George Mason is the only men's basketball team to bring back every player in the season. But to qualify for the Atlantic 10 Championship and win an NCAA Tournament Ground for the first time in eight years, the Patriots had to fill a critical gap.
So they turned to a 237-year 23-foot transfer from Virginia, who once traveled around the world to win bike-motocross trophies.
Meet Jarred Reuter, who gave up two wheels long ago to devote himself to basketball, and after two preparatory schools and two years in Charlottesville, he will occupy a large space in the Mason formation, literally and figuratively.
The Patriots, who will open against Pennsylvania at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax on Tuesday, have guards who can shoot and shoot with firing ranges, as well as strikers who have gained valuable time as newcomers last season. However, they lack the mass and experience at the front, a cavity exposed to larger, stronger opponents.
Reuter arrived last year and chose George Mason over his opponent George Washington. He had to take care of transfers from the bank because of NCAA admission rules.
"What struck me most was the frustration we did not have much depth, especially in my position," he said. "There were times when we needed another big man."
The greatest players of the Patriots were Greg Calixte (6-8, 225 pounds), A.J. Wilson (6-7,201) and Goanar Mar, a 6-7, 209 pound marksman. All were newbies; Wilson and Mar are pencil-thin. The best rebounds were 6-5 Jaire Grayer and 6-4 Justin Kier.
Otis Livingston II, Senior Guard, told Reuter, "This is the last piece for the forecourt."
Coach Dave Paulsen called the apron "now an area of strength".
"We can play through there to some degree," he said. "Last year, it was hard for us to get simple baskets. We had to make everything. "
Reuter comes from the southeast of Massachusetts. He attended the Tabor Academy (Mass.) And the Brewster Academy (N.H.) – a total of five years in high school – before selecting Virginia via Rhode Island, Providence, Iowa and South Carolina.
For the nationally resurrected Cavaliers he appeared in 26 games as a freshman, then 32 as a second student. He had an average of 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds as Isaiah Wilkins & # 39; support. However, the long-term prospects for a considerable playing time were not good.
"I really just wanted an opportunity to play a bigger role," he said. "I absolutely loved my time there. Ultimately, I did not see how the role I saw for myself opened up. "
Reuter saw a role in George Mason, who after three consecutive 20-loss seasons from 2013/14 to the 15.-16. March was constantly rebuilt and in March of this year finished fifth in the A-10 years ago.
Reuter has added not only height and width, but also experience. With five years of high school and an extra year at college, as Reuters change took place, Reuter is five years older than two new teammates.
"He's a guy of size, presence, experience, high basketball IQ and innate leadership," Paulsen said. "He is a great passerby, so he can facilitate attacks. That gives us a lot of things that we did not have in the last year. "
Because of Reuter's size, endurance is a job
"It's been improved a lot, but it's not going to be a 30-minute game at the moment," Paulsen said before the youngster scored 10 points and eleven rebounds on Thursday in 20 minutes in an exhibition against Johns Hopkins. "And there is nothing like it in a real game. He has to remove the rust. It's been a long time since he's back in the team. "
Before Reuter was an integral part of basketball teams, he was a BMX superstar. His father owned a bicycle shop and both parents took a bicycle and participated in triathlons.
"They asked me," Do you want races? "I said," yes, I try that. "I had to be pretty good and experienced things that most kids do not."
He regularly traveled to the West Coast for races, winning a World Cup in the Netherlands at the age of 9 to 11, finishing fourth in France.
Reuter took part in many sports, and as he grew older and taller, he devoted himself entirely to basketball.
Have the cycling skills transferred to the basketball?
"In any case, I learned early to work hard because it was good to be good at 9 or 10," he said. "And I was probably more coordinated for a big kid."
His teammates know little about Reuters BMX exploits. Tips for preparing for fitness training on stationary bikes.
"Jarred can kick out the miles fast," Livingston said. "It's about 3.5 miles in 10 minutes or so, he gets it like 6 or 7. It makes perfect sense."
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