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Friday, December 6, 2013

Frank Mason to open at point guard for Jayhawks

Kansas guard Frank Mason claps his hands as he gets back on defense against Wake Forest after hitting a three-pointer during the second half of the Battle 4 Atlantis opening round on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Kansas guard Frank Mason claps his hands as he gets back on defense against Wake Forest after hitting a three-pointer during the second half of the Battle 4 Atlantis opening round on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

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Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, who has used the same starting lineup the past six games, will alter the opening five Saturday at Colorado.

Self says he has decided to go with freshman Frank Mason at the point-guard position in the 2:15 p.m. game in place of junior Naadir Tharpe, who has started all but one game — the season-opener, in which he served a suspension against Louisiana at Monroe.

Mason, a 5-foot-11, 185-pounder from Petersburg, Va., who averages 8.9 points with 20 assists against seven turnovers, started that contest.

“We’re going to put Frank out there to start the game,” Self said. “He’s been one of our more consistent, better performers so far this year. I think he deserves the opportunity.”

Of Mason, Self added: “Frank doesn’t talk, but he’s been great. He had about as bad a two minutes against UTEP as a guy could possibly have to end the game ... but if you’re going to line up the games that are hard to win on who our best player has been, you can make a case it’s been Frank, whether it be Duke, Villanova, Wake. I’m really pleased with him. But he’s got a lot to learn, too, but he’s trying. He tries hard every day. Every day he tries.”

Tharpe, 5-11, 170 from Worcester, Mass., averages 6.3 points with 30 assists against 12 turnovers.

Practicing hard: The Jayhawks (6-1) have had fruitful practices since winning two games and losing one Thursday through Saturday in the Bahamas.

“We’ve had a good week. We’ve gone hard this week,” Self said. “This is one thing about my guys that I need to be careful of: It’s a marathon, and you’re going to have games where you don’t play your best. The key is to win the games where you don’t play your best, and we didn’t do that one time against a top-20 team (Villanova) on a neutral floor. And with young kids, it’s going to happen..”

Buffs fans to pack Coors Center: Self expects a vast majority of 11,064-seat Coors Events Center to be occupied by Colorado fans for Saturday’s KU-CU game. In past years, the building was referred to as “Allen Fieldhouse West” because of all the KU fans in the crowd.

“We’ll have our fair share of people there. I bet we have a thousand fans there. But I think a thousand may be a high number, whereas in the past we probably had half the building. That’s a compliment to Tad (Boyle, fourth-year CU coach),” Self said.

Road trip: KU is about to play back-to-back nonconference road games (Colorado on Saturday, Florida on Tuesday) for the first time since Roy Williams’ Jayhawks headed to Oregon and Tulsa in the 2002-03 season.

“It’s going to be a hard road trip. I don’t know whoever did our scheduling … I don’t really understand. I’m the one who did it,” Self said with a laugh. “But it’s probably not the wisest thing to have done because ... but you know what, we’ll come together. The Atlantis trip didn’t serve its purpose for coming together, so hopefully we’ll do a much better job when we go to Boulder.”

Comments

John Fitzgerald 1 year ago

Mason has been my favorite player so far this year. I like Tharpe but Frank is playing some good basketball and always plays with high intensity.

Benz Junque 1 year ago

So much for the "fans" that say that Self never plays younger players ahead of veterans. The best players play, period.

Walter Bridges 1 year ago

Wasn't there already 2 freshmen starting? Why would anyone say that?

Benz Junque 1 year ago

I read all the time on here statements from fans whining about how stuck in his ways Bill Self is and how he always plays established veterans ahead of younger players. Obviously Selden and Wiggins are going to start because they are light years ahead of the established options, but in a scenario like Tharpe and Mason, people gripe that the guy in Mason's shoes "never" gets the chance from Self.

It's just funny. People use the word "NEVER" too often. Self plays who he thinks is the best choice, then fans sit aroun AFTER the results and whine about what an idiot he is if the results aren't good. It's ridiculous.

