@AU_MBasketball Opens Season at George Mason on Friday

Sa'eed Nelson

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

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Game Notes: 
 American  |  George Mason

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

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. 

MR. 1,000

  • 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).