Of all the trophies, banners and awards in Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas basketball is missing one thing: A consensus national player of the year.
But senior guard Frank Mason could become the Jayhawks’ first this spring.
The NCAA started tracking national players of the year in 1959. According to the NCAA record book, seven player of the year awards are recognized: The Basketball Times, The Associated Press, the Oscar Robertson Trophy (U.S. Basketball Writers Association), the Wooden Award, the National Basketball Coaches Association, the Naismith Award and the Adolph Rupp Trophy.
Only three KU players have won at least one of those seven awards. None has won four in the same year.
Danny Manning won the Wooden, NABC and Naismith player of the year awards during the Jayhawks’ 1988 NCAA championship season. Bradley’s Hersey Hawkins won the other four.
The only other KU players to win at least one? Drew Gooden shared the NABC honor with Duke’s Jason Williams in 2002 and Nick Collison won it outright in 2003.
None of the seven major player of the year outlets have announced their winners this year (Mason is one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy). But Mason is all but assured of consensus first-team All-America status and could achieve unanimous first-team All-America status.
The NCAA uses four teams to determine that honor: The USBWA, NABC, AP and Sporting News. Three points are awarded for first-team honors, two for second team and one for third team. The top five point totals plus ties are consensus All-Americans.
The Sporting News released its All-America team on March 6 and Mason was on the first team. The USBWA gave Mason another first-team honor Monday, making him one of four players with the maximum six points. The AP and NABC All-America teams are yet to be released.
Mason would be KU’s 22nd consensus All-American, joining these Jayhawks: Tommy Johnson (1909), Ralph Sproull (1915), Dutch Lonborg (1919), Paul Endacott (1922-23), Charlie T. Black (1923-24), Arthur Ackerman (1924-25), Gale Gordon (1926), Albert Peterson (1926), Fred Pralle (1938), Howard Engleman (1941), Charles Black (1943), Clyde Lovellette (1951-52), Wilt Chamberlain (1957-58), Danny Manning (1987-88), Raef LaFrentz (1997-98), Paul Pierce (1998), Drew Gooden (2002), Nick Collison (2003), Wayne Simien (2005), Sherron Collins (2010) and Thomas Robinson (2012).
Mason’s other awards so far:
▪ USBWA All-District VI player of the year and All-District VI team
▪ Big 12 player of the year and first-team All-Big 12 (Associated Press and coaches)
▪ USA Today, Sporting News, Bleacher Report and NBC Sports national player of the year