Mike Riches 1 year ago

Congratulations to Mason! Seven games into his collegiate career and he's been named the starting PG of a top ten team, one of the most successful programs in college basketball history! Not bad for a guy that was barely recruited coming out of high school! If that kind of progress over the past couple years is any indication of how he'll continue to improve throughout this season, I'm thrilled to watch him lead this team at the point!

Preston Dwiggins 1 year ago

Frank deserves the opportunity. When we met the new player's at the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, I told my wife that I was most impressed with Mason. He seems like a great young man. I have confidence in him getting us back on track. Hopefully this is the spark we need to get our motors running at full throttle.

Rodney Crain 1 year ago

Frank deserves to start, he earned it. I wonder if this will help in recruiting for next year to see us start a freshman PG so early? Hope Tharpe keeps his head up.

Brett McCabe 1 year ago

Agree on Tharpe, he'll be needed. Who knows, he might be stronger coming off the bench. Plus, it sounds like he's been a great teammate throughout the summer and up to now.

As far as Mason being vocal, that's a tough role for a freshman, especially at a program like Kansas. If he continues to grow as a player, I think his growth as a leader will be natural.

Ashwin Rao 1 year ago

For all you know, Tharpe may start as a 2... I would be surprised if Coach puts him in as a backup. It won't do Tharpe's confidence any good.

Michael Pannacciulli 1 year ago

Yes Frank is a nice player...he will get better too which is exciting. Tharpe maybe better coming off the bench anyway. No shame there.

Dirk Medema 1 year ago

It would seem to me that it is the other way around. Tharpe appears to be the better distributor, while Mason is the better scorer. The starters have plenty of scorers, and need someone to get them the ball in a position to score, while there are not as many scorers on the second string.

Definitely not second guessing Coach or this decision, or making a prediction, and the comment doesn't involve even an A/min analysis or anything. Just an observation, and a little surprised that Coach didn't stick with his veteran.

Mick Allen 1 year ago

Did we have plenty of scorers against Villanova and UTEP?

Mike Riches 1 year ago

I would have had the same thought, that Tharpe is the better distributor. Tharpe does have a little higher A/min (.17 to Mason's .14) but honestly I would have guessed it would be much higher than that. (I guess Mason's assists are not as memorable as his relentless drives to the hoop.) Keep in mind as well that a good chunk of the minutes Mason has played have been with Tharpe on the floor, with Mason at the 2 spot, where he's been expected to score. I'll be excited to see how well he can run this offense as a starter, I expect he's up to the task, or Self wouldn't have made this move this early...

Greg Lux 1 year ago

This is truly a lot about nothing. Coach is rewarding a player for his efforts. He is also sending a message to the team. Starting is a reward for hard play and effort. Nothing wrong with Tharpe. He is doing an average job at point, but this team needs a spark and I think Coach just gave them one.

Merry Christmas Rock Chalk

Brian Mensch 1 year ago

Only a matter of time before Beed gets the starting post over Black...Never thought I would see 4 freshmen and a soph in the starting lineup at Kansas under Self...but I dig it.

I still find it amazing that if Mason would have studied for one government test in high school would be an unknown in Baltimore right now instead of playing for the Kansas.

Evan Bilyeu 1 year ago

This is going to be awesome, I cannot wait to see 4 freshman and a sophmore starting! It will get the whole team working harder since Self is challenging every position and sending a message of if you work hard and you play hard, you can start.

Ron Franklin 1 year ago

work hard, play hard, is important; but the "good decision" piece trumps them all.

Billy Smith 1 year ago

Ok, so that leaves one more tweak to be made, starting Embiid over Black. Black may have more expierence, but the guy is a fouling machine. He's lucky to play 20 minutes a game. Just start Embiid and Lucas, and bring Tharpe and Black off the bench.

Preston Dwiggins 1 year ago

I'm not following starting Lucas. He's a fantastic kid, but don't see him get much PT.

Evan Bilyeu 1 year ago

He doesn't get too much playing time but he has the potential to be so great, by the end of the year he will really help this team.

Ron Franklin 1 year ago

Embiid will start when he can drop his fouls per minute down. That's what Self is waiting on.

