Game 1 · American (0-0, 0-0 PL) vs. George Mason (0-1, 0-0 A10)
Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 · 7 p.m. ET · Fairfax, Va. (Eaglebank Arena)
All-Time Record: George Mason leads, 31-10
WASHINGTON – The American University men's basketball team begins the 2018-19 season on Friday on the other side of the Potomac River in Fairfax, Virginia at Eaglebank Arena against George Mason.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
- Sa'eed Nelson was named the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year and named to the All-PL Preseason Team.
- Sam Iorio returns after a talented rookie season where he finished second on the team in scoring (14.9) and led the team in rebounds (6.5).
- American returns all five starters from last season — Nelson, Larry Motuzis, Sam Iorio, Marvin Bragg and Jesse Little.
- American welcomes four newcomers — Josh Alexander, Jacob Boonyasith, Jamir Harris and Christian Sutton. Harris will miss the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Harris played his freshman season at Minnesota.
SCOUTING THE PATRIOTS
- In the Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll, George Mason was picked fifth, the best position in its five-year tenure as a member of the league.
- Otis Livingston II was Mason's first Atlantic 10 Preseason First Team member. He ranked fifth in the A-10 in scoring during league play (19.8 ppg) and dished out 4.7 assists per contest in 2017-18.
- The Patriots dropped a tight contest on opening night against Penn, 72-71. Jarred Reuter led the team with 15 points. Justin Kier had 12 points and eight rebounds and Livingston II had 12 points and three assists.
- Off the bench, Javon Greene finished with nine points while AJ Wilson and Ian Boyd each had eight points.
PL PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- Sa'eed Nelson was named the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year.
- Patriot League top returning scorer (18.6 ppg).
- Led American in scoring in his first two seasons — (14.9) as a freshman and (18.6) as a sophomore.
- Finished second in the PL in assists (5.1) and third in steals (1.8).
- Scored in double figures in 28 of 29 games
- Set a new PL First Round record with 41 points at Lafayette on Feb.
- Nelson is just 15 points away from joining the 1,000 point club for AU.
- As a freshman, Nelson scored 447 points.
- Eclipsed 500 points as a sophomore with 538 points.
- Scored double figures in 51 of 59 career games.
- Scored 20 or more points 20 times.
- Played 40 or more minutes in 22 of 59 games.
SOME DEEP DISH FROM THE OUTSIDE
- In his first season with the Eagles, Larry Motuzis finished third on the team in scoring, averaging 14.6 points per game.
- Motuzis scored 20 or more points six times last year with a season-best of 29 points against Howard.
- Against Holy Cross (2/21), Motuzis hit a season-high six 3-pointers and finished with 21 points.
YOU'LL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR FIRST
- For head coach Mike Brennan, Eaglebank Arena will always have a special place in his heart. It was this arena where he began his head coaching career. Nov. 8, 2013, his Eagles dropped a three-point contest to the Patriots.
- It was also the collegiate debut of Yilret Yiljep. Both will have a major impact, with one making his re-debut.
JUST CALL HIM THE GRIZZLY OLD VETERAN
- 13 games into his collegiate career in 2013, Yilret Yiljep was forced to stop playing the game he loved due to a heart condition. A situation that ended his playing career until now.
- Now a graduate student, Yiljep was medically cleared to resume all athletic activities and will compete for the Eagles in the 2018-19 season due to an NCAA and Patriot League-approved waiver request granting him additional seasons of eligibility.
BIG SHOW FOR BIG MAN
- Mark Gasperini returns to American after missing last season due to a concussion that sidelined him all season.
- As a freshman in 2016-17, Gasperini averaged 11.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
- Gasperini has scored 15 or more points nine times with his career-best 20 points on the road at Lafayette. Of those nine games, seven were against Patriot League schools and two against nonleague teams — opponents AU will see in 2018-19 — Wagner and Saint Francis Univ.
- He recorded one double-double against Colgate (15p, 10r).