About Frank Mason
The fact that basketball’s inventor and Kansas University are so deeply connected was never lost on Frank Mason, who stayed four years at the school and went out with a flourish, winning every national player of the year award, the Bob Cousy Award and Big 12 player of the year honors. "Dr. Naismith invented the game of basketball, and we walk by his original rules every day in Allen Fieldhouse,” Mason said after winning the Naismith Award, given to the nation’s top player. “He was Kansas' first coach, so winning this award with his name on it and playing at Kansas brings this full circle.” Mason etched his name into the rich lore of Kansas basketball with a season his coach, Bill Self, called the best he’s ever been associated with. Numbers tell an important story, but more than the points and assists Mason averaged and the percentage he shot from 3-point range, his real value to the Jayhawks was his competitive drive and the ability to make his teammates better. “Frank basically led us through every tough moment,” Self said. “Which is what separates him from so many."
- Excellent distance shooter
- Can score in the midrange
- Excels in transition
- Rugged defender
- Can he defend taller guards?
NBA projection: Mason has been projected as a second-round pick by some analysts, while others don’t think he’ll be drafted. But like another undersized point guard of recent vintage who played four seasons in college and didn’t get selected in the Draft, Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell, Mason’s got a chance to not only make a roster, but to make meaningful contributions as a rookie
Mason put together an historic season, racking up all the major national player of the year awards (Wooden, Naismith, Robertson, NABC, Associated Press, The Sporting News, USA Today) and also earning the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard. Mason led Kansas and the Big 12 in scoring in all games and league games only, he was a two-time national player of the week, and a three-time Big 12 player of the week. He scored 20 points or more 23 time, including his last seven games and 10 of his last 11.
Key statistics: 20.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.2 tpg, 1.5 spg, 35.3 mpg, .465 FG, .471 3PT, .794 FT
Career Highlights: Swept the national player of the year awards as a senior, winning honors from the AP, Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy (USBWA), NABC, Sporting News, CBS Sports, USA Today, NBC Sports and Bleacher Report. The first Consensus National Player of the Year in Kansas history. Just the second Jayhawk to win the Wooden Award (Danny Manning, 1988). Also hauled in Bob Cousy PG Award and Big 12 Player of the Year. Concluded his career sixth on KU’s career-scoring list (1,885) and sixth in assists (576), the only player to rank that high in both categories. Also finished third in consecutive starts (110).
Cool statistic: In 2016-17 Mason became the only player in Big 12 history to average more than 20 points and five assists.
Reminds me of: Yogi Ferrell
What Insiders Say
Kansas coach Bill Self
“Frank Mason has had the best college season of anybody I've been around by far. The things that he has done to be a point guard, to be totally unselfish, to play both ends, to lead, to be tough, to be an iron man, and your team experience success and all he does is average 21.5 and gives your team its personality. It's been an unbelievable year for Frank.”
What Outsiders Say
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
“I called some coaches that played against Frank Mason, and the common denominator of advice was you're not going to stop him. Don't try to game plan to stop him, because it's not going to happen. You hope to somewhat contain him and make sure he doesn't let everybody else get better because of what he can do in his penetration and shooting.”
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