Erich Hartmann 1 year ago

Embiid picks up a lot of fouls too. He has been protected a bit because of coming off the bench...if his mpg go up, he could get in real foul trouble more often...

Rich Hetherington 1 year ago

I'll have to be honest, I AM SHOCKED! I love what Mason has brought to the team and the intensity he plays with, but for everything he's done, our +/- with him is just ok. (Embiid is the king of +/- so if he can stay out of foul trouble, that's who needs to become a starter!) I still contest that Tharpe is a much better shooter and a much better passer (than Mason). I think this may be Self telling Tharpe to step it up, because I know he can drive and penetrate the lane too, and when he does, he has the ability score, or to make better passes in the lane or to kick it outside to an open man. I really thought Tharpe was going to have a breakout season and so far I'm a little let down. I'm hoping we see him bounce back and continue to start through his junior an senior seasons.

If I can take it a step further, I'm still a little surprised Mason is even getting playing time over Frankamp and Greene. I trust Self and the coaching staff though so if that's who they want out there, I'll just have to adjust my thinking and give Mason more of a chance. I was just really excited about Greene and Frankamp coming and didn't know much about Mason. So far though, he's been a spark-plug and likely has a great future ahead of him here at Kansas!

Mick Allen 1 year ago

You're still surprised Mason is getting more time than Greene and Frankamp? What games have you been watching? When our offense is stagnant Mason can and does create. Since last summer [as Babyphog] I have stated that Mason moving into the starting line up was a distinct possibility, although this is certainly quicker than I thought. He needs to play well or Tharpe will be reinserted. Tharpe has not played poorly, but Mason is quicker, stronger and fearless. The one area I think he will improve in with more court time, is after getting to the paint he doesn't need to try to finish at the rim every time, but instead be more of a distributor. Of course his teammates need to get to an area to receive the pass when help defense comes at Mason. The kid is a player.

Suzi Marshall 1 year ago

I loved Babyphog and wish you could continue to use it.

Jack Wilson 1 year ago

Rich: I do understand that that you are shocked. I think your statement the other day was that it was "ludicrous" to think that Mason would start over Tharpe. No one's keeping score though ....

Don't sweat it. I didn't jump into the Mason camp until I saw him in game action. I still am a Tharpe fan. But there's no denying Mason. babyphog and Keegan both predicted this.

That all being said, your second paragraph puzzles me. If you have been watching Mason, you surely cannot be shocked that he's playing over Frankamp, right? Greene doesn't play point, of course. But Frankamp? He doesn't handle the ball with quickness, speed, and decisiveness like Mason does, and Mason is relentless getting to the hoop. I don't want to be too black and white, but they don't seem nearly on the same level with those skills.

It is time to adjust your set on Mason. What we have, potentially, is an incredible 4 year point guard that will be the driving force of this team.

Great credit to coach Self. If he thinks Mason makes us better -- which he has hinted at with his speed comments and Chalmers comparison -- then this is the right move.

Now, when Self says Mason deserves this, I agree. But one question I have ... if there is that amount of separation between Mason and Tharpe to give Mason the starting role, how much separation does there need to be for Embiid to get the start over Black? Unless Self gave Black his word on starting when he was recruiting him. Would be interesting to know Self's rationale there.

Mick Allen 1 year ago

Thanks HEM and as usual an insightful post.

Walter Bridges 1 year ago

Yes it was and done without the need to insult the person who made the original post.

Preston Dwiggins 1 year ago

After watching the games, I think about 50% of us predicted Mason over Tharpe would come sooner than later. Mason is a catalyst. There's absolutely no way we get to watch him play in crimson and blue for 4 years; 2 if we are lucky. He plays like he's actually playing for something...the 6 letters on the front of his jersey.

