance to be on the floor."
#23 - Graduate Student - Amari Kelly (UNCW) - 6’9” Forward/Center
7.8 ppg, 5.5 reb, .7 assists,57.8% fg, 33.3% from 3, 64.6% FT
A graduate transfer with one year of eligibility remaining, Kelly comes to Fairfax after wrapping up a career year for the Seahawks in 2022-23.
"If there's one thing I learned in the Big Ten, it's that when the game slows down, you have to be able to have a presence down low offensively," Skinn said. "Amari brings that. Being able to throw the ball inside and score from the interior is a part of winning. He's a versatile five who can play some four. He's been through it as a fifth-year player and knows the league from his time at Duquesne. His ability in the post will be an important part of our team's makeup this season."
As a senior at UNC Wilmington in 2022-23, Kelly put together his best season to date while averaging career highs in scoring (7.8 ppg), rebounding (5.5 rpg), field goal percentage (.578) blocks (1.0 bpg) and minutes (23.4 mpg). He started all 34 games for the Seahawks and had nine games with 10+ points. That included a 16-point, 9-rebound, 4-block performance in the CAA title game against College of Charleston.
#24 - Austin Ball (Miller School - Charlottesville) - 6’7” Guard
Size, shooting and toughness are a lethal combination when a player can put them together in the game of basketball.
It's rare to find a player with that combination of skill and tenacity, which is why the George Mason coaching staff went all in on Austin Ball when the West Virginia native first caught their eye this past summer.
A dynamic 6-foot-7 inch wing from Man, West Virginia, Ball was identified by recruiting analyst Jamie Shaw as one of the top shooters in the Class of 2023. But that strength is only one part of his dynamic skill set.
No # assigned as of 7/29/23 - Baraka Okojie (Daytona DME Academy - Canadian born) - 6’3” point guard
"We think the world of Baraka and his talent," Skinn said. "He's a high level, high IQ guard who can play both on and off the ball. His ability to distribute and score makes him such a skilled member of this class. On the defensive end, he's a catalyst and an elite on-ball defender. We're thrilled to have him on board."
A First Team SIAA All-State selection in 2023, Okojie impressed for Daytona Beach DME Academy this past season where he lead his team to the top seed in the Florida state tournament and a top-10 ranking on MaxPreps. He served as team captain while averaging 14 points, five assists and five rebounds per game.
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