George Mason will be without two important members of its rotation when it takes on Virginia at home Friday night. The team has suspended likely starting center Erik Copes and reserve forward Vaughn Gray for the the season's first three games, Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports reports.
Copes and Gray, both sophomores, were suspended for an undisclosed conduct violation. The two players filled similar reserve roles for the Patriots last season. As a freshman, the 6'8 forward-center Copes blocked 51 shots, the fifth-highest total in school history, and averaged 3.3 points per game. The 6'5 Gray averaged 3.4 points per game. Copes started at center in the team's exhibition game against Bowie State, while Gray played 21 minutes off the bench, so both were expected to fill larger roles this season than in their freshman campaigns.
George Mason, expected to finish around the middle of the CAA but always having the potential to be a bracket buster, opens its season with a rare home date against an ACC squad when Virginia visits on Friday. The pair will also be suspended for a road game against Bucknell and a preseason tournament game with Mercer.