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A look at Frank Mason III's NBA Draft Combine competition at PG

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Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) gets in for a bucket past Iowa State guard Monte Morris (11) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) gets in for a bucket past Iowa State guard Monte Morris (11) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Various factors compel the NBA Draft’s projected top picks to skip this week’s combine in Chicago or merely attend without competing in five-on-five scrimmages.

While you and I would love to watch one-and-done Kansas star Josh Jackson, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball or Washington’s Markelle Fultz take on other elite college and international prospects in that setting, it’s not the safe route when millions of dollars are on the line.

It could be hazardous to your draft stock to play against someone like Frank Mason III.

Currently projected as the 59th overall pick — next-to-last overall — by DraftExpress.com, a less coveted NBA candidate such as Mason has all the incentive in the world to torch the man in front of him as often as possible.

Listed at 5-foot-11, Mason, no doubt, would love to go toe-to-toe with larger, longer, more highly regarded point guards like Fultz and Ball. But he’ll settle for whomever is on the floor trying to stop him. DraftExpress published the combine’s list of active participants, as well as the rosters for four teams.

It turns out none of the following point guards — in Chicago solely for measurements and interviews — will be competing against Mason, either, by choice or due to injury: Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox, Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans, Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss and Xavier’s Edmond Sumner.

Here are the point guards Mason, on the same team as Maryland’s Melo Trimble, Oregon’s Jordan Bell, Kansas State’s Wesley Iwundu and others, will have a chance to compete against during combine scrimmages:

- Iowa State’s Monté Morris

- Texas’ Andrew Jones

- Arizona’s Kadeem Allen

- Kentucky’s Isaiah Briscoe

- Arizona’s Kobi Simmons

- Michigan’s Derrick Walton

- Duke’s Frank Jackson

Mason will have plenty of opportunities at the combine to impress NBA coaches, scouts and executives with his speed, strength, toughness and 3-point shooting. It’s just too bad — for them and us — they don’t get to see him play against the Balls and Fultzs of the draft, because that would be a show.

Still, Mason is an undaunted competitor. No one who watched him play at Kansas would be surprised to see the undersized point guard get his matchups with Ball and Fultz for years to come in the NBA. Mason can help make that possible starting this week at the combine, and in workouts with various franchises in the month-plus ahead, leading up to the June 22 NBA Draft.

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