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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Notebook: Mason had a different look in the second half; Self wins 400th game at KU

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) celebrates an Oklahoma turnover next to Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) celebrates an Oklahoma turnover next to Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

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— Coming from a man who has coached three consensus first-team All-Americans, five others who earned All-American honors of some type and nine NBA lottery picks during his 14 seasons at Kansas, the words KU coach Bill Self heaped upon Kansas guard Frank Mason following Tuesday’s 81-70 victory over Oklahoma sure carried a lot of weight.

“Well, it’s big. Every team wishes they had one,” said Self of Mason following the senior guard’s 28-point explosion that saved the Jayhawks at Lloyd Noble Center on Tuesday night. “We’ve been pretty blessed; we’ve had some pretty good players. But I don’t know if we’ve ever had anybody who can score points in bunches like he can any better.”

To be clear, by anybody, Self was including Andrew Wiggins, Thomas Robinson, Perry Ellis, Ben McLemore, Sherron Collins and countless others in his from-the-heart-and-not-the-hip praise of his current point guard, who scored 19 points after halftime, including 15 in a 29-11 Kansas spurt that put the Jayhawks (15-1 overall, 4-0 Big 12) back in control early in the second half.

Despite having been around him more than just about anyone since the summer of 2013, Self said he still can’t quite identify Mason’s moods and modes and has started to just sit back and enjoy the show.

“I can’t read him,” Self said of Mason, who Tuesday passed Wilt Chamberlain on KU’s all-time scoring list. “And if you think you can, you’re only kidding yourself. Because nobody can. He’s a unique guy. He’s stone-faced. He doesn’t show a lot of emotion. But you could tell there was something different about him in the second half.”

Another milestone

Tuesday’s victory was win No. 400 at Kansas for Self, who, earlier this year, also recorded the 600th victory of his soon-to-be-Hall-of-Fame career. Self is now 400-84 all-time at KU, good for an .826 winning percentage, the best of any coach to ever walk the sidelines at Kansas.

Asked after the game if picking up the milestone win in his home state of Oklahoma added any extra significance to the night, Self demonstrated that he was much more interested in adding to that win total in the future than celebrating what’s in the past.

“Four hundred’s nice,” said Self, the third coach in KU history to reach 400 wins (Phog Allen, Roy Williams). “I don’t think where we won it means anything at all. I’m sure there’ll be another milestone as the first win after 400, but it’s been a fun run but that’s not anything I’ll think twice about.”

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self discusses KU's comeback win at Oklahoma

After Kansas erased a nine-point halftime deficit at Oklahoma to win 81-70, head coach Bill Self discusses the improved effort, the importance of senior guard Frank Mason III and much more.

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Woodard plays

Oklahoma senior Jordan Woodard, who missed the Sooners previous four games because of injury returned to action against the Jayhawks despite being ruled out earlier in the week.

Woodard, one of the key contributors to last year’s Final Four team, scored seven points on 2-of-8 shooting in 24 minutes. He did not start but received a loud ovation and introduction from the OU public address announcer upon checking into the game for the first time with 11:31 to play in the first half.

“I thought he gave them a spark even though he’s not 100 percent,” Self said. “That was pretty obvious tonight.”

Faces in the crowd

Former Kansas great Nick Collison, who ranks second on KU’s all-time scoring list with 2,097 points and third on the Jayhawks’ rebounding list with 1,143 boards, was in attendance at Tuesday’s game.

A 13-year NBA veteran with the Seattle Supersonics/Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, Collison led the Jayhawks to back-to-back Final Fours and a berth in the national title game in 2003 before leaving Lawrence.

Other notable faces in the crowd at Tuesday’s game include Thunder GM Sam Presti, former Duke star Trajan Langdon, now a scout for the San Antonio Spurs and several other NBA scouts.

This and that...

Kansas now leads the all-time series with Oklahoma, 145-66, including a 51-42 mark in Norman and a 20-15 clip at Lloyd Noble Center.... KU has not lost since the season opener against Indiana in Honolulu. The 15-game winning streak is the sixth longest in the Bill Self era.... KU senior Landen Lucas’ 10-point, 13-rebound night marked his third double-double in four Big 12 games this season.... The Jayhawks shot .833 from the free throw line (15-of-18), marking their best performance at the line this season.

By the Numbers: Kansas 81, Oklahoma 70.

By the Numbers: Kansas 81, Oklahoma 70.

— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com's live coverage.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Oklahoma


Comments

Suzi Marshall 10 months, 1 week ago

It was really great to see Jackson hit those FTs like he did. He didn't make any 3s but he shot them well. Clearly he's been working on his FT and shooting overall. If he adds that piece to his game, we are all in for some real treats.

Bob Thompson 10 months, 1 week ago

I was worried after the first half, but the way we played the second half made up for it. Frank was so fast with the ball, it's almost scary. I don't see how anyone can guard him. Step back and he hits a 3, get in his face and he goes around you. It seems like he tries to get everyone involved, but when that doesn't work he puts the team on his shoulders and KU wins.

Bryce Landon 10 months, 1 week ago

Was KU wearing an alternate blue uniform tonight? This set looked different from their normal blue uniforms.

Jonathan Allison 10 months, 1 week ago

If you look at what they wore against TCU you will see lots of differences.

Benny Armstrong 10 months, 1 week ago

Yes, this is a new version of the white ice adidas jerseys we wore a couple of times last year/once this year. The trim has some type of net pattern that is reflective and the Jayhawk on the shorts is also reflective. I've seen the Louisville version on twitter that is similar and highlights the reflective parts, but not our version yet.

Robert Brock 10 months, 1 week ago

Suzy is right - if Jackson can consistently make his free throws, the Hawks will soar. He is going to be at the stripe often.

Ryan Zimmerman 10 months, 1 week ago

Mason is incredible. Period. He has the ability to takeover games and can do it all. The steal on the inbounds, the 3s, the drives, the floaters... He keeps getting better. Definite player of the year candidate if not frontrunner at this point in my opinion.

Mike Schell 10 months, 1 week ago

Those jerseys KU wore last night were awesome! Hands down my favorite road jerseys by far! Does anybody else miss when KU would wear the red alternative jerseys? Adidas hasn't showcased a red version of those jerseys that KU actually wore since the tyshawn and t-Rob days.

Harlan Hobbs 10 months, 1 week ago

What's left to say about Mason and Jackson? Everyone else's comments are right on the mark.

Harlan Hobbs 10 months, 1 week ago

Surprise, surprise. Woodard did play, but despite all of the hype by the announcers, he didn't have much impact and didn't appear to be looking for his shot that much. Certainly, he's no Hield!

Barry Weiss 10 months, 1 week ago

I detected a bit of oneupmanship between Frank and Woodard. It was almost like Frank really wanted to show Woodard who was boss. Great rivalry.

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