By Jeff Goodman
Paul Hewitt will get his first look at Andre Cornelius in practice today.
Cornelius, who was projected to start for the new George Mason coach, will miss the first 10 games of the season as a result of pleading guilty to credit card fraud of less than $200.
"To get someone like Andre back is invaluable to this team," Hewitt said. "It'll be a huge addition."
Cornelius hasn't been allowed to participate in any team activities since Sept. 19.
"I haven't seen him, but I know exactly what we're getting," Hewitt said.
Cornelius was an "instant offense" guy a year ago, making 61 3-pointers and starting every game as part of a talented group of perimeter players that also included Cam Long and Luke Hancock.
"He's also a very good on-ball defender," Hewitt said of Cornelius. "He's tailor-made for our style of pressure defense."
But for the first 10 games, Hewitt will likely go with a starting unit of sophomores Bryon Allen, Vertrail Vaughns and Sherrod Wright on the perimeter and seniors Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson up front.
The strength of the team - once Cornelius returns - could be its depth as Hewitt said that freshman big man Erik Copes should make an impact this season.
"He's got a chance to be a big-time player," Hewitt said.