Rich Hetherington 1 year ago

I see now that "ludicrous" was a bit strong, but I stand by my remarks that I'd rather have Tharpe in there, both starting and with the game on the line and that I still feel he's a better shooter and a better passer. Now being a better "spark plug", I'll give Mason the nod for that, but to me that's perfect for coming off the bench... just my opinion. Either way, I'm a diehard Jayhawk fan (and alum) and I don't want to stir the pot too much, I'm just surprised a bit because I'm used to seeing even very talented guys have to "wait their turn" and yet here comes an unranked freshman and he's getting to start over what was a top 75 recruit who is now a junior and has experience (who most people here loved and pleaded to become a starter just last year I might add). Still, for Mason to have swayed the coaches this fast, despite all of that, is very impressive and I look forward to seeing what he brings throughout his career as a Jayhawk!

John Randall 1 year ago

I think our coaches are doing the best recruiting job in college basketball. How long has it been since one of our players deserved the epithet "thug"?

Unlike the UK with their Caliope, KU has a Self-assured leader who doesn't let the ranking services set his recruiting priorities.

Kye Clark 1 year ago

HEM - I am wondering if the shock over Mason getting more PT than Greene & Frankamp comes from something that both you & I deem as a reliable indicator of incoming talent level, and that is ranking. Just based on ranking, Mason was destined to be the least talented, and therefore the least deserving of minutes. To put it another way (at least in terms of the shock of Mason starting), what player during Self's tenure has had a ranking as low as Mason's and earned a starting role as a freshman? Tyshawn Taylor is the only one that comes to mind, and that was more by necessity. He certainly didn't have a guy in his third year ahead of him when he earned his starting spot.

Attributing any shock to Mason starting does not take available positional playing time into account, and obviously watching this play out on the court it's pretty obvious who deserves the minutes, but I guess this serves as a reminder that yes the rankings are a good indicator, yet they are not a set in stone number that players can't perform beyond.

Asad Zoberi 1 year ago

Your comment regarding Mason getting PT over CF and Greene does not make much sense to me. Mason is light years ahead of CF. To be honest CF is not reday for Div 1 IMO, he should have red shirted. He does not have the size, strength and speed to contribute at a high level this year. Greene on the other hand is not a PG. I see a lot of potential in him but he needs to tighten up his D.

Rich Hetherington 1 year ago

Yikes everyone... I get it, Mason is the real deal. I guess what I was getting at is that he wasn't as heavily recruited, and when I read about Greene and saw video of him, I thought he'd be a big part of our squad even as a freshman. I tended to think the same thing about Frankamp, but when Mason signed on, I wasn't under the impression he'd step in and instantly be liked more than Tharpe at the point... that's still crazy to me! Based on how Mason has played, I'm not surprised in the least he's getting PT... I'm just still surprised he was given such an opportunity up front when those other guys really weren't is all. Thanks for all the input fellas.

Preston Dwiggins 1 year ago

Greene's problems aren't on the court fellow RCJH fans. Moving away from that, Frank was ranked 76 overall and the 17th best PG in the country. As many of you have stated, rankings don't always correlate to the hardwood.

Walter Bridges 1 year ago

I think at some point both CF and Greene will make huge contributions but most likely not at the point guard position. If Connor can get his three going, he will find more minutes at the 2 spot while Greene could play either the 2 or 3.

But then again, I never thought I'd see Morningstar and Reed starting for KU. If a player starts producing, Self will find a way to get them on court.

Eric Dawson 1 year ago

Not really a surprise. I believe it was late December/early January last season that Self commented that if KU signee Mason was on board he would be the starting PG. Frank has been a great freshman, and come March he will be a great college player, period. Experience earned under the best coach in college hoops today will hone his skills to razor sharpness. We just have to remember to not howl too loudly when he makes the occasional mistake he will as he goes through the learning process.

Asad Zoberi 1 year ago

In the past Self would have never started a freshman PG over a junior PG. Perhaps he was too rigid on his philosphy. But he is evolving. And I give him credit for getting more flexible. Sooner or later I expect to see Embiid starting instead of Black.

Jack Wilson 1 year ago

Exactly .. Self starting 4 freshmen. I'm waiting for the apocalypse. Would that be a sign?

Benz Junque 1 year ago

In the past, Self did not have freshmen that were as good as this. Self plays the players that perform to their needed level.

