Senior forward/center Erik Copes leaves George Mason program

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George Mason will be moving forward without an experienced front court player, as the school announced Wednesday evening that senior forward/center Erik Copes has decided to leave the program for personal reasons. Copes, who didn’t play in the Patriots’ 99-69 win over Catawba, played at least 17 minutes in each of George Mason’s three games prior to Wednesday’s contest.

“I respect Erik’s decision” George Mason head coach Paul Hewitt said in the release. “I understand he needs to devote more time to other matters in his life that are more important than basketball. We will continue to support Erik in the pursuit of his degree.”

Copes, who averaged 4.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 16.5 minutes of action per game, played 13 minutes in the season opener then didn’t see action in any of the Patriots’ next four games due to injury. Shevon Thompson (11.4 ppg, 10.6 rpg), who scored 29 points, grabbed ten rebounds and blocked three shots Wednesday night, has led the way in the front court for George Mason this season.