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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Notebook: Frank Mason struggling with shot after suffering ‘nicked’ wrist

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) gets fouled on a drive to the basket in the first-half of a Team USA game against Brazil Sunday, July 5, in Gwangju, South Korea.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) gets fouled on a drive to the basket in the first-half of a Team USA game against Brazil Sunday, July 5, in Gwangju, South Korea.

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— Kansas University junior point guard Frank Mason III has defended well, rebounded and dished plenty of assists to his teammates in the first two games of the World University Games.

The only thing missing is his shot. Mason is 6-for-19 from the field, including 0-for-7 from deep in victories against Turkey and Brazil in the World University Games.

Mason was 2-for-10 from the field (0-for-3 from three) in the United States’ 81-72 victory Sunday over Brazil. He did hit 11 of 14 free throws.

“Frank is a competitor,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “You guys may not know this, but he nicked his wrist up pretty good in Kansas City. He doesn’t have confidence shooting the ball right now. The ball is not going into the hole. I don’t know if he’s made a three since we’ve been here, if I’m not mistaken. It’s because of his wrist. It’s just sore. But hopefully another day off will get him closer to healthy because he’s so good with the ball.”

Despite a sore wrist, Mason has averaged 13.5 points, 5.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds and two steals per game. He also has drawn 20 fouls.

“He’s out there every possession,” Self said. Mason has played at least 35 minutes in both games. “I thought that for the most part, he did well. We’ve just got to get (SMU senior guard) Nic (Moore) out there taking some pressure off of him.”

Vick shines in fourth quarter: SMU senior guard Nic Moore fouled out with more than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter in USA’s 81-72 victory against Brazil on Sunday. KU freshman guard Lagerald Vick made the most of the opportunity, picking up extra playing time in the fourth quarter.

Vick drilled a three-pointer from the left corner early in the fourth quarter, ending a quick 4-0 run by Brazil. He added a jumper a few minutes later and put the game out of reach with a three-pointer in the final minute to give the Jayhawks a 10-point lead.

“Lagerald made real big shots down the stretch,” KU junior guard Wayne Selden said. “He played his best game as a Jayhawk so far, and I’m really proud of him.

“Everyone was there when they were freshmen. They really didn’t know what to do. They didn’t really know their way. This game was a real good foot in the door for him.”

Vick finished with eight points (3-of-6 shooting) and six rebounds in 24 minutes.

“It feels good to win, you know,” Vick said. “Me coming in, newcomer, learning the system … I’m just working hard and playing like them.

“My confidence is so high, so it really doesn’t bother me because I’m used to like clutch time.”

Vick was scoreless in eight minutes against Turkey, going 0-for-3 from the floor.

“It’s the first time, I thought, since he’s been here with us that he played to his athletic ability rebounding the ball and quick-twitch,” Self said. “He’s going to be really good. He’s got so much to learn. But I thought he did great. Of course, it’s always good to make a shot to get your confidence, and he made two big ones.”

Undefeated mind-set: Team USA players are feeling good heading into their first off day with a 2-0 record.

Serbia is the only other team in Pool D of the World University Games with an undefeated record. Serbia beat Switzerland, 58-41, and topped Chile, 69-43.

“We thought in order to have the best chance to get out of this pool, obviously, we needed to be 2-0 at this juncture,” Self said. “Then we need to obviously play well and win on Tuesday, which will set up a really big game against Serbia. I think we’re doing fine.

“I think the guys are doing fine. Certainly they’re trying hard. I’m amazed at how poorly we’ve played, at times, offensively, but how well we’ve guarded defensively. It’s almost unbelievable what our first-shot defense and our rebounding has been.”

The USA players are off on Monday before returning to the court to play Chile at 2:30 p.m.(12:30 a.m. CDT) Tuesday at Muan Indoor Court. The game will not be televised.

“It feels great,” KU senior forward Hunter Mickelson said. “Like I’ve said, our guys have been playing really well. We’re definitely not done yet.”