Walter Bridges 1 year ago

This year's team is particularly young to begin with but I think Benz makes an excellent point. Xavier started as a freshman and so did Selby until his injury.

If you want to get the top freshmen recruits, they need to know that all jobs are open to whoever performs the best.

Gerry Butler 1 year ago

let me say there is nothing THAT wrong with tharpe,however, I do think this is a solid move as others have mentioned anybody who has actually watched our games can see mason is relentless in driving the ball to the lane, and quite to the contrary of some on here he has made some sweet passes to other players. is he weak on the outside game? ya he is outside shot lacks at this point, but with some hard work on his shots and experience it will come don't get me wrong not disappointed with tharpe, definitely need him and I think he will stay positive, its just mason deserves his chance and ya I think joel is just a couple of minutes away before he becomes our starting 5. black is definitely more physical ruff and tuff but like is mentioned foul prone thank god for depth, that's a luxury we DO have at that spot. tuff game tomorrow hope we just play solid and preform at higher level then in tournament. but we knew this was gonna be the case so very young. was stated that we were like the 398th youngest team in collegiate level GO HAWKS

Mick Allen 1 year ago

I agree with your comment that Mason's outside shot is probably the area that needs the most work. If he can knock down 40% of his threes, his defender can't sag off him which allows him to get to the paint even more efficiently

Suzi Marshall 1 year ago

If he can knock down 3s at a 40% rate, I hope he's taking 20 (24 pts) of these shots per game! I don't like to see PG bomb from deep but concede he needs to shoot a high enough percentage to keep defenses honest. 38% will do.

Gerry Butler 1 year ago

oh ya forgot to say on last post to, you find it hard to believe that mason is over connor and brennan? REALLY? SERIOUSLY? have you been watching the same games we have? connor versus frank? not even close, no comparision WHAT SOEVER I mean really as far as greene goes like has been stated not EVEN the same position come on now

Rich Hetherington 1 year ago

Of coarse I've watched... I don't mean now, as of 12/6 it's surprising he's getting more PT... I just meant for the year. It's shocking that in a system where even highly ranked guys come in and have to "wait their turn", that an unranked freshman can come in and captivate the coaches like this... THAT is what is surprising to me. RCJH!

Walter Bridges 1 year ago

Mason actually did get ranked at #76 when rivals put out their final rankings for 2013 but I'm also a bit surprised that he has surpassed Tharpe so quickly in the season. I do remember that Tharpe barely saw time on court as a freshman as HCBS had him on a very short leash.

http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/recruiting/rankings/rank-2752

I think it is obvious now though that Mason has a higher upside than Tharpe.

Ron Franklin 1 year ago

Mason is a slasher and intense on defense. That is why he is getting the nod, not because he is a 'scorer'. Maybe I'm looking too far into the semantics of it...

He is not a scorer. He's a try harder than you are-er. He has been militarized. He's tough minded and aggressive.

If you want a good reference point for "Scorer" look to McDermott or Parker.

+/- does favor Mason. Mason gets to the line more. Assists Favor Mason 2.9:1 vs 2.5:1. 3pt% is best by Naadir. 2% Slightly Favors Mason.

As of now my defensive strategy would be to leave Mason basically unguarded outside, and pack the paint and face-guard Wiggins.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with having Mason starting, I just don't agree that he is a scorer. Of course, I'll be waiting for the "he holds the record for his highschool scoring"

On a side: based on %, Mason is taking as many shots per minute played as Wiggins. That's not the formula I'd want to be using.

Ricky Whitfield 1 year ago

Good point. but Frank mason is a scorer. 27.1 points a game for 2 years straight at petersburg. He is just taking on a different roll.

Tony Bandle 1 year ago

OAKVILLE ODDITIES:

1] Is it a surprise that Frank will be starting for the Hawks?...NO! Is it a surprise he is starting before Christmas break?..TOTALLY! HCBS has been sincere and consistent in his praise of Mason. Just think when those penetration shots into the lane start falling!

