George Mason signs Tennessee transfer Davonte ‘Ticket’ Gaines
Gaines, a 6-foot-7-inch guard, most recently completed his sophomore season with the Vols. Known for his defensive stopper mentality and athleticism, Gaines played both of his campaigns in Knoxville under the guidance of English, who served as an assistant coach on Rick Barnes’ staff.
“Davonte ‘Ticket’ Gaines is the third transfer we’ve signed from an NCAA Tournament Team,” English said. “Attracting student-athletes with a great history of winning was a priority in our transfer recruitment. I was fortunate enough to get to watch Ticket in practices and games for two straight seasons at Tennessee. I witnessed his toughness, selflessness and motor each and every day. His mindset as a winner and as a competitor will be greatly welcomed onto our team. Above those things, he is a protector of his teammates. Everyone loves playing with Ticket.”
Gaines played in 48 games for the Volunteers over his two seasons and averaged 7.7 minutes per game. The SEC Academic Honor Roll selection often would be called upon by Barnes to come in and lock down a key offensive player.
His experience guarding some of the nation’s best in the SEC will provide Mason with a key defensive boost, in addition to his overall game, as the Patriots enter the 2021-22 campaign.
“Ticket gives maximum effort every second he is on the court,” English said. “He takes great pride in his defense and his ability to be a connector on offense. We are really fortunate to have Davonte join our Mason Men’s Basketball Family.”
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Gaines starred at Health Sciences Charter School, where he led the program to New York Class B semifinal appearances in 2017 and 2018. He was named to the 2018 All-Western New York First Team during his senior season after averaging 18.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 4.0 steals and 2.5 blocks per game. He was given the nickname “The Ticket” after recording 22 double-doubles, four triple-doubles and three quadruple-doubles during his senior year.
Gaines played his prep season at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia before enrolling at Tennessee as a freshman in 2019-20.
Gaines joins an incoming class under English which includes former Colorado standout D’Shawn Schwartz and former Morehead State star DeVon Cooper.