On the same day that Rutgers women’s basketball head coach C. Vivian Stringer signed a five-year contract extension, the program received a commitment from Arkansas transfer Jailyn Mason. The graduate senior guard made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday night.
Joining an amazing family. So excited and grateful for this next chapter. Y’all see the new name on the jersey pic.twitter.com/Ifmosws3hw— Jailyn Mason (@jaimason14) April 14, 2021
Mason just finished her fifth year and will take advantage of the NCAA ruling of granting an extra year of eligibility to all winter student-athletes due to COVID-19.
The 5’9” guard started 97 of 98 games in her first three seasons at Arkansas, averaging 8.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 31.0 minutes per game. The 2017 SEC All-Freshman Team selection shot 36.9% from three-point range on 312 attempts over her first three seasons.
The Mason, Ohio native redshirted the 2019-2020 season due to a foot injury that required surgery. This past season, she returned to play a key reserve role, as Mason started just 3 of 27 games, but was sixth on the team in minutes played. She averaged 3.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 20.5 minutes per game.
Despite the reduced production and playing time, Mason maintained consistency rom behind the arc, making 21 of 59 attempts for 35.6% from deep. She also held a 2.2 assist to turnover ratio. Mason scored in double digits in three games this past season, including a 10 point performance against Big Ten champion Maryland.
Arkansas went 19-9 this past season, earning a no. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They were upset in the first round to no. 13 seed Wright State, losing 66-62. The Razorbacks have had three consecutive seasons of 19 or more wins.
Mason was recruited to Fayetteville by former head coach Jimmy Dykes, who was replaced by Mike Neighbors after her freshman season.
With Stringer needing to rebuild the roster after losing the top five scorers from last season’s NCAA Tournament team, adding Mason gives Rutgers an experienced player who is a proven three-point shooter. She should have every opportunity to start in the backcourt after the departures of Diamond Johnson and Zippy Broughton. If Mason can get back to the level of production that she experienced before her foot injury with an increased role, she will become a key contributor next season.