2] Does Jo Jo deserve to start now?...YES! Should Jo Jo start now?.....NO! He will benefit more coming off the bench which, based on Black's prediliction to foul, will be inevitable every game early.

3] Even now, only seven games into the season, you can see the rotation sifting down to a more "Self-like" number. From a starting point of 12, Lucas, Greene, White III are being called on less, thus going with a more traditionally HCBS number of 9.

4] Come crunch time it will be "The Self Seven" with Selden, Wiggins, Ellis, Mason, Tharpe, Embiid and Traylor, with Frankamp and Black joining the bench.....just wait and watch.

5] I can't decide which hurts more, having a ulcerated callous shaved off the bottom of my foot or seeing Misery in the SEC Championship game.....actually, I know exactly which hurts more!! >:- ( !!

Asad Zoberi 1 year ago

Oak, On point #4, I would not be surprised to Self evolve a bit and expand his rotation to 8 or even 9. Self wants to play 5 perimeter players. We know that Wiggins, Selden, Mason and Tharpe are locked in. That leaves PT for two more and that will be a combination of White, Greene and CF.

From what Self has said recently no one has separated himself between the three of them although I think AW3 is ahead simply due to his experience being in the system. As such as the season goes along I'd expect to see AW3 getting more PT. If Greene can improve his D, I can see him getting some PT as well.

Thus I feel that we will see 8-9 man rotation this year. Having the luxury of more talent on the bench will allow Self to expand the rotation a bit this year something he did not have in the last couple of years.

Benz Junque 1 year ago

He'll put one of the three in and if he performs immediately he will stay in. If he doesn't he'll try someone else. It's a nice problem to have.

Carl Harris 1 year ago

Andrew White III is from nearby Chesterfield County, VA.

Mike Riches 1 year ago

I agree on Embiid...he's already averaging 5 more minutes a game than Black, and doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would care more about starting than actually playing. He seems to improve almost every time he steps on the court, it won't be long before we're seeing him start AND play 30 minutes a game. Man I love this team!

BTW, I'll be rooting for the Baylor Bears tonight...and Auburn big time tomorrow!

Eric Baker 1 year ago

This is as much to push Tharpe as it is to reward Mason. I think Mason has earned the starting spot, although I still think Tharpe is the better point guard right now. But Mason is playing better than Tharpe at the moment, is giving the team energy, and is not afraid to make bold decisions. I doubt he'll stay at the starting spot for too long, though, because I think this is going to motivate Tharpe to kick his effort into high gear. This will be very good for the team.

Robin Smith 1 year ago

^ This.

As you said, playing better, giving the team energy, and not afraid to make bold decisions -- these things are easier as the 6th man

People need to remember that when a player succeeds in backup duties it doesn't always translate to when their roll is changed. I think Mason is great, for sure, and that he's a mental rock and capable of doing it, but Tharpe will be starting again.

This is a motivation tactic all around. Show that effort and assertiveness will be rewarded, and to push buttons / show there's room for competition. Self is fond of saying that competition for playing time is a good thing.

John Randall 1 year ago

100% agreement! Naadir just seems to be playing too carefully, which deprives the team of energy. Frank certainly provides some extra energy, at the cost of what ... coach has decided to find out.

Both players have good enough attitudes to benefit from the situation. KU should come out of this with better point guard play, and that's why Bill is worth the big bucks.

Ricky Whitfield 1 year ago

Tharpe is good, but when it comes to playing basketball, the coach is gonna put the best 5 on the floor. Tharpe is a great distributor and floor general BUT he is a liability on defense.

Mason can put the clamps on the other teams starting point guard. He can score when needed and doesn't need a play.

The only difference between a lot of these players on this level is who has seen him. Frank Mason is a best kept secret he will show us all why he is starting.

Joe Norton 1 year ago

Who would of thought our lowest ranked recruit would be running this team and the most important player so far before the season started. Not a soul! You can't put a ranking on determination and heart in determining who is the best on the court. Mason is already a special player and I'm glad we got him!

