Kansas defeats Germany, 84-77

  • 7 a.m., July 13, 2015
  • Gwangju, South Korea,

Monday, July 13, 2015

Grind for gold: Team USA outlasts Germany in double overtime

Team USA coach Bill Self, center, hugs Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) as Frank Mason III carries an American flag after a Team USA double-overtime win against Germany Monday, July 13, at the World University Games in South Korea.

Team USA coach Bill Self, center, hugs Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) as Frank Mason III carries an American flag after a Team USA double-overtime win against Germany Monday, July 13, at the World University Games in South Korea.


— Whenever the United States’ men’s basketball team needed a basket in the final minutes of the World University Games championship on Monday, the Jayhawks turned to Kansas University junior point guard Frank Mason III. 

Every time, the fearless 5-foot-11 Mason found a way to deliver. He led the Jayhawks to a gold medal in an 84-77 thriller, in double-overtime, against Germany at Yeomju Gymnasium, marking the first U.S. gold at the games since 2005, and 14th all time. 

Mason scored 11 points in the final 14 minutes, including game-tying free throws in regulation and a game-tying layup in the first overtime. 

Trailing by two points with under two minutes remaining in the second overtime, Kansas junior guard Wayne Selden Jr. caught a pass from Mason on the left wing and drilled a three-pointer, giving the Jayhawks a 78-77 lead.

After Selden’s three, which was only his second made triple in 11 attempts, SMU senior guard Nic Moore stole a pass in the backcourt, was fouled and buried two free throws for a three-point advantage. 

Reader poll

Which KU player do you think the World University Games helped the most?

  • Carlton Bragg 2% 92 votes
  • Perry Ellis 1% 42 votes
  • Devonte Graham 0% 25 votes
  • Landen Lucas 0% 37 votes
  • Frank Mason 12% 519 votes
  • Hunter Mickelson 39% 1597 votes
  • Wayne Selden 40% 1672 votes
  • Jamari Traylor 0% 10 votes
  • Lagerald Vick 2% 90 votes

4084 total votes.

Germany turned the ball over on its next possession, then Mason hit two more free throws for a five-point lead with under 30 seconds left. Once the final buzzer sounded, Selden threw the ball into the air and the Jayhawks mobbed each other, falling into a dog pile on the sideline opposite of their bench. 

“We set a goal when we first came over here,” Selden said. “We weren’t really one of the favorites to win and we achieved it. We’re really excited about it.”

‘We had a lot of pride since we stepped up off the plane,” Mason added. “I told all of the guys we were going to go undefeated. I had a lot of confidence in my guys and my teammates and coaching staff. That’s what we did.”

In the first overtime, Mason tied the score, 73-all, with nine seconds remaining, driving left past his defender and scoring with an underhanded scoop layup. 

“He kind of got on the side of me and I just went left,” Mason said. “Seeing the big guy step up, I kind of adjusted the ball and laid it up with my left hand.”

Despite sitting most of the third quarter with foul trouble, Mason finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals. He sunk two free throws to tie the score with 21 seconds left in regulation, and nearly won the game with a steal on Germany’s last possession, but he lost the ball driving to the rim. 

“There’s not too many guys around better than Frank as far as getting his shoulders past people and getting into the lane and making plays,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “He was big. Then of course Wayne missed shots the whole game, then he was big late himself. Nic didn’t make any shots, then he got the key steal. To be honest, Perry (Ellis) didn’t shoot the ball that well tonight, either, but just kept grinding and battling and we made enough plays to come away with a victory.”

Selden finished with a game-high 22 points on 6-of-28 shooting in 48 minutes. After eight games in 10 days, Selden said he never got tired in the tournament until “the last four minutes of regulation,” but he scored seven points in the final overtime. 

“I told Wayne, ‘Keep your confidence. Keep shooting the ball,’” Mason said. “Because I’ve seen him make some big plays throughout the tournament. He’s been the best player in the tournament so far, so I kind of told him to stick with his shot, trust his shot and that’s what he did.”

Selden added: “Everybody was saying push through. As a man, you don’t get tired in those situations.” 

Ellis added 19 points (6-of-21 shooting) and 10 rebounds, while KU freshman Carlton Bragg had eight points and senior forward Hunter Mickelson had seven points and five boards. Against the top rebounding team in the tournament, the Jayhawks out-rebounded Germany, 59-46. 

“They were aggressive,” said Ellis, who had a black left eye after getting hit on a box out in Sunday’s semifinal win. “All these teams out here were real aggressive, you know. We just had to keep battling. Missing shots, but we kept fighting and we fought through it.”

