“I thought AJ Wilson was nothing short of phenomenal tonight," said Dave Paulsen, the fourth-year head coach. "Offensively, defensively, on the glass, blocking shots. He gave us great energy."
The Patriots began the season with a loss at home on Nov. 6 to Penn, which won the Ivy League title last season.
Sitting courtside was former George Mason baseball standout Justin Bour, who finished last season as a backup first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. Nearby was former Washington Redskins defensive back Darrell Green, a Hall of Famer who now works in athletics for George Mason.
At the south baseline was Doc Nix & The Green Machine, perhaps one of the best college basketball student bands in the country.
“It definitely feels good to be back in front of Mason Nation and playing again,” Wilson said.
Wilson had been to Mexico, but had never been to Europe.
“Spain was definitely different as far as the culture and it was really hot,” he said. “Getting to learn a whole culture was great. I enjoyed the beaches. I went jet skiing for the first time over there. We visited a church that was really huge.”
The NCAA allows college teams to make one overseas trip every four years, if the school so chooses.
An overseas trip allows a team to make up to 10 extra practices if they so desire.
“It definitely gave us a sense of putting a fire underneath us,” said Wilson, who added the summer would not have been as intense without an overseas trip to focus on.