Carl Granderson 1 year ago

As a 1983 graduate of Petersburg High School. I can say, we a proud of Frank Mason and will support and pray for him. Be strong young man and represent yourself well.

Erich Hartmann 1 year ago

Now we get to throw chunks of Masonry at our foes right from the get-go! And to make that possible, it required Naads...

Preston Dwiggins 1 year ago

As much as I have defended Mason on this thread, I leave with this...He needs to stop shooting 3's. The kid has a ton of heart and athleticism. Love me some FM.

Brianna Zaleski 1 year ago

While I agree w you, some times you have to take the wide open shots to keep the D honest.

Carl Harris 1 year ago

During Frank Mason's last 2 years at Petersburg High School in Petersburg, VA. He led our High School to at least the State Semi-Finals both times.

His High School produced Former NBA Players Moses Malone and Mark West.

Frank was averaging over 25 pts per game the last 2 years.

I'm a 1984 Petersburg High School graduate.

Aaron Paisley 1 year ago

Mason is starting because he is the most aggressive player and Self is hoping that mentality rubs off on the rest of the starters. I still believe Tharpe is the better overall PG, but Mason's positive attributes better fit what KU needs right now.

Brendan Connolly 1 year ago

While I agree that the rest of the starters need to be more aggressive on the offensive end with making something happen (I.e. Wiggins and Selden driving and moving with and without the ball), I have not seen Mason's aggressiveness translate to that yet. If anything they seem to get more complacent when he is in.

Our biggest problem (if there is one for a 1 loss team at this point) is that other than Perry and Mason, nobody is looking to make the plays that they might not necessarily score on, but might cause defensive issues such as fouls or poor rotations. I will say Tharpe, Black and Embiid have too a bit out of necessity late in possessions, but rarely other than those two (Mason and Perry) nobody is. Now Mason when he does it does appear to me to be looking score first...Perry looks create opportunity first.

If you think back to past teams, what we need is a Russell Robinson type. He would often make a move and it would cause a rotation and he might not get assist, but the person he passed to made extra pass and was now uncovered due to rotation problems caused by Robinson. It would be interesting if there was ever a stat kept similar to 2 assist in hockey, I bet RussRob would have had ton.

Players like that suddenly make others look more aggressive. A prime candidate would appear to be Selden. He can shoot, so up fakes would be strong, he can drive, he can pass and so far seems to be able to stay out of foul trouble. If he started a bit of on and off ball offensive pressure I believe at that point Tharpe would be the stronger point guard. Until then you almost have to have Mason in to get some flow going.

All that said when watching the Villanova game, for a good chunk of it, I was screaming to put Frankamp in. Our problem there was not valuing the ball and trying to make the low percentage spectacular play instead of the high percentage simple play. One example is the 3 on two break with Tharpe and Mason up right and Perry up left. The D sets up to guard perry and Tharpe with lean Perry and rather than simple pass right to Mason, tries bounce pass that starts break other way. That is like 3rd and 10 and throwing 50 yards downfield into double coverage while you have a running back wide open 9 yards downfield. Go with the smart play and value the ball.

Bryce Landon 1 year ago

Here's hoping we see Kansas in crimson red tomorrow! Go and beat those Big 12 backstabbing Fluffaloes!

Raynard Wilson 1 year ago

I'm not sure what game y'all have been watching, but Frank earned this starting role. He stepped up in a major way in the Battle for Atlantis and he delivered as an "Unknown" Freshman. A lot of you have maybe only seen 6 games from him, but I have watched him my entire life and he has always played with the type of tenacity that is unmatched.

He's an underdog with a lot of pressure on his shoulders and he carries it well to be a young man. The desire to win and the hunger for success is undeniable in this kid. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. Not to discredit Tharpe at all... I just believe that Mason earned his start. Besides that I believe the teams plays great when they both are on the floor together.

I know this kid personally and I know how hard he has worked for his respect every single day since middle school. When you're 5-10 you have to possess a big heart to play in this league and Frank displays that.

Kent Richardson 1 year ago

Point guard killed us at the end of last year. Point guard has killed us this year in our tough games.

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