One-time Maryland target Antoine Mason to transfer to Auburn

One-time Maryland target Antoine Mason to transfer to Auburn
June 11, 2014, 1:45 pm
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Niagara guard Antoine Mason will transfer to Auburn, the senior announced via his Twitter page on Wednesday afternoon.

Mason, a native of New York, was for a time a possible transfer target for head coach Mark Turgeon and his staff. Why? One number in particular.

Mason was the NCAA's second-leading scorer this past season, averaging 25.6 points per game. That trailed a player who will likely go in this year's NBA Draft lottery, statistically one of the most prolific scorers in NCAA history, Creighton's Doug McDermott.

The other benefit? He's immediately eligible.

After the transfer of guard Seth Allen, Maryland needed a backcourt player who could be inserted immediately and provide some scoring help. Mason -- at least on the surface -- appeared to fit the bill.

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But a mix of factors came together to show that he fits better elsewhere.

The most important is timing. Maryland has already signed North Carolina A&T guard Richaud Pack, another immediately eligible player, for 2014-15. Because of scholarship distribution, it doesn't make sense to add another one-year rental. 

Pack, who averaged 17 points per game last season, fills the role that Maryland needs in the backcourt. He will be one of four seniors this upcoming season along with Dez Wells, Evan Smotrycz, and Jonathan Graham.

Timing and scholarship count aside, Mason's 25.6 points per game look gaudy but how well would that really fit into Maryland's system?

With freshman Melo Trimble being handed the keys to the car at point guard, the Terrapins wouldn't need a player who is used to taking nearly 19 shots per game (including 29 percent shooting from three) suddenly shaped into a backup role. Pack fits that more nicely.

So Mason heads to Auburn to play for coach Bruce Pearl and in comes Pack to College Park.