Dec 29 Headlines: Mason focused on stepping up


    ####Newell: KU freshman Mason ‘not satisfied’ with outside shot####

    LAWRENCE — Frank Mason believes his poor 3-point accuracy isn’t a true reflection of the type of shooter he is.

    “I’m not satisfied at all,” the KU freshman point guard said Saturday. “I know I’m capable of shooting way better than what I’m doing, but I know it’s going to take a little time.”

    ####Bedore: Frank Mason focused on stepping up as leader####

    The best present Kansas University freshman point guard Frank Mason received for Christmas was the gift of time spent with loved ones back in Petersburg, Va.

    “It was good to go home. I got to see my son, my family, close friends. It was really nice going home,” Mason said after Saturday’s practice and before the Jayhawks’ holiday basketball clinic in Allen Fieldhouse.

    ####KU Athletics: KU basketball closes out against Toledo####

    Kansas (8-3) closes out the 2013 calendar year when it plays host to Toledo (12-0), Monday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk IMG Television/ESPN3. KU is coming off an 86-64 win against Georgetown on Dec. 21. Toledo is 12-0 on the season after its 85-66 win versus Coppin State on Dec. 28. At 12-0, the Rockets were one of seven teams undefeated in NCAA Division I through Dec. 27.

  • Tyler Self red shirting will be a great move, HCBS won’t be headed to NBA for at least 4 more years.

  • @AsadZ Or if Self leaves after his senior year, Tyler can graduate and probably get some quality PT playing somewhere else.

  • I wish tying up Tyler for another year would guarantee another year of Bill. Is the jump to the NBA from college equal in pull as it is from assistant to head coach (i.e. DMann)?

    Personally I think there is no better coaching job than at KU period. I hope Bill retires at a ripe old age a Jayhawk. I hope Bill retires because winning national championships has become routine. But I thought Roy would still be at KU also.

    My crimson and blue colored spectacles won’t allow me to imagine a scenario that entices Bill to leave. I know I wouldn’t.

  • Mason: The articles on Mason are interesting. I came into the season believing that Tharpe would clearly have the job, and that Mason, as the only other real ballhandler, would get 8-10 per game in that backup role only.

    Then the Duke game happened.

    I do think that Tharpe will be serviceable, if not pretty good. My opinion on Tharpe hasn’t changed, but I haven’t seen the 25% leap or improvement I was expecting. But I guess I just see Mason as better. The eye test, which I trust. And I do believe that our team has higher upside with Mason playing. I would not be surprised to see Mason back in the starting lineup this season.

    Self made multiple positive comments about Mason. Those just don’t disappear. Mason plays faster and more aggressive. He has a killer instinct on the court that I think this team, generally, is lacking.

    A pass first point guard is my preference. I am still not sold on the fact that Tharpe’s passing skills and his total package are better than Mason. But Tharpe may just “fit” better with this team, which is all that matters. We’ll see.

    Greene: One very interesting thing I heard Jesse Newell say on the radio yesterday – he was curious as to whether Selden complemented Wiggins. That is, neither player is a shooter, so to speak. Both are slashers. Wouldn’t a pure shooter at the 2 spot be a better compliment to Wiggins’ slashing game? I definitely think so.

    I’m not banging the drum to start Greene at the 2. But I do think that when you have players that do not compliment each other, it can make you less of a team, and your overall performance is not maximized. My opinion on certain players has evolved a bit. I am really seeing a lot to like in Brannen Greene.

    Matt Tait, at said this about Greene today: Speaking of killer instinct, is there a guy on the roster with more confidence than freshman sharpshooter Brannen Greene? I know he got off to a slow start and that he and Bill Self were not always on the same page in the beginning, but look at him now. He’s had season-highs in minutes played during two of KU’s last three games and appears to be turning the corner in terms of earning Self’s trust. Yet again, another good thing for this roster. I get the feeling that Greene is one of those guys who thinks he’s the best player in the gym no matter the gym. And I have no problem with him believing that.

