By Kevin Sweeney
One of the Ivy League’s biggest stars is returning for one more season.
Yale point guard Makai Mason is expected to return to the team for the 2017-18 season before utilizing the NCAA’s graduate transfer rules to use his final year of eligibility, according to Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports. Mason has missed all of the 2016-17 season due to a foot injury suffered in a closed scrimmage shortly before the season began.
Due to the Ivy League’s strict rules that force athletes to use their 4 years of eligibility in 4 years rather than the standard 5, it was unclear how Mason would treat his season without basketball. Had he left Yale to rehab, similar to what Ivy League stars Siyani Chambers and Alex Rosenberg have done in recent years, he could have maintained the ability to play all 4 years of his eligibility at Yale.
Another option was that Mason could potentially finish his degree early and transfer to another school without penalty, leaving him with 2 years of eligibility remaining.
However, it appears that Mason will spend one more season in New Haven before finding a new home for his final season of college basketball.
Mason is best known for his 31 point performance in last season’s NCAA Tournament, where he led the Bulldogs to an upset win over Baylor in the first round before falling to Duke in the second round.
Should Mason return to his pre-injury form, he will likely be one of the frontrunners for Ivy League Player of the Year honors, having averaged 16 points per game in his sophomore season. The Bulldogs should return 4 of their top 5 scorers for next season, making them perhaps the early favorites in the Ivy League.