Former George Mason signee becomes Minnesota’s sixth 2015 addition

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Minnesota added some depth to the small forward position on Thursday, as it was reported by that 6-foot-6 wing Ahmad Gilbert has verbally committed to join Richard Pitino’s program. Gilbert was originally a George Mason signee, but he reopened his recruitment following the firing of Paul Hewitt.

He won’t be able to sign a National Letter of Intent as a result (which is probably good given the restrictive nature of that document), but Gilbert can and will sign scholarship papers to attend Minnesota. He’ll be the sixth newcomer to join the program this summer, joining Illinois State transfer Reggie Lynch and four other freshmen.

“When [Pitino] came to my house, he was just real,” Gilbert said. “He said you’re going to have to work, but I want you. I asked him about playing the right way and he said only way you can play right away is if you work hard. He was really honest about it. When I asked him what I needed to work on he gave me a rundown on how college coaches are going to look at me what I can’t do. That helps too.”

“They were honest about everything,” Gilbert added. “They didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear, they told me what I need to work on.”

The wing is a spot where Minnesota needed to make an addition, and it was their good fortune that the Pennsylvania native became available. Of the six additions joining Pitino’s program four are perimeter players, with Gilbert, DuPree McBrayer, Kevin Dorsey and Jarvis Johnson being those newcomers.

Dorsey and Johnson are both point guards, meaning that they’ll be competing for minutes behind rising sophomore Nate Mason, and McBrayer will look to earn minutes at the two where senior Carlos Morris returns.

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).