Mason, the son of former New York Knick Anthony Mason Sr., suffered a torn peroneal tendon in his right foot during St. John’s third game of the season, an 82-70 loss to Boston College on November 18.
Mason underwent surgery on December 15 and, after months of rest and physical therapy, was cleared to return to offseason workouts in June.
“I am really grateful to the Big East and St. John’s for granting me another year to play,” said Mason Jr. “Having been out for almost the whole year, I watched and learned a lot. I can’t wait to go out and perform with my team on the court this season.”
Mason averaged 14 points-per-game and 4.4 rebounds-per-game in his injury-shortened season. Mason has career averages of 14 points, 3.3 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game.
When healthy, Mason is athletic scorer who runs the floor and is his team’s primary scoring option, so much so that head coach Norm Roberts listed Mason’s scoring as one of the keys to the season prior to the start of the 2008-09 season.
“Anthony Mason has to score double digits.” Roberts said last November.
Without Mason, St. John’s amassed a 16-18 record, highlighted by wins over then-nationally-ranked Notre Dame on January 3 and Georgetown on March 3.
Seven days later, St. John’s defeated the Hoyas in the Big East tournament, the team’s first Big East tournament victory since 2003.
St. John’s was eventually defeated by Marquette in the second round of the Big East tournament, and then by Richmond in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.
Without their leading scorer, St. John’s saw other players make strides, as Paris Horne, DJ Kennedy, and Justin Burrell all stepped up their scoring. Horne in particular raised his average from 5.1 points-per-game in his freshman year to 14.6 in his sophomore season.
This year, St. John’s will have to find enough shots for Mason and the other players, a problem that Roberts’ doesn’t mind having.
“We’re obviously very happy and excited to have Mason back,” said Roberts. “We all felt terrible for him when he got hurt, but now he has a great opportunity to come back. He is such a versatile scorer, and his ability to be our main scorer on any given night makes our team that much deeper.”