Prospect Profile 2010: Anthony Mason Jr.

College: St. John's | Birthday: 1/25/86 | NBA Position: Forward | Class: Senior | Ht: 6-7 | Wt: 209

Scouting Report from

Former New York Knick enforcer Anthony Mason’s son, Anthony Mason Jr, was the leading scorer on St. John’s last season. This is somewhat of a dubious distinction, though, considering that the team has gone 38-49 in his three seasons so far, and finished 14th in the Big East last year.

On paper, we’re talking about a (potentially) fairly interesting NBA prospect. Standing 6-7, with a nice frame, long arms, and terrific athletic ability, Mason Jr. fits the ball physically for what scouts look for at the small forward position.

Offensively, Mason Jr. is fairly talented as well, showing potential with his ability to hit shots off the dribble and particularly beyond the arc, where he hit 38% of his 3-point attempts. Scoring 14 points per game in the Big East is nothing to sneer at, but unfortunately Mason Jr. needed an unbelievable amount of shots each game to get to that number. His 16.8 field goal attempts per-40 minutes ranked him 6th in the Big East last season, of which he converted only a dismal 42%. Add in the fact that he rarely gets to the free throw line (and only converts 67% of his free throw attempts once there), and you realize that we’re talking about an extremely inefficient offensive player.

Mason Jr. has two major and very much related issues which he will have to resolve if he’s to have any chance at playing in the NBA—his ball-handling skills and shot-selection. He struggles badly to create shots for himself off the bounce (especially with his left hand), sporting a very high dribble, and looking very limited in his ability to change directions with the ball and get to the rim. For that reason, he relies very heavily on his pull-up jumper from mid-range, not hesitating in the least bit to go one on one and then shoot an incredibly difficult fade-away jumper off his back heel with a hand in his face. According to Synergy Sports Technology, 50% of Mason Jr’s jumpers came off the dribble, which is a very high rate.

Mason Jr’s inability to create high-percentage scoring opportunities makes him extremely predictable in this aspect, and thus very easy to guard—hence the poor shooting numbers, and consequently (at least partially), his team’s record last season. He’s a fairly good passer, but turns the ball over so much that he largely negates that. Despite possessing excellent size for a small forward, he rarely takes advantage of that by posting up smaller players inside.

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