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Kansas defeats Team Canada, 91-83

  • 7 p.m., June 23, 2015
  • Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Frank Mason III delivers fireworks in KU’s victory over Canada

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) celebrates at the end of a 91-83 Team USA exhibition game win against Canada Tuesday, June 23, at the Sprint Center in K.C., MO.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) celebrates at the end of a 91-83 Team USA exhibition game win against Canada Tuesday, June 23, at the Sprint Center in K.C., MO.

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— Frank Mason III gave Bill Self’s basketball campers a taste of his new-found offensive prowess by scoring 31 and 30 points in a pair of intra-squad games contested the past two Wednesdays in Horejsi Center.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior point guard from Petersburg, Virginia continued his June scoring spree — this time on a much bigger stage — Tuesday. He exploded for a game-high 28 points — 24 in the second half — in Kansas University’s 91-83 World University Games exhibition victory over Canada before 8,235 fans in Sprint Center.

“Frank ran the show. That’s probably as good as Frank’s played since he’s been at Kansas,” KU coach Bill Self said after the first of two exhibitions vs. Canada. The two teams will go at it again at 7 p.m., Friday, in Sprint Center.

Mason scored 16 points in the fourth quarter (the game consisted of four 10-minute quarters) off 6-of-6 shooting and 3-of-3 work from the line. His three-point basket with 2:27 to play erased an 80-79 deficit and put the Jayhawks ahead for good. 

Mason wound up scoring seven points in a game-ending 12-3 surge.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self on approach to international play

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self discusses the Jayhawks' approach to international play following KU's summer debut — an exhibition victory over Canada, in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Mason, Traylor and Ellis discuss summer debut

Kansas basketball veterans Frank Mason III, Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor meet the media Tuesday night at Sprint Center, following the Jayhawks' exhibition win over Team Canada.

Download podcast

“Well, I hit a couple shots late,” said Mason, who hit 9-of-14 shots overall and went 8-of-8 from the line. Mason also had six rebounds, five assists and four turnovers in 32 minutes.

“I felt pretty confident. I have to give props to my teammates. They did a great job screening, getting me in a great position to score. I just made a couple shots late,” Mason added.

Mason’s only glaring mistake was getting called for an 8-second count (instead of 10 seconds in college) as he walked the ball up the court with 3:04 left and KU ahead, 79-78. In other words, his crucial three to put KU up for good came after that turnover and ensuing bucket by Canada.

“I am good at creating my own shot,” Mason said. “At the start of the possession, coach wants me to create and get an easy shot for my teammates. It’s what I try to do. Once it gets down to five seconds, I know I can get a shot up.”

Mason’s teammates were certainly impressed with the floor general’s play. The fans were impressed, also, chanting “USA, USA” after several of Mason’s highlight-reel plays.

“He did a great job controlling the pace of the game. He did everything we asked,” said senior forward Jamari Traylor, who scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds with four blocks in 19 minutes.

“He was doing downhill drives. That’s what coach wants. It was opening other things up,” said senior forward Perry Ellis, who had 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 25 minutes. “He was knocking down shots. It was big.”

Wayne Selden, Jr., was a fourth player in double figures with 13 points and six assists. SMU senior Nic Moore scored nine points with five assists and two steals in 29 minutes. Moore scored five of KU’s first nine points but overall went 2-for-7 shooting and 1-for-5 from three on a night KU hit five of 18 threes.

“Nic got off to a good start tonight, then didn’t find any rhythm after that,” Self said. “He deferred to Frank late which is good, but we don’t want that. We want Nic to make plays, too. Nic is good for Frank and Devonté (Graham, injured). He came in the first day and controlled the whole practice. He’s smart, talks. He’s little (5-foot-9) so he has to take advantage of intangibles. It’s a shame Devonté can’t play (in University Games in South Korea). He would have benefited from playing with Nic, as well.”

KU actually trailed by 10 points (35-25) with 6:27 left in the second quarter. KU did cut the gap to 43-41 by halftime. The game was close, competitive and physical.

“I think the same thing goes through our minds every game we’re down. We want to get two to three stops in a row, get easy shots and try to take the lead,” Mason said.

“It was a pretty bad scouting report,” Mason joked. There basically was no scouting report against a Canada team that was formed on Saturday.

“We didn’t really know their guys. We believe in ourselves and our ability. We wanted to compete and get the job done,” Mason added.

Canada hit 38.8 percent of its shots, including seven of 21 threes. KU hit 42.5 percent, including five of 18 threes. KU out-rebounded Canada, 49-24.

“They’d win games in our league,” Self said of how Canada would fare in the Big 12. “I’m not saying they’d challenge for whatever (title). They are definitely a good, solid mid-major team. All their bigs can shoot. When they foul they foul hard. We’re playing without four of our top nine. We don’t have Devonté, Brannen (Greene, injured), Svi (Mykhailiuk, born in Ukraine and not eligible) so we don’t have our shooting team. Cheick (Diallo, born in Mali and not eligible) will have a great chance to start at pivot for us. That was a pretty good team. We’ve lost to Davidson and UMass in this building before. I think that team ... I’m not saying they could beat those teams those nights, but they could play at that level,” Self added.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Canada exhibition


Comments

Andrew Holmes 4 years, 4 months ago

What I like seeing more than the 28 points is the 8-8 from the foul line. Now I'm not sure if it was fatigue, lack of focus, or what, but at times it seemed like Frank struggled from the foul line. Good to see that he has put in the work, or isn't thinking too much when he steps to the line.

