Fordham v George Mason

George Mason lands its first 2015 verbal commitment

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While the George Mason basketball program is currently in Spain on its summer trip, Paul Hewitt’s program received some good news Friday afternoon in the form of its first commitment in the Class of 2015.

6-foot-6 small forward Ahmad Gilbert, who attends Constitution High School in Philadelphia, announced his decision to commit to the Atlantic 10 school via his Twitter account. Gilbert played this his grassroots basketball with the Team Final program this spring/summer.

As a junior at Constitution, Gilbert proved to be one of the best players in the state of Pennsylvania. After averaging 15.7 points per game on a team that put together a 28-5 record, Gilbert was named Class AA state Player of the Year by the Pennsylvania Sports Writers Association. According to City of Basketball Love, Gilbert’s play during the summer earned him increased interest on the recruiting trail with South Florida offering him a scholarship.

At the small forward position George Mason currently has Vaughn Gray, who will be a senior in 2014-15, and incoming freshmen Eric Lockett and Therence Mayimba. Gray played in just 18 games last season, and after playing ten minutes or more in eight of the Patriots’ first nine games he reached double digits in minutes just once (ten minutes in a win over La Salle on March 6).

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.