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Report: Former Niagara guard Antoine Mason sets up visits

Jun 2, 2014, 10:10 AM EDT

Antoine Mason,Jerian Grant AP

As the leading returning scorer in the nation after averaging 25.6 points per game in 2013-14, shooting guard Antoine Mason became a popular player once it was announced that he was leaving Niagara. With the ability to score combined with the fact that as a graduate transfer he can play immediately, Mason is clearly a player capable of helping a program immediately.

According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports the son of former New York Knick Anthony Mason has dates set for official visits to Auburn and Providence, and Mason is expected to visit Boston College as well.

Each of those schools is in a position where they can use the immediate scoring boost that Mason would provide. Auburn is entering the first season of the Bruce Pearl era, and one key for the program is accounting for the graduation of leading scorer Chris Denson (19.1 ppg). Denson and KT Harrell (18.3 ppg) were Auburn’s only double-digit scorers last season, with rising sophomore Tahj Shamsid-Deen scoring 9.5 points per game.

Providence lost one of the nation’s best scorers in Bryce Cotton to graduation, and the additional loss of Josh Fortune (transfer) puts the Friars in a position where landing Mason would be of high importance if they’re to make a second straight trip to the NCAA tournament. In total the Friars will have to account for the loss of three starters, with forward Kadeem Batts (12.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg) being the other departure.

And Boston College received some good news earlier this spring when guard Olivier Hanlan decided to return for his junior season, giving new head coach Jim Christian a valuable piece to build with. But the Eagles lost guard Joe Rahon and forward Ryan Anderson as both decided to transfer, and those decisions left guard Lonnie Jackson (7.0 ppg) as the team’s second-best returning scorer.

Given what each of these teams has lost since the end of the 2013-14 season, Mason’s recruitment will be something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

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