Advertisement

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Keegan

Column: Lack of size doesn’t hinder Mason

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) tosses a pass as he is defended by Michigan State guard Lourawls Nairn Jr. (11) and forward Branden Dawson (22) during the first half on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 at the HP Field House in Kissimmee, Florida.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) tosses a pass as he is defended by Michigan State guard Lourawls Nairn Jr. (11) and forward Branden Dawson (22) during the first half on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 at the HP Field House in Kissimmee, Florida.

Advertisement

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self, Perry Ellis and Frank Mason talk after KU defeats Michigan State, 61-56

Bill Self, Perry Ellis and Frank Mason talk after KU defeats Michigan State, 61-56

Download podcast

KANSAS 61, MICHIGAN STATE 56

Box score

— It was such a physical game with so many big bodies crashing into each other and competing so hard that in an attempt to keep things from getting too physical, a referee was quick to whistle Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self for a technical, even though the coach wasn’t even close to being at his crankiest.

It wasn’t, however, too physical for the shortest guy on the floor to move among the giants and come away with a game-high 10 rebounds.

Frank Mason, a 5-foot-11 sophomore from Virginia, had a double-double, but not the sort normally associated with a point guard. His 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists came from his fearless, aggressive style of play and played a huge part in Kansas defeating Michigan State, 61-56, Sunday in HP Fieldhouse in the Orlando Classic title game.

“Frank’ll tell you differently, but he’s never really been a point guard,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “He’s had a scorer’s mentality. But I think he’s doing a good job of running our team and really defending the other team’s point guard.”

Mason didn’t hesitate when asked if he remembered the last time he had 10 rebounds in a game.

“State semis in high school,” Mason said. “I had 17 rebounds.”

Triple-double?

“No, I had 37 points and 17 rebounds,” Mason said.

Self took the microphone at that point and said, “That’s why I said he’s learning how to be a point guard. He didn’t pass it much.”

He’s learning quickly. 

Mason’s mistakes throughout the three-game tournament ­— a lazy pass from the wing intercepted and taken the other way here, leaving his feet with the ball without knowing what he was going to do with it there — stood out because there weren’t very many of them. 

He made the team go fast when it needed to go fast and ate clock when that was the appropriate play.

“I think Frank’s played very well,” Self said. “I thought he was terrific down here. He can shoot the ball more. He’s a better scorer than what he’s shown. He only took four shots today. He’s playing tough and he’s really trying to do what we tell him to do.”

Self needed Mason to play big minutes because freshman backup point guard Devonté Graham has been playing with a shoulder injury and was limited to 27 minutes in the three games. Mason played 30, 39 and 36 minutes.

He showed flashes of being a player who would win the point guard job as a freshman, but has played far more consistently this season and does not have an upperclassmen to whom to defer.

“He’s a lot more aggressive,” teammate Jamari Traylor said, comparing Mason to his freshman season. “He’s an alpha dog at the point. He’s controlling the game for us and he’s also getting on the glass for us. ... He’s really, really athletic.”

A sub-6-foot, athletic alpha dog playing much more under control as a sophomore than as a freshman. Sounds a little like Sherron Collins. Plays a little like him, as well.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Michigan State


By the Numbers: Kansas beats Michigan State, 61-56, to win the Orlando Classic

By the Numbers: Kansas beats Michigan State, 61-56, to win the Orlando Classic

Comments

Dale Rogers 7 years, 1 month ago

A tournament championship game is a poor time for officials to decide to start enforcing a rule more tightly or in any way change their enforcement. Do those things at the beginning of the tournament so the fouls they hand out don't change the championship just because key players get fouls because officials decided not to let them get away with what they've been doing for awhile.

Plus, officials should warn the coaches well before the game when they're going to change how they officiate so the coaches can warn the players instead of the players figuring it out after getting a couple of fouls.

Lonnie Ross Dillon 7 years, 1 month ago

That was the worst called game I've seen in a while. Calling touch fouls like crazy while completely missing major hacks. Both sides. I saw two consecutive fouls called on State that were solely due to the ref being out of position (or blocked) and assuming there was a foul.

Jerry Walker 7 years, 1 month ago

The refs being out of position and "assuming" there was a foul? Egads man, you're entirely............correct. Unlike the typical, strutting, three blind mice posing as referees.

Eliott Reeder 7 years, 1 month ago

Did you miss the Kentucky game? That was the worst called game I've seen so far. Sour grapes or not, the way the officials swallowed their whistles for UK at the beginning of that game set the tone for the whole contest.

Greg Lux 7 years, 1 month ago

"It wasn’t, however, too physical for the shortest guy on the floor to move among the giants and come away with a game-high 10 rebounds.".

This can only happen wen the big guys do their job and BLOCK OUT. That is the most promising thing about this last game. If we can continue to block out well then we have a great chance to rebound against taller teams this year... Great Job Jayhawks... Keep it going.

Ethan Berger 7 years, 1 month ago

Frank is quickly becoming my favorite player. He does need to improve on creating easy shots for our other guys but I love his style of play. Similar to Rajon Rondo in the aspect of being in the right place. Rondo is a way better passer while Mason is a better scorer. Both good defensive players and both get a lot of boards. Also, Svi is going to be special. It seems he is our most poised player already. Good defense, Good shooting motions, and decent at getting into the paint. Wish he would stick around the basic and get some more boards, but that might be something Coach is telling him not to do. And Perry. After the UK game, I saw some wishing he wasn't on our team. Well after this tourney, it's clear we are a better team with him on the court. One thing I've noticed is once he does his spin move, he will always shoot. If he can learn to fake shot or pass out of the spin, he can do some serious damage.

If our OOC schedule of games played just tell yesterday would top 10 by conference play with everyone else playing out their OOC games. Once again we have an insane schedule.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.