Originally published April 2, 2017 at 01:39p.m., updated April 2, 2017 at 10:20p.m.

Frank Mason III named 2017 Naismith Trophy winner

KU point guard also adds NABC player of the year honor Sunday night

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) elevates to the bucket past TCU guard Desmond Bane (1) during the second half, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) elevates to the bucket past TCU guard Desmond Bane (1) during the second half, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.


Make it two for two for Kansas senior Frank Mason III, both in big time player of the year awards and on a sunny Sunday in the desert.

The KU point guard, who led the Jayhawks to a 31-5 record and 13th consecutive Big 12 title this season, on Sunday morning was named the 2017 recipient of The Naismith Trophy, one of the most prestigious honors given annually to college basketball’s best player.

Sunday night, Mason capped off his wild weekend by bringing home the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ player of the year honor at a banquet in Phoenix. The NABC hardware marked the third trophy hoisted by Mason in a four-day span and Sunday’s two honors were the eighth and ninth such awards scooped up by Mason this postseason.

He became the first Jayhawk since Danny Manning in 1988 to win the Naismith award — Manning also won the NABC award that year — and the first KU player since Drew Gooden (2002) and Nick Collison (2003) to win the NABC award.

“I would like to thank the NABC for selecting me for this award,” Mason said on stage after winning the honor. “I would like to thank my amazing parents and my family for supporting me throughout my years, my coaches and my teammates and all of the competition for pushing me to be the best I could be.”

Kansas coach Bill Self, who on Saturday was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, accompanied Mason at all of his big moments this weekend, and, on Sunday night, picked up another one of his own, when he was given the NABC’s Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award for his strong commitment to the fight against cancer.

“On behalf of our athletic department, who does the majority of the work behind the scenes, we humbly accept this,” Self said at the banquet. “To all of the coaches out there and athletic programs that do so much to join the cause to fight this dreadful disease, we certainly appreciate that very, very much.... Keep up the good work and keep fighting.”

Last week, Mason became the first Jayhawk ever to win The Associated Press player of the year award, and, on Friday, he will find out if he can complete the trifecta when the Wooden Award is handed out in Los Angeles.

Those two, along with the Naismith Trophy, are widely regarded as the top individual honors a college basketball player can receive.

Mason was named the winner from group of finalists that included Lonzo Ball, of UCLA, Josh Hart, of Villanova, and Caleb Swanigan, of Purdue.

"Wow. I'm really nervous right now," Mason said as he took the stage to collect the Naismith Trophy. "What an incredible honor for me and my family. I just want to thank my amazing coaches, my mom and dad for being here. I want to thank my teammates. Without them guys, I wouldn't be here today. Thanks, everyone who voted for me."

In leading Kansas to another 30-win season and No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the second season in a row and seventh time in the past 11 years, Mason averaged nearly 21 points per game and became the first player in Big 12 history to finish a season averaging 20 points and five assists during a single season.

The Naismith Trophy, first handed out to Lew Alcindor in 1969, was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, which includes journalists, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners.

This year, college basketball fans also were asked to participate in the vote, with 5 percent of the total tally coming from the fan voting.

Mason's 2016-17 Season Summary

• Became the only player in KU and Big 12 history to average more than 20 points and five assists in the same season.

• Showed a knack for taking over games, which directed Kansas to a 31-5 record and its 13th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title with a 16-2 league mark.

• Led the Big 12 in scoring overall (20.9 ppg) and during conference play (21.0 ppg).

• Averaged 5.2 assists per game.

• Two-time national player of the week.

• Three-time Big 12 Player of the Week.

• Posted 23 games of 20 or more points, including his final seven contests and 10 of KU's last 11 outings.

• KU's leading scorer in 26 games.

• In the Big 12, Mason ranked first in 3-point field goal percentage (47.1), fourth in assists (5.2), fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.3), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2), seventh in free throw percentage (79.4), ninth in field goal percentage (49.0) and 14th in steals (1.3).

• Made 50.0 percent (43-for-86) from 3-point range and 2.4 treys per game in Big 12 play.

• Shot 103-for-119 (86.6 percent) from the free throw line in his final 15 games, making 6.9 charity shots per contest in that span.

• Concluded his career No. 6 on the Kansas scoring list (1,885 points), No. 6 in assists (576), No. 8 in 3-point field goals (185), No. 13 in steals (165) and tied for third in consecutive starts (110). No Jayhawk in KU history ranked sixth or higher in both points and assists.

National Player of the Year Count

Frank Mason III's National Player of the Year honors and the remaining awards for which he is a candidate.

