Two players leave men’s basketball program

Sophomore guard Jameer Nelson Jr. and senior forward Ace Stallings are leaving the men’s basketball program, athletic department spokesperson Brian Sereno confirmed Tuesday.

Nelson Jr. and Stallings are the second and third players to leave the program within a week after senior guard Maceo Jack announced his intention to leave the team last week. The duo were in their second year with the program.

Nelson Jr. will enter the transfer portal and seek to play at another school, while Stallings opted out to dedicate more time to a “business venture” he will pursue before he graduates in May, Sereno said.

Nelson Jr. was a late commit to GW after he decommitted from fellow Atlantic 10 member Saint Joseph’s in April 2019 and signed on to play for then-newly instated head coach Jamion Christian. In his first year with the program, he found a spot in the starting rotation, starting 28 of the team’s 32 contests.

He averaged 10.4 points a game – good for fourth on the squad – shooting at a .415 clip from the field. He averaged 31 minutes a game and led the team in steals with 55. Nelson Jr.’s 94 turnovers and 68 assists ranked second on the squad.

Christian said before the start of the season in October that Nelson Jr. is a dynamic player who was on the up-and-up. He slated Nelson Jr. and sophomore guard James Bishop as a one-two punch for the Colonials before the year started.

In his first seven games of 2020-21, Nelson Jr.’s time on the court decreased to 26.3 minutes per game, and he started five nonconference contests. He was averaging 8.4 points a game and racked up a team-leading 18 steals with 14 assists and 15 turnovers. He was hitting 39.2 percent of his shots from the field and just 25 percent from deep.

Stallings transferred into the program in May 2019 after Christian took over the helm. He previously played under Christian at Mount St. Mary’s. In his first season with the Colonials, Stallings played primarily off the bench, averaging 8.1 minutes per game without a start. He scored 1.6 points a contest on 18-of-32 shooting and ripped 1.7 rebounds a game.

To start off the 2020-21 season, Stallings saw limited time on the floor, playing in just four games and averaging 4.8 minutes of action. He scored one point on 1-of-2 free throw shooting and did not attempt a field goal. Stallings snatched two offensive rebounds and one defensive rebound this season.

The Colonials (2-6) faltered in nonconference play, starting the season 1-6, but broke their winning draught with a win over Fordham to kick off A-10 play Wednesday. GW is back in action Saturday to take on Duquesne at 12:30 p.m.

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