There are two parts to every coaching change: Finding a new coach, and retaining players.
George Mason is looking for a new basketball coach after Jim Larranaga left for Miami on Friday. And according to an e-mail last night from Bill Diamond, who helped coordinate swingman Vaughn Gray‘s recruitment from St. Benedict’s (N.J.), the 6-foot-5 signee still intends to come to Mason —- but will re-evaluate the situation after he meets with the new coach.
The rundown from Diamond:
“I just spoke with Vaughn at 5 p.m. tonight and he spoke with GMU assistant coach Mike Huger earlier this afternoon. Obviously Vaughn is disappointed about Coach Larranaga not coaching at George Mason next year but he respects his decision. I told Vaughn and his parents when he was deciding what college to attend, he should consider multiple factors including but not limited to, Coach Larranaga being there as head coach. We were all aware of the possibility of him leaving in the near future since he’s been such a highly successful coach at GMU. Vaughn’s decision to attend GMU was based on multiple factors besides just Coach Larranaga and his staff, such as the academic and social environment and reputation at George Mason, as well as the basketball program, facilities and campus. Tonight I spoke with GMU Athletic Director Tom O’Connor and he assured me that he intends to hire a very qualified coach to continue to lead their very successful basketball program.”
“Vaughn and his family will speak with Tom on Monday and as of right now he is still committed to attend George Mason. However, he will wait until he sees who the new head coach is, meet with him and re-evaluate his situation at that time. Until then, Vaughn still intends to honor his commitment.”
In short, it’s wait-and-see for Gray —- which probably reflects the feelings of a lot of Mason fans today, too.
—- Patrick Stevens