By Scooby Axson
June 11, 2014

Antoine MasonAntoine Mason averaged 25.6 points and 3.6 rebounds last season for Niagara. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

The nation's leading returning scorer Antoine Mason announced Wednesday that he will be playing basketball at Auburn next season.

Providence and Boston College were also reportedly in the running to land Mason, who transferred from Niagara last month.

This is a big score for new Auburn coach Bruce Pearl, as Mason is available to play immediately because he has already graduated from Niagara.

Mason, a 6-foot-3 guard, is the son of former New York Knicks forward Anthony Mason.

He averaged 25.6 points last season in 33 games for Niagara, and left the program as the school's third all-time leading scorer. He was second in the NCAA in scoring behind Creighton All-American Doug McDermott (26.7).

He shot 44 percent from the field and averaged 3.6 rebounds for the Purple Eagles, who went 7-26 last season.

"It was a close decision I would like to thank every school who had interest in me. I would like to give a special shout out to Niagara that's still my second home Imma miss everyone who made my 4 years there,"  Mason said on his Twitter page.

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