Both teams had problems creating offense in the fourth quarter and overtimes. USA shot 26 percent in the second half and overtimes (13-for-50), but still found ways to win. 

“Our team really bonded and came together,” Self said. “To win it the way we won it tonight against a Germany team that outplayed us in the majority of the game, and we were dead tired, no legs, no lift, couldn’t make a shot. Basically just kind of willed ourselves to win late. Really proud of our guys.”

With Mason’s heroics on Monday, the Jayhawks stood at the top of the medal podium with gold medals around their necks. 

“It’s great,” Ellis said. “Just being with my teammates, a whole new experience. We worked hard. We worked hard from the first game, we stuck with it, we fought and we got the gold. It’s just an honor. This just feels great.”

More from Team USA’s double-overtime gold-medal victory


Mike Riches 5 years, 6 months ago

What a fantastic experience for these young players! To go undefeated and win the gold for your country, especially after a tough gold medal game, what a way to represent the USA!! These guys deserve a first-class rest! Mason was the player of the game, but Nic Moore's steal and free throws may have been the play of the game. That couldn't have come at a better time! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!

Bryce Landon 5 years, 6 months ago

Well done, Jayhawks! Where can we get championship t-shirts to celebrate?

An accomplishment like this helps get the nasty taste of the past two NCAA Tournaments out of my mouth and restores my confidence in Bill Self as the program's coach.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Talk about coming full circle with the WUGs! When this all started, I thought it was an honor and a cool thing from the team and university but my sport psychic was in full baseball (Royals and Astros) golf (Speith, Johnson, McElroy) mode. It was cool looking at pictures of the guys flying First Class to Korea.

Hope for the team doing well looked dim with the slow start v Turkey but got exciting after the Turkey and Brazil wins going against Serbia. Knowing nothing about Serbia but based upon past records, we all knew how big the game would be. Then going undefeated in pool play, excitement started to boil seeing Lithuania up next and The Russians looming.

The Russian win felt like the Gold Medal game, but it wasn't. The way we fought and won the Gold against Germany became one of the proudest moments in KU Basketball history. From a cool yawn to one of our proudest moments is a journey but the guys took us all on that ride.

Ross Hartley 5 years, 6 months ago

I agree 100%. These young men have made all Jayhawks Super proud.

Freddie Garza 5 years, 6 months ago

I hope this experience proves invaluable for them. I've always said, our teams are spoiled with being able to play in one of the world's greatest basketball venues night in and night out. For them to be able to go out in a major world competition, representing an entire nation, and not have that homecourt advantage that they are used to...that can only be a good thing.

I hope that when NCAA tourney time comes, and we are in some regional pod in North Carolina or wherever it may be, in a battle that's coming down to the last couple of minutes...that these guys are able to call on this experience to settle themselves and make game winning plays.

Congrats guys, we're all incredibly proud of you!

Robert Brock 5 years, 6 months ago

Bringing home the gold. Eating lots of kimchi. It doesn't get much better.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 6 months ago

Personally, I could do without the kimchi. I lived in a dorm and had quite a few South Korean hallmates who cooked kimchi in the dorm kitchen. The kitchen would stink for up to three hours after they were finished.

Eliott Reeder 5 years, 6 months ago

You don't cook kimchi, you ferment it. It's basically spicy pickled cabbage. But just opening a jar of it or spilling some can definitely funk a room up for a little while...

Dale Rogers 5 years, 6 months ago

Well done, indeed! We watched every televised game, albeit some we recorded and watched during more sane time periods. We are very proud of our guys. What excites me even more is the implication of this time for these games and practices on the upcoming season. This is going to be a fun year!

Len Shaffer 5 years, 6 months ago

You said it, Dale. I can't WAIT for the season to start -- and that should make the brutal football season a little easier to take.

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 6 months ago

What is the remaining agenda for Team USA? Will they be awarding an All-tournament team and MVP honors? When will Team USA arrive home?

I expect Selden to be the tournament MVP.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 6 months ago

It will be great to get a healthy Greene & Graham back along with our international contingent. With the natural experience of a now older line-up on top of this great experience there are fabulous possibilities for this year. Now if we can just get through the season this year without significant injury to a starter at tourney time. That has been our downfall the past 2 years, and not coaching or recruiting as some presume.

