Z Mason is a potentially dominant force in the SoCon. Talk has been that he hopes to be among the leaders nationally in rebounds. He is a physical presence, even if he is undersized. He can play powerfully, but he can also step back and shoot the three.
In fact, Z has been shooting more threes in the preseason than previous years. Given Coach Will Wade's three point system, don't be surprised if Z Mason is shooting a lot more threes this season, and making a decent percentage.
But the thing that Z Mason has to provide is he has to be the heart and soul of this team. He needs to be the one that is the emotional leader and the physical leader of this team. I truly think he was only scratching the surface last year. I am so excited to watch Z Mason play this year.
On a team that is lacking senior leadership, Mason will be the senior leadership. On a team lacking any experienced physical presence (TJ Williams really needs to work out), Mason will be the experienced physical presence. That's why he's so important.
If the Mocs have a special season, Mason will almost certainly be one of the main reasons. He will be in the discussion for Player of the Year in the SoCon. He already was on the preseason All SoCon team (a ten player team). He is one of the most respected players in the SoCon as it is.
If this season goes the way Moc fans are hoping, he may be even more than that.
It's a shame. I truly believe that Mason is one of the best players to come through Chattanooga in a while. If the Mocs do not put together a magical season this year, Mason's career will go largely unappreciated by many without a SoCon ring. That's what makes this season so important from my perspective. I hope Mason goes down as one of the better Mocs players in recent years. To have that happen, he probably needs to be part of a memorable team. Can this team be that memorable team?
It's almost time to start finding out.
From right now, about 450 hours until tip off.