Auburn senior guard Antoine Mason will miss Saturday’s game for the Tigers against Texas A&M as he deals with the loss of his father, former NBA forward Anthony Mason.
According to a release from Auburn’s athletics department, Anthony Mason, a 13-year NBA veteran, passed away on Saturday morning from complications after a heart attack suffered last month. The 48-year-old Mason often attended Antoine’s college games and watched as his son became the nation’s second-leading scorer last season at Niagara with an average of 25.6 points per game.
For his final season of college basketball, Mason transferred to Auburn and twice this season he’s flown to New York to be with his ailing father, only to return in time to play. This time, however, Mason won’t be returning for the Texas A&M. The release from Auburn’s athletics department doesn’t specify how much time Mason will miss.
Mason is averaging 15.1 points per game during his senior season with the Tigers as the 6-foot-1 guard is shooting 42 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.
Auburn guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen done for the season
Auburn sophomore guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen will undergo season-ending surgery on both shoulders, the school announced on Friday afternoon.
Surgery on his first shoulder will take place next Thursday.
The 5-foot-9 Shamsid-Deen has dislocated both shoulders during the season, the latest incident coming on Tuesday night against Arkansas.
“It got to the point to decide whether or not he should go for loose ball or not, whether he could set a screen or not, whether he should reach and give help and whether he should strip and rip,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said in a statement.
Shamsid-Deen was averaging 6.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game, making 15 starts for the Tigers.
Auburn head to Athens for a Saturday afternoon matchup with Georgia. Shamsid-Deen may not be the only perimeter piece Pearl will be missing. First-year guard Antoine Mason, the Niagara graduate transfer, has been in New York with his father, Anthony Mason, the former NBA forward who recently suffered a heart attack. His status for Saturday is uncertain, according to the university.
1. Kyle Wiltjer (via Kentucky) and Byron Wesley (via USC), Gonzaga: Mark Few’s team still has questions to answer, mainly on the defensive end, but there’s no doubting that he’s added several transfers that make the Zags a top-10 caliber team. Wiltjer, the 2013 SEC Sixth Man of the Year, has had over a year to reshape his body. By the looks of last week’s viral video, his 3-point shot is still intact. Wesley, a graduate transfer who averaged 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds per game in 2013-2014, gives the Bulldogs another weapon on the perimeter.
2. Bryce Dejean-Jones, Iowa State (via UNLV): The Mayor’s success with transfers in Ames is well-documented. Next in line could be fifth-year senior Bryce Dejean-Jones. Iowa State graduated a lot of its scoring pop, and Dejean-Jones can help in that department, although he doesn’t need to be the top scorer like he was last season at UNLV. Hoiberg will look for the 6-foot-6 newcomer to be a wing who creates his shot, not one who will force it, as Dejean-Jones shot selection has been a problem in the past.
3. Rodney Purvis, UConn (via N.C. State): The reigning national champions add a former McDonald’s All-American to its back court alongside Ryan Boatright. At 6-foot-4, Purvis will give the Huskies size on the perimeter; someone who is not only capable of getting to the rim, but also a reliable 3-point shooting, knocking down 38.5 percent of his threes at N.C. State.
4. Anthony Lee, Ohio State (via Temple): The graduate transfer was highly-sought after, but picked the Buckeyes, adding size, scoring and rebounding to their frontline. At Temple, he recorded 11 double-doubles en route to 13.6 points and and American Athletic Conference leading 8.6 boards per game.
5. Kedren Johnson, Memphis (via Vanderbilt): Memphis went from a back court of four seniors in 2013-2014 to a set of guards with zero Division I experience. That was until Johnson, the Vandy transfer, got a waiver to play immediately. In 2012-2013, the 6-foot-4 Johnson averaged 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. His experience on-the-ball should help the younger guards get adjust to the level of play.
6. Angel Rodriguez, Miami (via Kansas State): The Hurricanes new point guard took a year off to recover from a wrist injury and now is the key piece to a revamped perimeter for Miami, which includes fellow transfer Sheldon McClellan, four-star freshman JaQuan Newton and returners Deandre Burnett and Davon Reed. The former K-State floor general was second-team all-Big 12 in 2012-2013, averaging 11.4 points and 5.2 assists per game.
7. Trevor Lacey, N.C. State (via Alabama): T.J. Warren took his ACC Player of the Year honors and his 24.9 points per game to the NBA, leaving plenty of shots available for the the newcomer. The 6-foot-3 Lacey averaged 11.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a sophomore.
8. Katin Reinhardt, USC (via UNLV): After taking the second-most shots on UNLV as a freshman in 2012-2013, Reinhardt headed back to the state of California in hopes of being more than just a shooter. Despite his desires to have the ball in his hands, his biggest asset to Andy Enfield is his ability to hit from the outside. The Trojans were a Pac-12 worst 29 percent from beyond the arc last season.
9. Justin Martin, SMU (via Xavier): The 6-foot-6 wing is eligible immediately after graduating from Xavier. He posted 11.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, knocking down 50 3-pointers. He has also played in two NCAA tournaments, a place the Mustangs are looking to get back to for the first time since 1993.
10. Matt Carlino, Marquette (viaBYU): Steve Wojciechowski adds the former BYU guard to a back court that includes senior Derrick Wilson, potential breakout star Deonte Burton and redshirt freshman Duane Wilson. Carlino will see time on and off the ball, and will provide Marquette with a knockdown shooter.
13 MORE IMPACT TRANSFERS
Angelo Chol, San Diego State (via Arizona): Steve Fisher has had success with transfers in the past, and this season it could be Chol, the former Arizona Wildcat, who could never crack the loaded frontline.
