Frank Mason.

  • Perhaps by now, Mike Krzyzewski hates Frank Mason. During Frank’s frosh season, in early Nov (raw Frank), he took it to Duke in MSG. Now, he does it again in MSG to Duke as a senior. Maybe Frank has hated Duke all along?

    Frank shows up to play every game. Some say Frank “isnt the most gifted”, but I dont know what else I’d have to see out of him to call him gifted. He is gifted with athleticism (can get elbow above rim). He is gifted with a tough/attacking mindset, you know…the kind we wished Ellis or even EJ had…And he is truly gifted as a rebounder–uncannily so.

    Frank has the full repertoire of shots. Drives, mid-range, runners, long balls, dunks, FTs.

    Frank’s gifts to the KU team are his solid, unwavering personality, both on- and off-court. He works hard in the practice gym. He brings that same steady demeanor to each and every game. Isnt that the best example we could possibly hope for? Frank is a great, great role model of how to excel in Self’s system–> one has to bring it every game, and one simply must be competent in many things on both ends of the court.

    We’ve talked about TRob’s or Jamari’s “motor”. How about Frank’s motor?

    Various Self teams have created lively discussions about who exactly there is that can be given the ball in crunch time, to just “go get a bucket” as Self says. A nice historical benchmark would be to say: who is this year’s ‘Keith Langford’ or ‘Sherron Collins’. The 08 Champs had Chalmers, Sherron, and Mr. Rush. In following years, it was almost always Sherron. In 2011-12, it was Tyshawn. It infamously was not EJ the following year. Nor Naadir. (Think consistency. Undeniability. Uncontainability). We could knock Tyshawn’s consistency (of FG% or 3%), but he brought it every game, even on a knee that needed surgery. These last 3 years it has been Frank Mason. He’s gotten better. When it wasnt Perry or Wayne last year, or Devonte (who also deserves his own headline blog/gushfest)…there was always Frank.

    Each team has its “alphas”. Frank is one of ours. Devonte could be one. Josh Jackson, by putting up some proof of concept stats, could very well be one as well after another 10 games to judge.

    So. Track your “alphas”. As the main man goes, so goes the team. Langford didnt have the best game against Syracuse. We lost. Sherron had a poor (injured) outing vs UNI, we lost. Tyshawn’s 3ball departed him in March/April–we lost KY. Frank (&Wayne) had poor 3pt outing vs Villanova, in the same game…we narrowly lost. Frank and Wayne found other ways to score. But from a pure statistical standpoint, we were abysmal from 3%, and Perry allowed himself to be driven into his old shell in that one game last year.

    Maybe the lesson from last year’s run is simply that Frank Needs Help. How about 4 or 5 guys that show up every single game. Toughness, rebounding. The moral of this story is that Frank cannot do it alone. If he got hurt, where would we be? Without our leading scorer? Without our leading personality. I hope enough of Frank’s attributes have rubbed off on the other key alphas on the team to allow them to help Frank, as well as carry his torch, if needed.

    Love Frank’s 100% “on” all-the-time gameface. I hope Malik Newman is taking notes from his redshirt seat…we know Vick has been. As has Devonte. And we know also that Josh Jackson is a very bright mind who notices everything…I’m pretty sure he has taken note of Frank’s work ethic and competetive fire. Josh arrives with all these things as well (clearly has “it”), but Frank’s is a great example of how to polish and weaponize all those attributes.

  • download.jpg We’re pretty fired up!

  • @ralster


  • @ralster

    The big question is: who can replace Frank’s rebounding next season?!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Udoka.

  • @ralster

    Certainly appears so, after that glass vacuuming vs. Duke.

  • @ralster

    Imagine if Frank and Doke could play together next season. Whew! Frank with 10 and Doke with 20. The rest of the guys could just overplay on defense and release on every shot!

  • That Dook game from Mason’s freshman year is when I knew he was going to be a special player. He pretty much single handedly gave us that win down the stretch getting into the paint forcing fouls and make lay ups. He imposed his will and has been a joy to watch these past few years. So happy I got the chance to meet him a couple months ago at the K.

  • Teams are going to start keying off Frank.

    The rest of the team needs to be ready to have a heyday when that happens. Others are going to be open when opponents try to stop Frank.

    This could be pretty fun year watching teams squirm as they try to stop one flood and another erupts.

  • @ralster

    Some of the best stuff I’ve read in a while. Get this published!

    This time will live and die with Frank. The way he’s playing so far I like our chances in March with him. Gotta keep him healthy and at this level throughout the gauntlet.

    Enjoying the ride that’s for sure

  • @bskeet said:

    Who can stop Mason with the way the rules are now. He seeks contact, he drives with no fear. And so far he’s making more of his drives then ever before. He’s so quick, going to be hard to gameplan for

  • Great post, Ralster.

  • The great thing about Frank being so good is, if they double to stop him then his Amigo Devonte will shine all night. When Josh, (one of the three Amigos) who is already a contributor and very good, starts to take over games, then look out. The four-guard UConn/Louisville style lineup with Vick and Svi is going to take us all on a great ride. We’re still going to see Lucas, Bragg and Udoka in together in a tandem when Coach wants to go big. Remember, Svi is 6’8" and Vick is 6’5". Our mostly small lineup out-rebounded Duke.

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  • @wrwlumpy I’m not going to put our rebounding problems to bed after out-rebounding a shorthanded Duke squad. Duke is never a “great” rebounding team, and especially when they are missing three talented big guys. But on Frank, I did worry he and Doke were going to get into a fight going after those boards. I just hope Doke doesn’t accidentally squash him down in the paint on the defensive glass!

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