Advertisement

Frank Mason says fatigue 'not an excuse'

Advertisement

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) puts up a floater over TCU guard Alex Robinson (25) during the first half, Thursday, March 9, 2017 at Sprint Center. At right is TCU forward Vladimir Brodziansky (10).

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) puts up a floater over TCU guard Alex Robinson (25) during the first half, Thursday, March 9, 2017 at Sprint Center. At right is TCU forward Vladimir Brodziansky (10). by Nick Krug

Let’s not over-analyze this. Kansas lost to TCU in the first round of the Big 12 tournament because its most versatile performer was sitting out a one-game suspension.

Josh Jackson will be back in the lineup for the first round of the NCAA tournament and the Jayhawks will be back to normal.

As for whether it was better for Kansas to bow out right away or to win the Big 12 tourney, that probably doesn’t make much a difference. The Jayhawks won it in 2008 and went on to win the national title. They didn’t make it to the Big 12 championship game in 2012, losing to Baylor by nine points in the semifinal, and went on to play in the national-title game.

The assumption that because Frank Mason is averaging 36.2 minutes and Devonte’ Graham 35.3 this team needs rest is a little overblown.

Mason doesn’t in any way consider the loss a hidden blessing.

“No, not at all,” Mason said. “I think we all feel good. It doesn’t matter how many minutes we play. I think coach does a good job with limiting our time in practice during the week. I think everybody’s bodies feel good and fatigue is not an excuse.”

Mason knows the drill on how to stay fresh.

“I think we just need to take care of our bodies, stay hydrated, eat right, get your rest and I think those things help you have energy,” Mason said. “I think every player gets fatigued at some point in time, but during the game you just have to dig down and find extra energy and just make it happen.”

He and his teammates won’t have any trouble sharpening their minds and games in time for the NCAA tournament.

“Get back, watch film, don’t give up easy baskets or second-chance points and just play every possession like it’s game point,” Mason said, repeating the formula that has led to Kansas having a 28-4 record to this point.

Where did Kansas miss Jackson the most?

“Everywhere,” Mason said. “On the offensive end and defensive end. We just missed his presence. He steals extra possessions. He’s a great rebounder, great passer. He’s just a great player.”

This was not a difficult loss to understand, but that didn’t make it easy to stomach.

“Not at all,” Mason said. “No loss is easy to take.”

Not surprisingly, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi still has Kansas as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest, a regional that will be played at Sprint Center.

So the loss to TCU didn’t do much to hurt or help Kansas.

Comments

Daniel Kennamore 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"Let’s not over-analyze this. Kansas lost to TCU in the first round of the Big 12 tournament because its most versatile performer was sitting out a one-game suspension."

I disagree entirely.

This team had more than enough talent to win even without Josh. They lost because of their lack of mental focus and inability to maintain a lead.

They had a double digit lead in the first half, and also a 4 point lead with 2 mins left to play...but then went into 'collapse' mode. I counted 3 or 4 empty trips in those last 2 mins...any one of which would have given us the tie or the win had they converted.

Glen Miller 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle of where you stand and where the writers are looking. In that, I mean that it was absolutely evident that we are a much different team without Jackson on the defensive end. If you want to look past that and say he wouldn't have made a difference on that end, I would guess that you'd be wrong. We did have the talent to win this game, but talent doesn't always win games and to me we just didn't look interested in that game as much as I would have liked. In all honesty I think the players probably listened to the pundits who said they were a lock and probably overlooked TCU a bit. I'm not making excuses, it was evident that we had several of our warts pop up again..... but every team has warts and at this time of year when TCU is fighting for their tournament lives and we are locks, we should have expected for them to come out ready. I don't think that we matched that readiness and that's ultimately why we lost. Plus not having our best player on the court was just not good. Frank Mason is a stud and he'll be National Player of the Year, but don't be fooled....... Josh Jackson is the best player talent and ability wise that we have.

Clara Westphal 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Why doesn't Bill Self play Tyler when they are short handed at guard? The team members say he plays well.

Tim Orel 8 months, 2 weeks ago

He wasn't very good on Senior night. Didn't shoot, I think had a turnover and seemed to be just a body out there rather than an active threat on offense or very good on defense. I'm comparing him, of course, to the stars who are guards for KU, but there does appear to be a real drop off when going to Tyler and the walkons.

Steve Johnson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Lightfoot did so great? he stumbled and bumbled for his minute against TCU. Self would at least not turn it over At least we had Bragg, he really killed it. typical 1 point, 0-5 shooting and a turnover colby at least plays aggressive i guess. thank god for mason, may be my favorite of all time

Carl O'Hair 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Frank was so right about where they missed Jackson. Josh may only be 6'8 but his strength at at the defensive end for rebounding just can't be deleted since there is no one else who seems to be strong enough. I say it was at the defensive end they really needed him yesterday.

Frank knows he isn't worn clear out but maybe others may well be. I coached a 5'7 kid in the early 70s who seldom got out just to rest. He had to do all the ball handling on the team and and the offense we ran called for him to run to the corners through the middle to start every play. Yep, he had to do some real running but never seemed to tire out. He played a lot like Frank but was just a high school kid as compared to Frank's four more years.

Frank Mason is the toughest player I ever see and I do see a lot of games every week. Of course, I have been behind him for a long time.

Andy Godwin 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This team has walked a tightrope the entire season and to Self's credit they have won more games than they should have. Lets be honest, the bench is a huge weakness and Svi is hit or miss offensively most nights (and even within games - started red hot at the beginning and then only scored 5 points the rest of the way against TCU). He is also a problem at times defensively. Devonte has been cold as of late and is not carrying his share of the offensive load (only 10 points on 10 shots versus TCU). Bragg is a no show except for the occasional "break out game" that is never repeated the next time. Frank, Josh, and Landen have been carrying this team. And when Jackson is out, there is no bench, especially when you play a four guard line up and you have only four guards left who garner minutes. I was speculating that Tyler might get a couple of minutes yesterday, but Self thought better. The season really became a problem when Dwight got off to a slow start (I am sure Bill was counting on him picking up some of Jamari's minutes from last year) and when Bragg failed to not even come close to contributing like Perry. Yes Udoka went down, but it is the 4 position that became an issue, until the versatile Jackson saved the day. I am not sure how many more times Self can pull a rabbit out of the hat with this team, but I give Frank Mason a huge standing ovation for his effort to will this team to win. If I was a betting person, I would not wager on KU to go far in the NCAA tournament, but on the other hand it is sure hard to bet against Mr. Mason. Go, fight, win.

Steve Johnson 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Frank Mason the best Jayhawk ever!!!! Love that guy, no drama, no excuses just shows up and gives everything he has.

Len Shaffer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

"Not surprisingly, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi still has Kansas as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest, a regional that will be played at Sprint Center.

"So the loss to TCU didn’t do much to hurt or help Kansas."

In other words, exactly what Joe Ross and I (and a few others) have been saying to the lunatics out there who acted like the team had lost 10 in a row.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.