RJ King 5 years, 6 months ago

Agree, Dagger. And at least Devonte was there to share in the process and celebration. Svi knew all along he was not going, and the WUG was never a factor for Diallo and Coleby. But I REALLY feel for Greene. What a huge disappointment for him to miss this.

The 3.0 versions of Mason, Mickelson, and particularly Selden are real improvements. Greene 3.0 will be without this head start. Somehow he will have to connect and play into the chemistry of this team.

It looks like we have enough talent. "Enough" like the 2012 team was enough. But unlike that team - also with upper class leadership - our bench is infinitely more talented than the KY, Tharpe, Justin Wesley, Connor Teahan group.

I think Self's biggest challenge will be how to create lineups and give minutes to keep this group harmonious, team-oriented, and play to their individual strengths. But what a fun task to have lying ahead!

Len Shaffer 5 years, 6 months ago

Yep, wouldn't it be great to actually have a healthy team in the tournament? And it's not just the last couple of years. There have been many times when KU hasn't been able to play at full strength in the tournament.

The one that will always stick in my craw is '97. If Jerrod Haase had been healthy, there's no way that team would have lost to Arizona.

JD Roth 5 years, 6 months ago

This was a great experience to help mold this group into a team that has staying power come NCAA Tournament time. Great thanks to Moore and Dubose for their efforts. Hard to believe with the shooting percentage that KU pulled it out, but the rebounding advantage proved big and Jayhawk fans kept the faith. Number 12 looks attainable for sure.

Bill Kackley 5 years, 6 months ago

Thought coach was going to blow it by not using Mickelson more in the second half and I thought he should have rested the guards a little more by playing Vick more. The way Mason was in foul trouble and Moore & Selden couldn't make any shots due to tired legs, I thought it would have helped to have someone in the game that could make a basket.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

Great will to win. I had my doubts but you got to give it to Frank, Wayne and Nic they never quit.

Congrats to our team, coaches and staff.

What a great experience for everyone and this win will help on so many levels going into the season!

Great looking medals too!

Bobby what an outstanding job - Thank You!

Mike Riches 5 years, 6 months ago

Definitely agree, the coverage has been absolutely phenomenal! Great work Bobby and safe travels to you call!

Janet Olin 5 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations for 8 straight wins in international play. Winning against the Germans while running on fumes was the sweetest. First gold for USA basketball since 2005. Rock Chalk all day long!

William Dostert 5 years, 6 months ago

Hi folks, I spaced the final game and forgot to record it. Any suggestions on how to view it?

William Dostert 5 years, 6 months ago

Aaron, thanks for answering. On TWC on ESPNU I do not see it. All the other games were broadcast live as World University Games.

Mike Riches 5 years, 6 months ago

If you have access to ESPN3 they have as a Replay.

William Dostert 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks guys it was on ESPNU just not labeled right. Saw the game!

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 6 months ago

What a great day to be a Jayhawk! Congratulations to everyone who had a part in this success. Also, I second Rodney's comments about the coverage in the local media. It definitely was exceptional.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes, thank God for the local coverage, because in the Bay Area there has not been a SINGLE mention of it. You'd think they could have at least had a little blurb in the paper about the championship game. (I'm assuming there will be no mention in tomorrow's paper of K-USA winning, either.)

Kenneth Johnson 5 years, 6 months ago

Very proud of the Jayhawks and their additions.

Kenn Johnson Author of Kansas University Basketball Legends, and More University of Kansas Basketball Legends.

Ben Berglund 5 years, 6 months ago

I have not been more proud of our boys since April 7 2008. The way they scrapped it out on fumes was inspirational. I'm incredibly optimistic and excited for this upcoming season. Special thanks to Jules and Nic. Rock Chalk USA!!!

Len Shaffer 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm SO proud of our 'Hawks (+ our two honorary 'Hawks)! I was especially impressed with the intensity and effort on the offensive boards. As it mentioned in the article, K-USA out rebounded the Germans 59-46, and the Germans had come in as the leading rebounding team in the tournament.

To get those kinds of results against a rebounding team like that is all about hustle, effort, energy and sheer will to win.

I'm also going to be a much bigger SMU and Florida Gulf Coast fan this year.

Rock Chalk, baby!!!

Alex Resnik 5 years, 6 months ago

What a tournament by our guys! That was so much fun to be able to watch as our Jayhawks went for gold in July! I am so excited about next season, I can't wait to see what Hunter, Landon and Vick do this year. Hunter played HUGE, Landon looked a little soft still but he really hung in there and Vick is an ATHLETE! These three will be really fun to watch grow the rest of this year.

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