• Associated Press Player of the Year

• Sporting News Player of the Year

• CBS Sports Player of the Year

• USA TODAY Player of the Year

• Bleacher Report Player of the Year

• NBC Sports Player of the Year

• USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Player of the Year

• Naismith Trophy Player of the Year

• NABC Player of the Year

• Bob Cousy Award (PG of the Year) - Winner revealed April 7

• Wooden Award - Winner revealed April 7


Bryan Fisher 5 years, 6 months ago

Forget the mantel. Frank's going to need an entire room to display all of these. Thanks for the entertainment Frank. Your effort is inspiring.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 6 months ago

Wow! That trophy case is becoming gigantic. We may have to spring for two of them to handle all his hardware. What a remarkable tribute to one of KU's all-time bests.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 6 months ago

If he gets to the NBA, I'm sure he'll get enough money to buy as many trophy cases as he wants.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 6 months ago

Mason will need to make it in the NBA so he can afford a house with a suitable trophy room. The Booth Family Hall of Athletics needs to be reorganized to have a special wing for Frank Mason!

Gerry Butler 5 years, 6 months ago

Agree with all the above comments. - - - No one deserves these honors more then Frank. Total complete team player, a player that will be remembered by all KU fans for a long time to come. Frank is truly going to be missed. - -Do we realize exactly how much we will miss him - - ALOT. Your be welcome home ANYTIME - - -

Mike Riches 5 years, 6 months ago

A HUGE congratulations to Frank!! Totally deserved!!

Vic Janeway 5 years, 6 months ago

Woohoo MR MASON, congrats. Brian C. what I tell you four years ago!! huh huh!! But no one saw this coming.

Mike Kendall 5 years, 6 months ago

Wow! What a great honor! Frank is totally deserving of this award. Congrats!

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 6 months ago

I think this is the most prestigious of all the awards and Frank Mason III is well deserving in being awarded this year's winner.

Going to feel funny without Mason next year. I think most of us were surprised by his ability in his very first year but I doubt many of us saw this in his future.

Bernard Gregory 5 years, 6 months ago

Where is the person that said that he had no chance of winning not only this award but the Bob Cousy Award would they please come forward . I am glad that what I said on this site 4 years ago when many had no faith in Frank that he was able to prove those wrong and show the Jayhawk nation what I had seen in him before he ever played his first game at Kansas. I will be a Jayhawk Fan for life because of the passion that many of you show for Kansas basketball. Now its time to prove all the doubters wrong on the next level.

Janet Olin 5 years, 6 months ago

Absolutely deserving. Absolute stud. Rock Chalk, Frank, and all the best to you in your professional endeavors and everything else.

Janet Olin 5 years, 6 months ago

If nobody in the NBA has the stones to draft this dynamo, shame on them, and good luck making millions overseas, Frank! (Personally, I see Frank making millions in the NBA, but I have no influence.)

Carl O'Hair 5 years, 6 months ago

Am I the only one that heard Oscar Robertson say that the more talk there is about Frank, the higher will go in the draft. He said just that a little short of 7:00. As a guard Robertson knows much of what has to be done by guards and he knows that Frank was the go to guy this year. He mentioned the fact that in all those close games it was always him that had the ball. The team realized that he was that go to guy and always looked for him.

We will surely all miss him next year and the higher he goes in the draft the better I will like it. Can he still be around at 59 as so many people are saying? With the words of Robertson I think he can go in the 1st round. How many of you heard Devonte say that Frank thinks he can guard Lebron?

Bryce Landon 5 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations, Frank! Can't wait to see your #0 in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters!

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 6 months ago

Bernard, I owned up to my under estimation of Frank's chances two weeks ago. Unfortunately, you must have been too busy patting yourself on the back to notice, which someone pointed out to you at the time.

You need to visit the site more often rather than be a "sniper."

Bernard Gregory 5 years, 6 months ago

That shows how little a person you are to try and belittle me instead of just saying that your judgement was wrong. I don't have to pat myself on the back you moron and whatever other moron who made that statement. It was alright for you and others to get on this site to not only make snap judgements about some of these kids before they get a chance to prove themselves, so what you need to do is smack yourself in the face and I do visit this site all the time , but I was taught that sometimes if you don't have nothing good to say then don't say nothing at all. Practice it sometime.

Jeff Foster 5 years, 6 months ago

Gosh, I miss him already. The bar is set high, I hope Devonte is up for the challenge! #rockchalk

Scott Proch 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm okay with answering the marketing questions and try to support the ads from time to time in order to keep this great news source afloat. However, this article could not be read due to the ads dragging me down to the video. Please re-think this!!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.