|Team: Kansas, Senior|
H: 5' 11"|
W: 185 lbs
(22 Years Old)
|Rank 72 in Top 100 Prospects |
Rank 10 in NCAA Seniors
Rank 15 in Top Big 12 Prospects
High School: Massanutten Military
Hometown: Petersburg, VA
Julian Applebome analyzes Kansas Senior Point Guard Frank Mason III, and the impact he has on one of the top teams in college basketball.
In his fourth and final season under Bill Self, Frank Mason III has become one of the most valuable players in all of college basketball. Mason arrived at the University of Kansas following a post-grad year at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Virginia. After a relatively quiet Freshmen year playing behind Naadir Tharpe, Mason took over the starting point guard responsibilities his sophomore year, and hasn't looked back. He has posted an 84 and 17 record as a starter at Kansas, becoming one of the winningest players in the NCAA during that span.
While at 5'11”, there are some concerns surrounding Mason's lack of ideal size, there are no such questions regarding his toughness and shot making ability in clutch situations. He is a strong lead guard, with a bulldog mentality, and is fearless attacking the basket and drawing contact. He can play over aggressively at times and force the issue, but he has shown improvement with his decision making and shot selection as his career moved on. He is shooting a career best 50.4% from deep on 4.4 attempts per game, and has become one of the most dangerous shooters in the country, both off the dribble and with his feet set.
Mason is facing an uphill battle heading towards the NBA Draft because of his size, age, (turns 23 in April) and struggles scoring efficiently inside the arc, but it is hard to look past his overall improvement and consistent dominance in the Big 12. He will get plenty of looks in the second round, and even if he goes undrafted, ala Fred VanVleet or Yogi Ferrell, he certainly will have opportunities to make a roster and show he can play a role as a backup.
Julian Applebome is a video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out the DraftExpress Video section. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us.
Frank Mason has come a long way from the fall of 2013, when he was committed to play for Towson in the Colonial Athletic Conference. Mason didn't qualify academically and wound up back on the summer circuit, where he impressed the Kansas staff with his competitive fire and potential and pledged to play for the Jayhawks following a postgraduate year at Massanutten Military Academy.
As C.J. Moore of Bleacher Report profiled, Mason was known as more of a scoring guard at the prep level, and never fully adjusted to his role of off-the-bench combo guard during his freshman season, oftentimes playing alongside starting junior point guard Naadir Tharpe, whose departure from the program in the summer of 2014 created an opportunity for Mason to take control of the team as a sophomore.
#6) Frank Mason, 5'11, Point Guard, 22.3 years old, United States, Kansas
9.8 PTS, 2.8 REB, 2.6 AST, 1.2 STL, 2-7 3P%, 9-14 FT%, 55.8 FG%
Senior point guard Frank Mason will return to Kansas next season for his final year of College Basketball. Mason has been a rock for Coach Bill Self over the last 2 seasons, starting 72 of his last 73 games over the course of his sophomore and junior years. Mason will return with Devonte Graham to form one of the toughest and most experienced backcourts in the country, and to give himself one last shot at a Final Four.
At just 5'11, Mason is short in stature, but he compensates for that with toughness, athleticism and strength. He's 185 pounds and despite his stocky frame, he is extremely quick with the ball in his hands, showing the ability to take his man off the bounce with a variety of dribble moves which he can use to create space. He is a blur in transition, and although he might not look like it on first glance, he is an extremely explosive leaper who can go up and catch lobs above the rim.
While at times he can struggle finishing around the rim due to his size, that doesn't stop him from trying to get there, and he'll use his body effectively to try to create space or draw contact. He is a scoring guard at nature, but still very much a capable point guard. He's a high IQ guy who will look to make the extra pass, and can make some nice plays out of ball screens or dribble drives. He has some catch and shoot ability, but his percentages fell off last season going from 43% to 38% on 3 attempts per game. He has some limitations on the defensive end of the floor given his size and lack of length, but that doesn't take away from how hard he competes. He is not afraid to get into ball handlers and play physical defense, as he demonstrated with one impressive chase down block in Los Angeles.
Where Mason's career goes after his senior season at Kansas is very much up in the air. He is a tough College Point Guard who will be the leader of a deep Kansas team next season, but he lacks size and hasn't been overly prolific or efficient as a scorer. Mason won some scouts over in LA and is certain to get some long looks from NBA teams when his career is up. He is a tough, strong competitor who has been a major piece for Bill Self and a very successful, winning program over the last two seasons, and will absolutely have a long professional career wherever he ends up.