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Mid-Major Minutes: George Mason is getting a new practice spot and expansion options for the Summit League

Chris Schutte’s just doing his job, you guys.

Good morning! If you’re reading this, you’re clearly starting your day off right with an effort to better yourself by becoming more educated about the goings-on in the mid-major world.

In a landscape so dominated by the biggest schools and conferences, it’s quite hard to winnow down the information you want and need to hear about your favorite mid-major programs.

Thankfully, Mid-Major Madness is here to aggregate the news and links for you, providing you with a brand-new, daily post about the world of mid-major hoops.


#Content to Read

Where do the Zags go from here? (Sports Illustrated)

For so long, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have been trying to fight their way to the pinnacle college basketball: the Final Four. Now that they’ve done that and come up just short of winning a national title, many are wondering what is next for a program that has silenced the doubters.

For Lindsay Schnell (and those of us here at Mid-Major Madness who love gigantic Gonzaga players), one of the biggest question marks for Gonzaga is their frontcourt, as gaping holes are left following the departure of both Zach Collins and Przemek Karnowski. Still, Schnell has some answers when it comes to who will be taking over in Spokane:

The task will likely fall to forwards Johnathan Williams, a 6’9” Missouri transfer who started every game last season, and Killian Tillie, a 6’10” reserve from France who played important minutes during the Zags’ Final Four run. And don’t forget Rui Hachimura, a 6’8” forward from Japan who played just four minutes per game but should be a big-time player in the years to come.

George Mason is getting a new and shiny practice facility (GMU Athletics)

Apparently George Mason has a multi-phase plan to improve its basketball image, and apparently Phase I — which involves renovating their arena’s locker rooms and creating a new practice facility — will cost $2.2 million.

Kudos to George Mason because it really seems like the school has formulated a quality plan here, and it is going swimmingly so far. As this press release states:

Over the first few years of the strategic vision, the department has generated more than $20 million in revenue contracts and commitments, highlighted by a naming rights deal for EagleBank Arena, a multi-year partnership with adidas and a long-term corporate sponsorships agreement with Learfield. In addition, the department has secured a multi-year sports performance partnership with Vivature and has benefited from over $4 million in generous gifts from Patriot Club supporters.

However, none of that logistical stuff is important to me. What is important is this:

GMU Athletics
You seein’ this, Russ?
GMU Athletics

If you’ve got hardware, flaunt it. George Mason is going to be doing just that in their new facility, reminding everyone of their glorious Final Four run in which they beat UConn North Carolina and Michigan State. (don’t you like when the UConn fan edits this post?)

What are the Summit League’s remaining options? (Mid-Major Madness)

Our own Chris Schutte (stop what you’re doing, close your angry tweet to him that you just composed after reading his name, and do NOT save the draft) penned a piece looking at the Summit League’s options after losing IUPUI to the Horizon League.

Chris offers up a few different options in terms of where the league could look, but we all know that his final suggestion is the best one:

LOPES SZN

FORGET THE LAST SENTENCE OF THE PRIOR SECTION. GRAND CANYON LET’S BUILD.


Tweets of Interest

Lots of fun mid-major names on USC’s non-conference schedule

Crazy how they fit so many tremendous dunks in a video this short.

Anyone want to fund a...business trip...for your favorite site?

George Mason’s doing a fun social media thing to pass the time in the long offseason

The Rebels are about to cash in!

PRACTICE HYPE VID

I know this is football, but this is just too dumb to not criticize.

Good news for Tre McLean!

/Blows a party horn

Zags offering another big man


Recruiting News