Former General McLane basketball star headlines Edinboro men’s hoops

Contributed Photo: Sports Information
Edinboro native, Jaymon Mason (above), has started every contest this season for the Fighting Scots.

By Mike Fenner
Staff Writer/Spectator

The world of college basketball recruiting typically includes grueling road trips, lots of traveling and pitching prospects in high schools well beyond state boundaries.

The Edinboro men’s basketball coaching staff had no need to travel far to find one of its key contributors for the 2014-15 season. In fact, the Scots stayed so local they did not have to leave town to find former General McLane star Jaymon Mason.

“It wasn’t easy,” Coach Pat Cleary insisted back in late Oct. of the vigorous recruiting process that some may not have expected.

The son of Edinboro’s alltime leading scorer, Tyrone Mason, Jaymon was considered to be a top priority in the Fighting Scots’ plans when adding to its roster, according to Cleary.

“There were a lot of schools involved,” Cleary said. “Division-I schools from all over the place and then division two schools from within the region, so we had a lot of competition and I’m just thankful that we were able to get him here.”

Tyrone still holds the high mark in points scored with 1,954 after starring for the Fighting Scots from 1993-1996. He averaged 23.6 points per game for his career along with a free throw percentage of .845 (third in school history) and a tally of 401 assists (fourth). Although his father has been held in such high regard in the storied program’s history, a last name or legacy will not be a primary focus when taking floor, according to Jaymon.

“I get this question asked a lot [and] it means a lot, but I don’t even think about everything he accomplished here at Edinboro,” Jaymon said. “I’m just coming in and trying to make my own name.”

Tyrone’s vast accomplishments at Edinboro did not necessarily translate directly to his son’s college choice.

Jaymon, a 6-foot-3 inch, 175 pound redshirt freshman combo guard, who sat out last season due to the redshirt, has risen to the occasion in the 2014-15 season. The first year starting point guard has kept himself among the top 20 scoring list in the PSAC all season long and has averaged 13.8 points per game, a mark that stands second on the Fighting Scots roster to the conference leader in that category—junior guard Henri Wade-Chatman.

“I definitely think it helped a lot,” Jaymon said in reference to the redshirt year. “It made me realizes what I had to work on and just get used to [in regard to] the college game. I didn’t like it at first and it was hard but, I think it paid off in the end.”

Mason, who has been held below double figure scoring just four times this season, has captured PSAC West freshman of the week honors four times this season, including back-to-back weeks to end the month of January. 

Despite his youth, Jaymon was expected to lead in many scenarios, according to Cleary.

“I expect him to be one of our primary ball handlers,” Cleary said entering the season. “He can score the ball and we’re trying to put him in positions to where he can set other people up, because he has great vision when he has the basketball in addition to having very good size and strength from the position.”

Playing for District 10’s all-time winningest boys’ basketball coach Andy Schulz and the Lancers, Jaymon had a productive high school career that featured all-state honors twice while finishing fifth on the Lancers’ all-time scoring list with 1,467 points.

“Well coach Schulz was a great coach and I loved playing for him,” Jaymon said. “He pushed me every day in practices, games and I couldn’t thank him enough. He made me the best player I could be and I appreciate that.”

Jaymon earned region six and District 10 player of the year honors as a senior, while winning region seven player of the year as a junior at McLane who was named All-District and All-Region in both campaigns.

“I was very fortunate to play with great talent at GM,” Jaymon said. “We pushed each other every day and just wanted to be the best team we could be. It was just a great experience.”

Transitioning from the high school landscape to college level basketball is always a tough adjustment, according to assistant coach Chris Bess, but with a decorated Lancer career and the right mindset, there is a chance for Jaymon to carve his niche in Fighting Scots basketball lore.

“When we sit here and we go through our recruiting reports and whatever we need to do to get ready, we never say let’s go find a kid that went 0-20,” Edinboro assistant coach Chris Bess said. “Losing is not fun and winning is not for everybody. It takes a certain mindset. You’ve got to find guys that want to win.”

Hopeful for a strong season ending run, Mason and the Fighting Scots have a chance to find themselves back in the postseason at the PSAC tournament for the first time in two seasons.

Mike Fenner is a staff writer for the Spectator. He can be reached by sports.spectator@gmail.com