Copes headed to George Mason

Erik Copes will play for District rival George Mason next season and his uncle, Roland Houston, formerly an associate coach at GW, will join the Mason coaching staff, Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com is reporting.

The 6-foot-8 center committed to the Patriots Sunday after being released from his National Letter of Intent with GW Friday evening. After Mike Lonergan replaced Karl Hobbs – a champion for Copes’ recruitment – as the GW men’s basketball head coach, Copes was unsure if he would remain a Colonial.

Copes was widely regarded as the best recruit Hobbs ever brought to Foggy Bottom. He averaged 7.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game last season, and was rated as the sixth-best center and 49th best player in his recruiting class in the ESPNU Top 100 rankings.

Houston accepted a position on the Mason staff last week. Andre Noble, director of athletics and boys’ basketball coach at Imohetp Charter School, where Copes is currently a senior, told The Hatchet in a previous interview that Houston’s location would be a key factor in Copes’ decision.

University spokeswoman Candace Smith did not immediately return a request for comment.

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