With the first exhibition game for the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team just a couple weeks away, it is time to start taking a look at the players who will make up the 203-2014 men’s squad. Over the next 2 weeks, KC Kingdom will feature a series of player profiles, taking a look at each player on the team and where they may fit in.
Frank Mason is one of the more intriguing newcomers to the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team this year. This is mainly due to the fact that he is the least known because he is neither local, nor as ballyhooed as some of the other new faces on this year’s roster.
There is little doubt Naadir Tharpe will be the starting point guard on this team but the question remains – who will be Tharpe’s under study? The two most likely candidates are freshmen Frank Mason and Conner Frankamp.
While Frankamp has the reputation as being a scorer, Frank Mason is no slouch in that department himself. In his 4-year high school career, Mason scored 1,901 points. Obviously, he isn’t a stranger filling up the hoop. He led the state of Virginia in scoring twice, averaging over 27 points each time. Mason is obviously a scorer.
He also has an additional year to mature physically and mentally as he attended a prep school last year. This might just be the thing that gives him an edge to back up Tharpe on a regular basis. Mason has a national reputation for being a tough player.
Mason is one of the toughest point guards around.
Everyone knows how Head Coach Bill Self values players in general, and point guards specifically, that are tough physically and mentally. Mason appears to fit right into the mold.
On a team where finding points should not be that big of an issue, the back up point guard will most likely be the player that can get the team into the their offense first, penetrate with success second, and score third. Mason may be better suited for these tasks than Frankamp, although the kid from Wichita certainly has his own skill set.
At first impression, considering the returning players and all the newcomers, Mason appeared a likely candidate for a possible red shirt, but this is uninformed speculation. It probably derived mainly from the fact his name is not as familiar as some of the others players. It would be surprising now if he did red shirt because his apparent skill set will be needed on this team. No one else seems to have the tools to be more of a pure point guard than Mason.
It will be interesting to see if Mason can earn the spot to back up Tharpe. Self is historically tough on his point guards early in their careers, but it helps them develop into terrific players down the road. It is rough to be a freshman for Kansas, especially if you are a point guard, but few coaches have more long term success with these types of players than Bill Self.
Mason seemingly has the skill set needed to be the back up point guard. Whether he can hone it well enough to satisfy his coach and earn an important role in the rotation this season is yet to be seen. It would not be shocking if Mason earns key playing time over more hyped options. He appears to be a Bill Self-type of player.
(NOTE: No photo of Mason was available in our data base.)