Kansas senior guard Frank Mason on Tuesday was selected 2016-17 first-team All-America by The Associated Press, and, in the process, became the school’s 22nd consensus first-team All-American.
Villanova’s Josh Hart, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan and North Carolina’s Justin Jackson joined the 5-foot-11 Petersburg, Va., native Mason on the first team.
Mason was the only unanimous selection, receiving all first-team votes from the same 65-member media panel that selects the weekly AP Top 25.
“I could say that before the season started that would be a dream for Frank,” KU coach Bill Self said Tuesday of Mason earning consensus and unanimous All-America status after also making the Sporting News, National Association of Basketball Coaches and U.S. Basketball Writers’ All-America first teams.
“After the season got going the reality set in that he was going to be first-team. Now the reality is he’ll be national player of the year in a majority of the voting. It’s been a great run for Frank. He’s deserving of all postseason accolades,” added Self, who recently revealed that Mason’s jersey would someday hang in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters.
Mason, who averaged 20.8 points, 5.1 assists and 4.1 rebounds for 31-5 KU, became the first Jayhawk to earn consensus first-team All-America honors since Thomas Robinson in 2012.
KU’s other consensus first-team All-Americas are 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) and Sherron Collins (2010).
“That’s pretty cool to see my name alongside those great KU players. It means a lot to me, but nothing would be possible without my teammates and coaching staff,” Mason told the AP.
The NCAA compiles consensus All-America teams by using a point system computed from All-America teams of the AP, NABC, USBWA and Sporting News. Mason earned the maximum of 12 points in the NCAA’s consensus All-America calculation as a first-team honoree by all four groups.
KU’s Josh Jackson, a 6-8 freshman from Detroit, was chosen to the AP’s third team.
Jackson received votes in consensus All-America consideration. He earned five points as a third-team AP All-American, second-team NABC All-American and second-team Sporting News All-American.
Self to meet with players next week
Self said Tuesday that he would hold individual meetings with his players after he returns from the Final Four next week.
Thus, no announcements regarding players entering the NBA Draft or staying in school are expected this week, though obviously that could change at any time.
It’s long been assumed that Jackson would be a one-and-done player. Juniors Svi Mykhailiuk and Devonté Graham could elect to enter the 2017 NBA Draft or test the waters and go through workouts without signing with agents.
Self is a member of various committees and has responsibilities at the Final Four later this week into the weekend.
Duval recruiting update
Trevon Duval, the country’s top point guard in the high school recruiting class of 2017, is apparently in no hurry to announce his college choice.
Duval, 6-2 and 190 from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., told Rivals.com this week that he’ll pick either Kansas, Duke, Baylor, Arizona or Seton Hall, “sometime in April. If not, I’m for sure making it (announcement) in early May. I want to make it in April.”
The late signing period runs from April 12 to May 17.
Duval, who is ranked No. 3 nationally by Rivals.com, has completed all five campus visits.
“Billy (Preston, KU signee) is recruiting me, too,” Duval said of a fellow participant in Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago. “He is telling me they need a point guard, so everyone’s doing a little bit of recruiting. I’m waiting for Devonté Graham (to announce plans), just a lot of other people, seeing what everybody does.”
Duke has been rumored to be the front runner for Duval, who averaged 16.2 points and 7.7 assists for IMG Academy (26-1). He visited KU for Late Night in the Phog as well as the Baylor game on Feb. 1.
Duval was chosen first-team All America by USA Today this week.