Our Secret Weapon: We've Gotta Mole!
Our secret weapon for this coming season isn’t a 7-footer with a 7’7" wingspan. Our secret weapon for this coming season is a mole! Yes… a mole! I’m not talking about a double-agent spy who will infiltrate enemy camps. I’m talking more about the velvety fury creature with small eyes, strong forefeet, and the ability to dig and live under the surface.
Our subsurface creature is Frank Mason.
Frank is small (short) and Frank has strong forefeet. I’m defining “forefeet” as his entire body below the neck.
“Mole” was a term of endearment I learned back in the late-70s-early-80s. “Mole” was the name given out to short, strong players who were lethal threats in all facets of the game.
Moles have no desire to play “big.” Moles utilize their advantage; to play as close to the ground as possible! Moles lower their bodies… way… down… low. So while 99% of the basketball world only recognizes height and tries to play the game above the rim, moles invert to the opposite strategy of bringing the game to the floor, where few other players can play.
This gets to the very essence of x-axis basketball!
Here is a question for you. How much of the game of basketball is actually played in the “high air” around the rim and above? Think carefully. Put it in the time perspective of a 35-second shot clock. How many of those seconds are played up high? Maybe 3 seconds… maybe 4? The rest of the game has players playing on their feet… running… cutting… standing around (unfortunately)… setting screens… fighting through screens… reaching… faking… dribbling… defending… passing… creating space.
Most of the game of basketball is played from the ground up to 6 feet. Yes… 6 feet! Even the tallest players tend to bring the ball down to 6 feet or lower, even in the post!
There will always be opportunities for short players… especially moles!
If a mole is going to earn his name (and reputation) he will have to learn to burrow. Burrowing in basketball involves stealing space away from an opposing player by going low and pushing through his feet. That space is not protected by rules. Fortunately, basketball refs don’t recognize “mole space” any more than the “over-6” crowd!
Moles prefer to remain incognito. Moles like to keep their identity as underground as they like to keep themselves. Many moles have made it big in the league. The current World Champions, the San Antonio Spurs, are a team driven by a mole. Tony Parker makes his money by playing small. Tony Parker doesn’t score OVER anyone. Tony Parker drives by, like a vintage VW bug, beeping his horn as he is laying the ball up on the backboard for 2 easy points. We call that a “blow by.”
Frank has those abilities. Frank has the perfect build and strength to be one of the true mole greats of all times. Few, few moles have ever had a body build like Frank, with all that strength and quick athleticism to go along with it.
We are fortunate to have Frank around for another 3 years! He only has to realize that there is only one part of his game that he will always be at a disadvantage; low post defense! Frank must broaden his scope and realize he can become a real weapon in all other facets of the game; perimeter defense, rebounding, perimeter shooting, penetration and finishing, master thievery, assists.
Go low, young Frank! Run your chin along the hardwood floor and dominate the game! Realize that you can own the biggest chunk of vertical space that the game is played in 90% of the time! Go low and burrow! Drive below the defense and blow by them! Burrow low on defense and become invisible so you can dart out and lead the Big 12 in steals! Bend your knees, run and cut and create scoring space on any defender, especially the clumsy tall players! Build your rebounding stats by studying the shot and move quicker to the space where the ball will go off the rim.
We may not have the ultimate shot blocker this year and player who plays above the rim. But we do possess a player who may one day become one of the best players for dominating the game from the ground to 6-foot, where 90% of the game is played!
Frank “The Mole” Mason. It is a nickname that is unflattering only to those who don’t get it!
Just a kick-ass post.
I loved it.
P.S.: Burrow down to the low blocks, Wayne Selden, and post up some of those Y-axis girlie man 2s.
slayr, I’m telling you, you have nailed a personae for this team.
Now every where I go, I am going to be thinking of these KU players as tunnel borers. The floor under the opponents is going to be riddled with X-axis tunnels. Eventually the opponents will be falling in holes and tunnel cave ins will bring them to standstills.
Borough towards Bethlehem, boys!!!
Do the Limbo, Frank! “How low can you go?”
Limbo Rock Chalk!
@drgnslayr Very well stated slayr. Not only amusing, catchy, & colorful, but true !! I can now envision a “Tiny Archibald” in Jayhawk crimson & blue.
ROCK CHALK !!
Frankly, I’ve been thinking about Mason lately (you see what I did there?). We are talking about our big time players, yet a mole with hopefully six months of seasoning since last March could become a PTPlayer for us this year. We know he’s fearless, a good trait if harnessed correctly, and we know he has some leadership skills. In my mind I’ve been thinking we might get some nice stat lines out of Frank which will help this team when the freshmen struggle.
A_Hudy just posted an Instagram video of Wayne!
50 minutes ago
264 lbs clean by Wayne Selden
Check it out!
@drgnslayr wanted to tell you I enjoyed your post here. I had never heard of the term “mole” in this context. So I learned something. I know we both have had big expectations for Mason. He won me over with his early season tenacity last season. There was clearly a lot to like in his game. I have visions of Mason taking over this season and being a three year point guard that brings solid play, leadership and stability. Self brought in Graham, which would lead me to believe that Self may not be sold. And CF played over him at the end of last season. To be sure, if he starts, he will have earned it. I like our options.