Posted by Jeff Borzello
Paul Hewitt has not wasted any time since become George Mason’s new head coach.
After hiring Roland Houston as an assistant coach last week, Hewitt received a commitment from Houston’s nephew, former George Washington commit Erik Copes.
Copes was released from his letter-of-intent on Friday, shortly after Houston was hired at George Mason. Houston was an assistant at GW under Karl Hobbs for the past seven seasons.
“I love Coach Hewitt and the campus,” Copes told Jeff Goodman. “It’s a perfect situation for me. This team is good with or without me, but I’m going to try and make them better.”
Copes is a 6-foot-8 power forward from Imhotep Charter (Pa.) who rose rapidly in the 2011 rankings over the past year. He is outstanding defensively, grabbing rebounds and blocking shots at a high rate. Copes also runs the floor and finishes around the basket.
His uncle’s decision to join Hewitt’s staff was clearly the primary factor in his decision.
“This was a tough situation for me because I grew up around GW. I had my mind set on going there and those guys are like family,” Copes said. “I really wanted to be coached by my uncle.”
Memphis nabs top-50 2012 prospect
Despite having plenty of young players on the roster, Memphis head coach Josh Pastner is still stockpiling talent for the future. On Saturday night, Pastner picked up a commitment from junior Damien Wilson.
Wilson, a 6-foot-5 wing from Oak Hill Academy (Va.), chose the Tigers over UCLA, Tennessee and Florida.
“It was just today that I had to get it out of the way,” Wilson told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I’ve been watching them since Chris Douglas-Roberts. That’s when I first fell in love with Memphis basketball.”
The Atlanta native is an athletic lefty who can drive to the basket and finish or knock down shots from the perimeter. Wilson has a variety of skills and loves to attack the rim and create matchup problems.
“I feel like wherever coach Pastner wants me to play, I’ll play,” Wilson said.
Turgeon gets first recruit at Maryland
After seeing his 2011 recruiting class disintegrate over the last week, new Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon went to work on 2012.
On a visit to College Park on Saturday, Seth Allen committed to the Terrapins.
“I think he was really impressed with the campus today on the visit,” Seth’s father, Joe Allen, told Evan Daniels of Scout.com.
Allen is a 6-foot-2 guard from Fredricksburg Christian School (Va.) who can score the ball at the rim or from behind the arc. He has deep range on his jumper.
Texas A&M was the first school to offer Allen, when Turgeon was in College Station.
“They stayed in touch,” Allen said. “We were getting ready to make a trip out there, but luckily he stayed in touch. He came down and saw our son and they built a relationship and it went from there.”