    Greene is vocal. He is intense. He is clearly a guy, if he is starting, who could be the leader Self is looking for.

    Question for consideration: Would we be better with Brannen Greene starting at the 2 in place of Wayne Selden (thus presumably playing more minutes than Selden with Wiggins)?

    Selden seems to handle the ball a bit better than Greene, though the difference is not sizeable. And we played last season with McLemore at the 2, who simply was not a ball handler. Self plainly sees Selden as a better overall player, and that is a obviously a big deal.

    Anyway, Jesse’s comment got me thinking a bit. I have continued to believe, and do believe, that we will not reach our maximum potential as a team if we don’t have better three point shooting.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    The problem with Greene is two fold. First, his defense is not yet up to Coach Self’s standards, and two, his concentrations is lacking. In two of the loses, he had silly, unforced turnovers at the end of games costing KU valuable possessions that could have changed the outcome of the games. Until he corrects these two issues, his playing time will be limited.

    As far as Mason, as long as teams continue to throw zones at KU, Tharpe is going to get more playing time since Mason has not been effective against the zone and his outside shot has not been a threat that can bust the zone. His style of play and the new contact rules makes him ideal against man to man defenses, unfortunately we have not seen enough of that.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Hmmm … I’ve actually been pretty impressed with Greene’s defense over the last three games. Impressed meaning that it was surprisingly serviceable, not outstanding.

    But he really seemed to work hard, fought over screens, didn’t get lost, etc. Now, he did make a couple of mental errors, but they were errors of commission, so to speak, not omission. Meaning he was playing hard. Remember, too, that he made the poke-away steal vs. Florida where Wiggins had the layup (and didn’t get the foul call). That bucket possibly changes the game. I’m not a Greene cheerleader, but I just see very little negative at this point. Remember how effective he played vs. Duke?

    And on Mason, really, we weren’t prepared as a team for the zone and zone press. We weren’t ready as a team to take on Villanova and its press most obviously, and weren’t ready for the intensity of Florida’s masterful 1-3-1. The latter game was the game that I would have expected a loss anyway. Against both Villanova, Tharpe played worse than Mason. He only had 4 assists, 3 turnovers (Mason had just 1), and seemed like a rookie vs. the press (where one would assume that his leadership at point guard would have been what we needed). Mason shot too much vs. Villanova but man, he was trying to make something happen. Remember, Self praised Mason after the Villanova loss. He was the one that scored the go ahead layup before the last second three. Against Florida, Tharpe was plainly better than Mason, no doubt there.

    Again, I attribute both players’ failures vs. zone and zone press to lack of preparation more than anything.

    Remember, too, that Mason was attacking the zone because Self wanted him to … trying to attack the seams. Mason just wasn’t successful. Using Tharpe primarily in those situations now is the right move. But this isn’t rocket science. A guy like Mason will pick this up pretty quickly. As you note, Mason is better in man situations. Once Mason improves vs. the zone, he closes any perceived gap pretty quickly. And if he can generate a 35% three point shot, watch out.

  • What I love about Mason is his fearlessness. He is the type of player that has sent KU home from many tournaments. Not afraid of the big moment. Other than the Oklahoma State game on the road, I cannot think of games when it appeared Tharpe wanted the ball in the big moment? I like Tharpe, but give me Mason, when times are hard. He will put his head down and get in the paint and make something happen. I can live with a loss, as long as the effort is made. I am more of a strike out swinging, than strike out looking type of person. Mason still has a lot to learn, but he will get there. Tharpe needs to be more assertive if it is his team?

  • @KansasComet He is the type of player that has sent KU home from many tournaments

    Is this supposed to be a compliment for Mason, does not sound like it but wanted to check.

  • Of course it’s a compliment. There have been numerous players, come tourney time that have sent us home due in large part to their fearlessness. Frank Mason is that type of player. It is great to have a tough minded player like that on our side.

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