Moore led high school to City title in 2012

George Mason basketball coach and New York City native Paul Hewitt continues to mine talent from the area where he grew up. And why not? With the Patriots headed for the Atlantic 10, the recruiting focus figures to shift to the northeast.

On Wednesday, the Patriots announced the signing of Marquise Moore, a 6-1 guard from Queens, N.Y. who prepped last season at St. Thomas More (Conn.). Moore, who averaged 13 points, six rebounds, and five assists, previously played at Holy Cross High. In 2012, Moore averaged 15.6 points, helping propel Holy Cross to the New York City title.

"He is an outstanding student and the type of player that we think can help us as we move to the Atlantic 10," Hewitt said in a release.

Moore joins an experienced roster that includes five starters and five key reserves from last year's 22-16 team which reached the CBI finals. The only other addition to the roster will be forward Julian Royal, a transfer from Georgia Tech who will become eligible in 2014-15.

Previous George Mason coach Jim Larranaga, also a New York City native, had success recruiting the talent-rich area. Hewitt, a player at St. John Fisher (Pittsford) and former head coach at Siena (Loudonville), has continued the tradition. The players on the roster with ties to the New York area include senior Sherrod Wright (Mount Vernon), junior Anali Okoloji (Brooklyn), junior Corey Edwards (South Jamaica), junior Vaughan Gray (Elmwood Park, N.J.) and sophomore Jalen Jenkins (Yonkers). In addition, senior Byron Allen (Largo) and sophomore Michael Rudy (Falls Church) played prep seasons at St. Thomas More. Former conference player of the year Ryan Pearson, a 2012 Mason graduate, played at Christ the King in Queens.

Moore will provide another option at point guard, competing for playing time with Edwards and perhaps allowing Allen to focus primarily on playing the wing, where he thrived last season after struggling at the point.

"Marquise has great size for his position, attacks the basket at will and does an excellent job distributing the ball," St. Thomas More coach Jere Quinn said in a statement. "He is a selfless player who is very coachable and plays the game with passion and competitiveness."