Frank Mason

  • I read this morning on the “other KU site” that Bill says Frank is for sure the starter at PG. Am I reading too much into this or is anyone else really excited to hear Bill make a statement regarding PG? I know that he has also referenced Devonte being in the running for big minutes and that we could potentially play Wayne at the point, et cetera, et cetera. But to me this seems more legit than his “Wayne could play the 4” comments. It would be fantastic if we could have consistent play from Frank at the 1 spot from Day 1.

  • @joeloveshawks

    Frank is on a hot seat that everyone dreams of being on.

    It is a dream job, because he is the driver of an elite program in his second season.

    The seat is hot, because he is being asked to drive the team in a kind of ball that not one player on this roster has ever played before.

    And he gets exactly two exhibition games and one regular season possible upset against UCSB, before he has to drive the team in a race with the basketball equivalent of Formula One Ferrari: UK in Indy.

    Self is putting Frank Mason in the same kind of situation Self put Naadir Tharpe in last season, only without a first and third NBA draft choice.

    Self is putting a modestly ranked recruit in the cockpit of an college basketball X-plane, as experimental rocket powered planes from the X-1 to the X-15 were called in the early days (1950s) of exploring manned, rocket powered flight.

    It was said in those days that the pilots chosen were toughest, steeliest, most daring pilots that ever grabbed a stick. It was said they had to have the right stuff to strap themselves into what amounted to little more than a fuel tank with a rocket engine attached to it that hung from a wing of a strategic bomber and was dropped with the hope the engine would ignite.

    They were told to see how high they could fly the sunnuvabitch before the X-plane, or they, lost their ability to go higher.

    Each time they lit the candle, they were flying the X-Plane and themselves outside the envelope–beyond what was known–what had been done before.

    They sometimes lost control and had to eject.

    Failure was part of the flight plan.

    Some pilots cracked.

    Others, like Chuck Yeager, became maybe the last legends the age of manned exploration would produce, before digitization and remote control and robotics ended the need to find and depend on such men.

    These were the last flyers before star voyagers became spam in a can–mostly just along for the ride.

    KU basketball entered its X-plane phase last season. It began to experiment with OAD dominated teams. It was a kind of team unprecedented in its youth and number of OADs. It was patched together in a hurry.

    Naa flew X-1 last season. It had two unprecedented components–Wigs and Embiid–and a lot pieces cobbled together with bailing wire around them. Naa took it up 35 times landed it successfully 25 times and crashed 10. But for a few go-ups, X-1 could never really push the envelope. It could win a conference title, but it could not really go on an extended burn without malfunctions. Finally, one component–Embiid–failed. And the other running optimally briefly, malfunctioned badly at the end. And Naa? the pressure of the go-ups, of the toughest schedule in 20 years of college basketball, finally got to him. He cracked. He kept flying the X-1, but he lost his nerve–the nerve needed to keep going higher and punching bigger holes higher in the sky. He had the right stuff for awhile, but the go-ups finally got to him.

    Frank Mason is scheduled to fly the X-2. The X-2 is a radically altered design that makes use of more fungible components. But it is still loaded with new OADs and the coach is still asking his pilot to go up and punch bigger and higher holes in the sky.

    The question is: will Frank crack like Naa did, or will Frank keep flying higher even after occasional flame outs and ejections.

    Its about time to find out.

  • @jaybate-1.0 I like the analogy … but let me twist it a little bit.

    Last season, sure, it was the X-1. Fast, lean, built for a certain type of flight.

    The 2014-15 version of the Hawks, though, are more akin to the A-10 Warthog. Conceived and commissioned to do the dirty work. Not pretty, not flashy … simply carnage left in its wake.

    Mason pilots a Warthog, while Tharpe sat in a malfunctioning X-1.

    Mason has an attitude and aggressiveness that is befitting of Self-ball. He had the one critical year of seasoning.

    What I believe we will see from Mason is not only a PG that can penetrate and dish, but a guy that can get to the rim and finish when necessary. When all is said and done, I think we’ll see a guy shooting 37% from 3, nice A/TO ratio, and double figure scoring.

    Self recruiting a replacement pilot. Lots of motivation to keep the plane in the air.

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