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Spent time this weekend with a long time AAU coach in North Carolina, whom I highly respect. He raved about Frank Mason.
We both agreed that Bill Self highly values what Mason can bring to the table.
That's great to hear, Jerry. Thanks!
The staff seems to have targeted point guard as the key position in the 2014 class. Do you think this is them hedging their bets with Frank Mason or is it just an indication that they would like an elite point guard to complement the rest of the assemblage?
Always would like to improve. Some elite guys at point in 2014. I don't see Kansas getting an elite point, though. Perhaps they aren't as high on Mason as I am.
I'll tell you this. I'd go to battle with Mason over most any point guard. And that makes me a hypocrite. I should have him ranked higher. Thought about that a lot this weekend.
Great news indeed. Thanks for your insight here!
Jerry do you think he is a top 50 player?
I went to a luncheon that Self spoke at in December. At that point, Naadir was really playing poorly.
Self stated that if Mason was here, he'd be starting. My opinion is that he sees Mason as another version of Sherron. A tough, take charge, take no BS kind of guy. Self loves PG like that.
I think he's more like Russell Robinson in a lot of ways, though probably more "bulldog" / "alpha male" like Sherron. Mason is (obviously) less skilled than Collins, but has the take charge, no BS attitude, just more as a leader and "do whatever it takes to win" perspective. He's a better on-ball defender than Collins was (except of course when Sherron took it personally like against Rose) and less of a score-first kind of guy. He won't average 15ppg (heck, I wouldn't be surprised to never see him crack 10ppg in his career here), but he'll be tough mentally and physically and lead the team.
That's actually comforting to read as next year's team is going to need a strong PG with basically the whole team being new and young. Also, great to read that his strength is possibly his on ball defense. Something even this team full of seniors lacks.
Is Mason another Sherron Collins type of player in the same way thet Traylor is another Thomas Robinson?
Live to love, love to live
Yes. Conner is another Hinrich or Boschee; Selden is BMac with a better handle; Greene is the next BRush; and Embiid is a more athletic Withey. Everyone has also said Ellis is another Collison with a better outside shot. So next year we start:
C - Withey (Embiid)
PF - Collison (Ellis)
SF - BRush (Greene)
SG - BMac (Selden)
PG - Collins (Mason)
Bench - TRob (Traylor); Boschee/Hinrich (Frankamp); Dwayne Wade (Rio)
Now that is a team.
Mason is far closer to Sherron than Traylor is to Robinson.
Also, if I remember right, Mason took it to Conner Frankamp and Travis Jorgensen at the Milwaukee AAU event last year. One of the KC AAU coaches told me Frank was "awesome. He destroyed us."...or something to that effect.
I think that was on the third day of the UA Summer Jam. Mason was a "top performer" at that event:
Frank Mason - 2013 - G - Team Loaded
6-0 - Massanutten Military HS - Petersburg, VA
Mason had 17 points for Team Loaded in their win on Friday. The Townson commit handles the point duties and showed good ability to pull up from three-point range.
Also, here's a recent highlight reel from a win over Tilton. And another one from his senior year of high school (before the prep year).
Future Point Guard For The Kansas Jayhawks Frank Mason (2013) Future Miami Hurricanes guard Deandre Burnett (2013) Future Maryland Terrapin Damonte Dodd (201...
Frank Mason top player in the state of Virginia one of the best point guards in the country. Petersburg High/Massanutten Prep
Is it his size that is keeping him from shining in the eyes of the talent scouts for Rivals, ESPN, and Scout? Lack of consistent jumper maybe?
Bossi has stated that he would rank Mason a lot higher if he was a more consistent shooter from outside.
Size, jumper, and lack of exposure. If I recall correctly, Mason didn't play much on the AAU circuit until between his junior and senior years. Much like Gordon Hayward, he was therefore overloooked. Then, after he committed to KU, lots of people no longer had incentive to scout him. Basically, I think his better grade for most services is "incomplete" not whatever number they're giving him.
The Tharpe / Mason debate for starting point guard duties next year will be really fascinating to watch. Mason is clearly more of what Self looks for in a lead guard, but Tharpe will have the years under his belt and the rest of the starters will COMBINE for fewer minutes than he's played.
I'm not sure he's a classic "top 50" talent, but he almost certainly won't be in 2013 regardless. Part of that is just that this class is really, really talented. Selden is a top ten player in many, many years, and he's barely sticking inside the top twenty in 2013.
Let me also be clear that I love Naadir Tharpe and think he absolutely has a place in this program, even if I think he shouldn't start over a freshman. He's a great "change of pace" point guard who gives an offensive boost when he enters. However, he struggles to focus consistently enough to truly run a successful team as the primary point guard. He's basically the Christian Moody of guards - great story, great hustle at all times, but if they're in your starting lineup, you're not a contender on a national level.
I get what you're saying but honestly Tharpe was rated about the same as Mason coming out of HS. Fringe top 100 player so it's not like he was an unknown walk on who people can't believe is playing basketball at Kansas.
Comparing Tharpe to Moody is insulting. Moody was garbage and one of Self's huge mistakes in 2006 and 2007. I think Self felt too much pressure to win at that point and went with the steady hand. It cost us in the end. Tharpe is probably 6 times the player Moody ever was.
Agreed, though I don't necessarily buy the whole "mistake" thing.
Tharpe is Hawkins-ish, I believe.
The reason I think it was a mistake (and I got my years wrong should be 2005 and 2006) was that had we just bitten the bullet and gotten minutes for those young guys they would have provided us with something by years end. Instead we reverted to the Moody crutch which was good enough against most opponents but bad against anyone who could guard Wayne.
It's insulting in that Tharpe IS a better player, but my point remains. You're no more likely to be a national contender with Naadir Tharpe playing 30+ minutes as your lead guard than you were with Christian Moody playing 25+ minutes as your power forward.
Hawkins is a better comp.
Two of the issues I have with this line of thinking are the difference between the classes and the trends of each player's ratings. The 2013 class is one of the strongest, deepest classes (though not really at point guard, just overall) of the last decade plus. The 2011 class wasn't especially strong or deep. Tharpe was highly rated and continued to see that rating plummet, whereas Mason was basically unrated and continues to see his rating rise.
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