UNCG signs Sam Mason to NLI
GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro men’s basketball coach Mike Dement announced Wednesday the commitment of 6-10 center Sam Mason during the National Letter of Intent’s late signing period.
Mason, a native of Raleigh, NC, is the fifth signee that will enroll at UNCG next fall. The Spartans received a commitment from Orlando, FL native Daniel Oliver last week, as well as three during the early signing period last November. In the early period, UNCG got commitments from 6-8 forward DeAngelo Jackson (Angier, NC/Harnett Central Prep), 6-7 forward Darrius Sellers (Smyrna, GA/Charis Prep [NC]) and 6-1 guard Landon Clement (Raleigh, NC/Sanderson HS).
“We are happy to have Sam sign with us to complete our recruiting class,” said Dement. “As big men typically will do, he improved quite a bit as his senior season went along. He is also strong academically.
“We saw Sam play very well when he played against Sanderson and our other signee Landon Clement. We wanted to fill a need with a big man since the rest of our conference opponents have increased the size of their respective frontcourts. If Sam continues to improve as he did this year, he can be a very good player in the SoCon. He has good hands and a nice touch on his post moves. He played in a high-level program at Broughton under Jeff Ferrell. The Broughton program practices and plays with the intensity of many college programs.”
Mason was rated one of the Top 75 senior prospects in the state this season by the Charlotte Observer. He averaged 14.3 ppg this season for Broughton, earning third-team all-area honors. His team went 22-6, including an 11-1 mark in conference play. He recorded 17 games with 10 or more points, including six 20-point games.
“Sam is a great kid,”said Broughton coach Jeff Ferrell. “He’s quiet and goes about his business – walking down the hall, if he wasn’t 6-10, you might not know he’s there. We had an outstanding point guard this season, but I don’t know if we could have done without Sam this year. He runs the floor so well. He grew up playing tennis, so he has good lateral movement. He make the tough pass catchable. He catches the ball very softly, and that gives him the ability to make his post move. He has the ability to then make a move to his left or right, which is a great asset.
“Sam is also a young man of tremendous character,” said Ferrell. “What you see is what you get with Sam.”
The Spartans return nine players off of this year’s 16-14 squad and will gain the services of redshirt Omar Jones. Among four returning starters will be All-American candidate Kyle Hines. The 6-6 forward from Sicklerville, NJ earned AP All-America Honorable Mention honors and was the Southern Conference Player of the Year last year. He will begin his senior year just 55 points shy of the school’s all-time scoring record.
The 5-10 Oliver is the first male basketball player at Orlando Christian Prep to sign with a Division I program. At the end of his senior season, Oliver had his jersey retired at OCP. He led his team to a 25-5 mark last season and earned third-team all-state honors in Class 1A.
The Orlando, FL, native averaged 22.3 points per game to go along with 4.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds per contest as a senior. He was a three-time all-county and four-time all-district selection during his high school career. For his five-year career at OCP, he scored exactly 2,000 points and recorded 690 assists and 525 rebounds. His points and assists are both school records at OCP. He was ranked the No. 2 senior point guard in the state of Florida and the 14th-best in the state’s senior class according to Breakdown Magazine.
Clement was a second-team All-Area selection at Sanderson this season with the team recording a 20-7 mark. He averaged 20.0 ppg., including a 37-point performance against Leesville Road on February 13. He scored in double figures in 25 of 27 games this season.
Jackson was rated one of the Top 75 seniors in North Carolina by the Charlotte Observer prior to the start of the year despite moving from Washington state this summer. He helped his team to a 14-11 mark this past season, averaging 10.0 ppg. He had a season-high 19 points against South Johnston on February 14, one of 11 double figure scoring games he had on the year.
Sellers just completed his second season at Charis Prep, where he averaged a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds per game this past season.
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