Donald Lee 4 years, 4 months ago

What I would like to see from Mason is some leadership instead of leading the team in shots. I don't think Mason is a point guard and does not push the offense and look for the open man..............his claim to fame is the drive up the middle that leads to a blocked shot and no points. He is very poor at running the offensive sets unless it is a drive up the middle. Pass the ball, set some picks and let others with more talent take the shots.

Mick Allen 4 years, 4 months ago

Are you kidding Mr. Lee? Second team all Big 12 as a sophomore. Your statement is ridiculous. Don't you think scoring 14 in the last quarter and 9 of the last 11 in a very tight ball game shows some leadership? Did you not read his teammates statements saying unequivocally that he led them. Don't put off that lobotomy again.

Mick Allen 4 years, 4 months ago

Also Mr. Lee please tell me who "the others with more talent" are?

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for this Mick, saved me from having to say the same things.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 4 months ago

"his claim to fame is the drive up the middle that leads to a blocked shot and no points"

You should read the article before posting. 16 of his points came in the 4th quarter with the game on the line. The best PGs can pass and score.

“At the start of the possession, coach wants me to create and get an easy shot for my teammates. It’s what I try to do. Once it gets down to five seconds, I know I can get a shot up.”

Rodney Crain 4 years, 4 months ago

Mr Lee -- Here is the link for Lenscrafters - http://www.lenscrafters.com/

Please check them out.

Frank to me, was the best player on the team last year. Day to day, contributions and running the team. He willed the team to win games last year, just like last night.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 4 months ago

“They’d win games in our league,” Self said of how Canada would fare in the Big 12. “I’m not saying they’d challenge for whatever (title). They are definitely a good, solid mid-major team."

"We’ve lost to Davidson and UMass in this building before. I think that team ... I’m not saying they could beat those teams those nights, but they could play at that level"

I'm not used to hearing those kinds of comments from Self about the opposing team. I'd guess that if they were a regular season opponent Self would give them a better review. They are a team that had only played together for 4 days and they took KU down to the wire. I'm not sure how their coach distributed minutes and if he ran the show like a scrimmage or like a real game. Maybe Self is trying to give them a little extra motivation for Friday night to give our guys another test.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 4 months ago

Unless Canadian universities play under FIBA rules, they probably don't have much more familiarity playing those rules than KU does.

Ron Sterling 4 years, 4 months ago

Everybody except the US uses FIBA rules.

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 4 months ago

They distributed minutes more typically than Self, they played about 7 guys the majority of the game.

Michael Bennett 4 years, 4 months ago

If he can continue to improve his ability to set up teammates and quickly recognize when he's outmatched in the paint, Frank has the potential to be a very high-level college point guard. Hopefully playing along side Nic Moore will help his development in those areas.

Ashwin Rao 4 years, 4 months ago

Does anyone have an "unofficial" scorecard? I missed the game, and want to see what each person's contribution was. TIA!

Rodney Crain 4 years, 4 months ago

Hard to tell since I could not watch the game but that seemed harder than it should have.

Darwin Dandy 4 years, 4 months ago

I don't about that Mr. Crain I think they are getting adjusted to the new rules and ball as well but the good thing is it is only a exhibition game but I must I did enjoy the way team specifically Frank step up to the challenge at the end but only time will tell. And just I know this will not make a difference but it only seems right RCJH KU!!!!

Benz Junque 4 years, 4 months ago

It's hard to go against a team you have zero scouting report on using rules you have never played a game with. They will not face a single opponent this season that they have zero game plan for.

A better measure of things will be the next game tomorrow.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 4 months ago

Ever get tired of making excuses Benz? I get tired of you making them that is for sure.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 4 months ago

So if we lose tomorrow night, then "fire Bill Self" I guess?

No, this game is a scrimmage. Should it have been close? Maybe not, but it's a glorified practice.

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 4 months ago

Watching it live, I don't think it was anywhere near a scrimmage or glorified practice. Both sides were playing like it was a real game with real stakes on the line, especially in the 4th quarter.

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 4 months ago

Note that Canada's team has finished higher than the USA in the WUGs the last 4 years. That should say something about where they stand. Add in the lack of scouting report and you get two tall white guys knocking down a bunch of 3's we didn't know they could make.

Mick Allen 4 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Rodney, Marius and Shannon. Maybe Mr. Lee was kidding? That is the only rationalization for such an idiotic statement.

Alan Kloster 4 years, 4 months ago

Been doing a little digging into history of the World University Games and thought I'd share some interesting links about its origins.

Some interesting facts:

The World University Games or Universiade is held biannually. They have not been held in the US since 1993 in Buffalo with most games being hosted in Asian countries or Eastern Europe.
The USA men's basketball team has not won gold since 2005 and has not placed since 2009. Serbia has won 3 of the last 6 events. The USA team won gold in 12 of 16 games held between 1965 and 1999. The 2019 summer games do not have a host currently since Brazil withdrew...probably because of the financial hit they took from hosting the World Cup recently.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universiade https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basketball_at_the_Summer_Universiade

Beak 'em, 'Hawks

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