Pool D Standings

Team W L Pts PF PA PD

Serbia 2 0 4 127 84 +43

United States 2 0 4 147 129 +18

Brazil 1 1 3 150 114 +36

Turkey 1 1 3 125 127 -2

Switzerland 0 2 2 102 126 -24

Chile 0 2 2 76 147 -71


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Comments

Ashwin Rao 2 years, 5 months ago

Two games in and we have a "tweaked" ankle, a "broken" nose & a "nicked" wrist... I hope we don't have any other issues... we need personnel! :)

Dirk Medema 2 years, 5 months ago

You're forgetting Graham who didn't even make it to the games.

The good news is we're still winning, and against 2 of the other 3 toughest teams.

Rodney Crain 2 years, 5 months ago

It could get much worse for us, International basketball tournaments are as much about phyiscal survival as it is how you play. The Pros we send are used to banging night after night.

I like our toughness, our guys look up to it.

I don't think our equipment managers are going to back down, let alone any of our players.

Tyler Capone 2 years, 5 months ago

its only July so we'll be fine come regular season

Rodney Crain 2 years, 5 months ago

Once Vick gets some confidence and plays a little better defense he could get some playing time. Love his energy.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 5 months ago

Talk about rough play! Seems like every international coach thinks he is the second coming of Tom Izzo!!!

Bobby N.,if you get a chance could you clue us in with what's happening with the other brackets...thanks.

Bobby Nightengale 2 years, 5 months ago

After Monday night, Pool A: 1. Germany (2-0); 2. China (1-2); 3. Estonia (1-1); 4. Korea (1-0); 5. Mozambique (0-2)

B: 1. Russia (3-0); 2. Canada (3-0); 3. Montenegro (1-2); 4. Sweden (1-2); 5. Mexico (1-2); 6. Mongolia (0-3).

C: 1. France (2-0); 2. Australia (1-1); 3. Japan (1-1); 4. Lithuania (1-1); 5. Finland (1-1); 6. Chinese Taipei (0-2)

Humpy Helsel 2 years, 5 months ago

It has been said many times and in many ways, but Frank Mason III is one tough dude. Fearless. Gamer. Warrior. What more can you say about this guy? They keep saying he is really a true 2 guard. He is doing a pretty good imitation of a true point for my money. I think Coach wants to give others more minutes and Frank more rest, but we just aren't the same team when he isn't out there.

Mick Allen 2 years, 5 months ago

I whole hardly agree Humpy. Frank is occasionally criticized on this site for being a 2 guard and not a point guard. In the 2 games that count, he has 18 assists and 4 turnovers. In the second quarter of the Brazil game, Frank was getting into the lane off the bounce, drawing the double team and freeing up the bigs inside. Hunter does a nice job of finding an open space to receive the ball from Frank. Humpy, as you said, is one tough little fellow. His shot is off right now but a lot of that is attributable to his wrist and playing 35 to 38 minutes each game where he has the ball in his hands 60% of the time. He brings the ball up against pressure, snags 8 boards and when the shot clock winds down he can get his own shot, or set up others. His " impersonation" of a point guard has been spot on.

Darwin Dandy 2 years, 5 months ago

I think he just has a scoring mentality but he has always been a point guard since high school. I know you are being sarcastic Mr. Allen but for the ones who think he is impersonating a point guard, he is a one just for the record good ppl

Mick Allen 2 years, 5 months ago

Dandy, if you check, I think you will find Frank played most of his time as the 2 guard in high school, not the point. His freshman year was his first year of primarily playing the point. I do agree that he still has a scorer's mentality and that is not necessarily inconsistent with playing the point. Case in point, Chris Paul averaged around 20 ppg, while finishing second in assists per game in the NBA. By the time he is through his name will be mentioned with the best who have played here,e. g. Jo Jo White, Darnell Valentine, Aaron Miles, Kirk Heinrich, Russell Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor, Sherron Collins etc.

Mick Allen 2 years, 5 months ago

PS I forgot Jacque Vaughn. Inexcusable omission on my part.

RJ King 2 years, 5 months ago

And another case in point, Steph Curry

24 pts. 8 assists 3 turnovers the past two years

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