Tonawanda News

Sports

June 12, 2014

Former NU hoops star Mason joining Auburn

Tonawanda News — Antoine Mason is going from Purple Eagle to War Eagle.

Mason, the country’s second-leading scorer while playing for Niagara in 2013-14, will be transfering to Auburn, he announced Wednesday morning via Twitter.

“It’s Official I Will Be Wearing Orange and Blue #14 at Auburn University #WarEagles #blessed #chiponmyshoulder,” Mason tweeted.

He followed with: “It was a close decision I would like to thank every school who had interest in me.”

Mason received his release from Niagara on May 21. He averaged 25.6 points per game last season, second only to Creighton’s Doug McDermott. McDermott is a projected lottery pick in June 26th’s NBA draft.

Reached by phone after releasing the Auburn news, Mason said he wasn’t comfortable with what his role at Niagara would be in 2014-15 after talking to head coach Chris Casey.

“I felt like I wasn’t going to be used the same,” Mason said. “(Casey) told me he wanted me to average 18 points and play less.

“He wanted other people to score, and I wanted other people to score. But you can’t force other people to score. I felt like if you have someone averaging 25, you should let them do their thing.”

Mason also had the third-most field goal attempts in Division I and shot 44 percent from the field, compared to McDermott’s 57.6 percent.

Casey declined to comment.

Mason made sure to explain that numbers weren’t the sole reason for his leaving Niagara.

He wants to play professionally when his college career is over, and he said the chance to get more exposure was too much to pass up.

At Auburn, there will be no lack of exposure.

The Tigers play in the Southeastern Conference, against teams like Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee, that seem to perennially put players in the NBA.

“In the SEC, you play against pro or pro-like players almost every day. There’s more competition, more exposure,” Mason said.

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