Mason becomes first men’s DU player to lead nation

Aaron Warnick | Photo Editor Sophomore guard Micah Mason finished his first season at Duquesne as the first player in program history to lead the nation in a statistical category. With Tra’Vaughn White’s transfer, Mason’s role on the team is likely to expand in his junior year.

Aaron Warnick | Photo Editor
Sophomore guard Micah Mason finished his first season at Duquesne as the first player in program history to lead the nation in a statistical category. With Tra’Vaughn White’s transfer, Mason’s role on the team is likely to expand in his junior year.

Addison Smith | Sports Editor

Micah Mason seems to have enjoyed his first season on the Bluff.

The sophomore point guard from outside of Pittsburgh in Natrona Heights, Pa. led the NCAA in 3-point percentage (.560), and was one assist away from leading the nation in assist/turnover ratio. A player must average at least 3 assists per game to be considered – Mason dished 74 assists in 25 games. Regardless, his output from beyond the arc in the 2013-14 season makes him the first Duquesne men’s basketball player to lead the nation in a statistical category.

For Mason, the statistics may be nice, but he’s all about the team.

“It feels really good to hold a record for the school and lead statistically. But obviously what we want to do here is win, that is the main focus,” Mason said. “It shows how much hard work I put in. I’m fortunate enough to be able to lead the country in a statistic.”

Mason transferred to Duquesne after playing one season at Drake, citing medical reasons and the need to be closer to home. At Drake, he appeared in 30 games and started 11, shooting a shade above 50 percent from 3-point range (40-79).

He was cleared to play this season by the NCAA right before the start of the regular season. Normally transfers must wait a year, but Mason and head coach Jim Ferry cited the medical issue in hopes that the NCAA would waive the rule as they do for impending circumstance.

The transition from Pittsburgh to Iowa to Pittsburgh again wasn’t easy, Mason said, but the move was better for him in the long run.

“It was good, I was missing home,” Mason said. “Obviously Drake was a great school, I really did like it there, it just wasn’t for me. I had some issues that I needed to be home for, [and] I’m happy to be back … With my family around, they’re coming to my games [and] I’m near my friends. It’s just a good transition honestly.”

Mason got to play his first season on the Bluff and says he is ready for whatever comes next, especially improving his game. He finished second on the team in scoring (10.6 points per game), trailing only senior Ovie Soko, who scored over 18 points per game.

“I would like to be a better passer,” Mason explained. “This year the turnover ratio was really good, but I want to continue to get better at things that I’m not really good at like defense and rebounding, just being more of a leader. The little things instead of just shooting.”

Mason says he admires the game of Steve Nash, but since Nash is primarily a passer, he believes he more resembles the game of Jimmer Fredette, and hopes to resemble him more down the road.

“Honestly, I really like Steve Nash, but he’s a really good passer and I have to be a lot better than that,” Mason said. “I would like to change my game to be like Jimmer Fredette, who I knew two years ago, I’d say that is someone I could maybe be like, shoot like him and do different things that he does.”

Overall, Mason said he loved his experience in his first season, thanks in large part to his teammates.

“I really love it here because of my teammates — Drake as well — there’s guys that are good people to be around,” Mason said. “People who know exactly where you’re coming from, who want to get better at basketball, who want to do well in school. It’s great to be around those kind of people.”

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