*Cody Doolin, UNLV (via San Francisco): Dave Rice added a steady point guard (averaged 5.6 assists per game in 2012-2013) to a team that lost its starting five. Has been granted a fifth year of eligibility, but still waiting on a waiver to be allowed to play this season, although he is expected to receive it.
Justin Edwards, Kansas State (via Maine): Top scorer in the American East at 16.7 points per game in 2012-2013 could end up being a double-digit scorer for the Wildcats.
Byrn Forbes, Michigan State (via Cleveland State): Forbes will help combat the lose of Keith Appling and Gary Harris, averaging 15.6 points per game (42 percent from three) last season in the Horizon League.
Anthony Hickey, Oklahoma State (via LSU): Hickey hopes the change of scenery can help return to sophomore averages of 11.2 points, 3.4 assists and 2.9 steals per game.
Jabarie Hinds, UMass (via West Virginia): With Chaz Williams graduating, the West Virginia transfer will be inserted into a back court with returning starter Derrick Gordon and key reserve Trey Davis in what could end up being a three-guard set for the Minutemen.
Keith Hornsby, LSU (via UNC Asheville): Matched up with JuCo transfer Josh Gray in the back court, Hornsby gives the Tigers size at 6-foot-4 and a 3-point threat.
Stanton Kidd (via North Carolina Central) and Antawn Scott (via Grambling) Colorado State : Outside of San Diego State, the rest of the Mountain West is wide-open. The addition of Kidd and Scott can help the Rams separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Jermaine Lawrence, Manhattan (via Cincinnati): The former five-star recruit is a big addition to a Manhattan team looking to return to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season.
Antoine Mason, Auburn (via Niagara): Only national player of the year Doug McDermott scored more points than Mason (25.6 ppg) last season, as the former Niagara standout joins fellow transfers K.C. Ross-Miller and Cinmeon Bowers this season for the Tigers.
Ahmad Starks, Illinois (via Oregon State): Senior guard Tracy Abrams tearing his ACL made the addition of Starks and Seton Hall shooter Aaron Cosby all the more important. Starks will be asked to run the offense this season in his first and only year with the Illini.
*TaShawn Thomas, Oklahoma (via Houston): The 6-foot-8 forward is still waiting on a waiver to play this season. Would make the Sooners a real threat in the Big 12.
Niagara transfer Antoine Mason is headed to Auburn
Bruce Pearl may not be allowed to say a mumbling word to any recruit that Auburn is pursuing, but that hasn’t stopped the Tigers from having one of the most successful offseasons of any program in the country.
On Wednesday, he added another piece to the puzzle, as Niagara transfer Antoine Mason committed to play his senior season with the Tigers. Mason, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard that led the nation in scoring, averaging at 25.6 points last season, will be eligible to play immediately.
Pearl has already landed New Mexico State transfer KC Ross-Miller, who is also eligible immediately, and JuCo transfer Cinmeon Bowers, both of whom will likely start this season. Marshall transfer Kareem Canty will have to sit out a season before he’s eligible, but he’s another addition to the Tigers this spring.
He is the son of former New York Knick Anthony Mason and the brother of former St. John’s star Anthony Mason Jr.
As the leading returning scorer in the nation after averaging 25.6 points per game in 2013-14, shooting guard Antoine Mason became a popular player once it was announced that he was leaving Niagara. With the ability to score combined with the fact that as a graduate transfer he can play immediately, Mason is clearly a player capable of helping a program immediately.
According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports the son of former New York Knick Anthony Mason has dates set for official visits to Auburn and Providence, and Mason is expected to visit Boston College as well.
Niagara transfer Antoine Mason will visit Auburn on June 6-7 + Providence on June 8-9, source told @CBSSports. BC will be the final visit.
Each of those schools is in a position where they can use the immediate scoring boost that Mason would provide. Auburn is entering the first season of the Bruce Pearl era, and one key for the program is accounting for the graduation of leading scorer Chris Denson (19.1 ppg). Denson and KT Harrell (18.3 ppg) were Auburn’s only double-digit scorers last season, with rising sophomore Tahj Shamsid-Deen scoring 9.5 points per game.
Providence lost one of the nation’s best scorers in Bryce Cotton to graduation, and the additional loss of Josh Fortune (transfer) puts the Friars in a position where landing Mason would be of high importance if they’re to make a second straight trip to the NCAA tournament. In total the Friars will have to account for the loss of three starters, with forward Kadeem Batts (12.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg) being the other departure.
And Boston College received some good news earlier this spring when guard Olivier Hanlan decided to return for his junior season, giving new head coach Jim Christian a valuable piece to build with. But the Eagles lost guard Joe Rahon and forward Ryan Anderson as both decided to transfer, and those decisions left guard Lonnie Jackson (7.0 ppg) as the team’s second-best returning scorer.
Given what each of these teams has lost since the end of the 2013-14 season, Mason’s recruitment will be something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
Two of the top three scorers in college basketball this season were National Player of the Year Doug McDermott and ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren.
Sandwiched in between the two projected first round picks was Niagara redshirt junior Antoine Mason. While McDermott and Warren are bound for the professional ranks, Mason, son of former NBA veteran Anthony Mason, is also on the move, announcing his transfer last Wednesday.
Mason, who will be eligible to play next season due to the graduate transfer rule, has quickly drawn interest from programs in the AAC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC.
“Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Providence, Auburn, Wake Forest, Maryland, Missouri, Texas A&M, and a few more have all reached out so far,” Mason told 247Sports late last week.