NCAA

George Mason crushes VCU's at-large hopes with shocking upset

George Mason crushes VCU's at-large hopes with shocking upset

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- AJ Wilson had 14 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks to lead George Mason to a 72-67 win over VCU on Wednesday night.

Wilson's third block of the game moved him past George Evans to become George Mason's single-season blocks leader at 78.

Xavier Johnson had 11 points and seven rebounds for George Mason (14-10, 3-8 Atlantic 10 Conference), which snapped its four-game losing streak. Jordan Miller added 11 points, and Jamal Hartwell II had 10 points.

George Mason put the game away with a 16-0 run for a 58-41 lead midway through the second half.

De'Riante Jenkins had 16 points for the Rams (17-7, 7-4). Issac Vann added 13 points, and Nah'Shon Hyland had 11 points.

The Patriots leveled the season series against the Rams. VCU defeated George Mason 72-59 on Jan. 5. George Mason faces George Washington at home on Saturday. VCU matches up against Richmond on the road on Saturday.

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Elite point guard grad transfer Bryce Aiken is considering Maryland, here's why the Terps need him

Elite point guard grad transfer Bryce Aiken is considering Maryland, here's why the Terps need him

Harvard grad transfer Bryce Aiken has narrowed his final collegiate destination to four teams: Maryland, Seton Hall, Michigan and Iowa State, according to multiple reports. On Thursday, the point guard is set to be making his decision. 

While already being active on the transfer market this offseason, adding a point guard at the caliber of Aiken would be a huge boost for the Terrapins. 

Aiken is immediately eligible for his final season of NCAA action. This past year he suffered a foot injury in mid-December that ended his senior season. As a member of an Ivy League school, he cannot compete as a graduate student, leaving the opportunity to play elsewhere.

What's most enticing about Aiken is his playmaking ability. He's regarded as "the most coveted grad transfer in years" by 247sports. In his junior season with Harvard, he was a unanimous All-Ivy League selection. His 22.2 points per game made him one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball and one of the more efficient guards with a 43.4-39.8-85.5 shooting split.

Those numbers alone had him Naismith Trophy Watch List and Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award Watch List at the beginning of last year. A feat that matched four-year starter Anthony Cowan Jr. 

For Maryland, they need a point guard. Cowan wrapped up his eligibility this season. The depth behind him at the point was just Eric Ayala, who played best for the Terps at the wing and Serrel Smith Jr. who played more than 10 minutes once after January. While two freshman PGs are set to come in with this recruiting class, neither would be the answer to guide a team that lost their top two scoring options from last year. The team needs someone to fill into Cowan's spot and likely deliver more if they want to compete at the same level. 

Aiken, though, has the potential to fill-in to Cowan's role. Perhaps he could be even better in terms of scoring the ball. The Crimson grad shot better than Cowan did the last two seasons and is more of a knock-down shooter.

The 6-0 guard decides his fate on Thursday. With him, Maryland can pick up right where they left off from a year ago and be a preseason top-25 team. Without Aiken, the Terps likely are in a rebuild.

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Sidwell Friends alum and Villanova forward Saddiq Bey wins Julius Erving Award, declares for NBA draft

Sidwell Friends alum and Villanova forward Saddiq Bey wins Julius Erving Award, declares for NBA draft

While an incredible season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, Villanova’s Saddiq Bey has won the Julius Erving Award as the top Div. I men's hoops small forward, it was announced Tuesday.

Bey, a graduate of Sidwell Friends in Bethesda, Md., announced that he'll be taking the momentum from that award and entering the 2020 NBA Draft. 

“I will definitely go through that process, whenever I’ll be able to, whenever that opens up, and I’ll be keeping my options open for sure,” Bey said in a conference call Tuesday. 

Bey, who at one point was slated to attend NC State, is the third Villanova forward to receive the Julius Erving Award in the past six seasons -- Josh Hart (Sidwell Friends alum) in 2017,  and Mikal Bridges in 2018. Last season the award was given to Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura for his time at Gonzaga. 

“As a sophomore, Saddiq Bey was an all-around competitor delivering buckets and consistency when Villanova needed it most,” the former 76er Erving said in a statement released by the Basketball Hall of Fame.

“To come into a well-established program and find your place as an underclassman is no easy task, and it’s clear Saddiq earned the respect of his teammates and competition.”

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