By Kevin Sweeney
The Ivy League race has taken a huge turn before a single game has been played with the news that Makai Mason, the star guard for defending champions Yale, is out for the season with a broken foot that will require surgery. Mason, who averaged 16 points per game last season, was expected to be a player of the year candidate in the Ivy League this season.
Yale spokesman Timothy Bennett said Mason suffered the injury during a closed scrimmage on Saturday against Boston University.
The implications of the injury on rest of the conference are massive. Mason was the only starter from last season’s NCAA Tournament team, and was the only returning player that averaged over 6 points per game last season. Unfortunately for Yale, this injury appears to remove them from contention for the Ivy League title, as Mason was going to need to put up huge numbers just to help Yale keep pace with Princeton and Harvard at the top of the conference.
In Mason’s absence, the play of freshman guard Eric Monroe and sophomore guard Alex Copeland will be key, as they will be looked to for the majority of the ball-handling. Highly-touted freshman forward Jordan Bruner, who chose Yale over multiple Power 5 offers, will expected to be one of the team’s leading scorers right away.
It will also be interesting to see how Mason approaches this season. Since the Ivy League only allows players to spend 4 years at the school, Mason would be require to transfer for his senior season if he , which would be the 2018-19 season. His other option would be to follow in the footsteps of Harvard point guard Siyani Chambers, who left school during his recovery in order to be able to play his final season at Harvard. If Mason were to leave school now, he would be able to play both of his remaining seasons of eligibility at Yale.