KU senior Frank Mason on winning Big 12 player of the year
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 became the Jayhawks’ first this spring after taking home the Associated Press player of the year award Thursday, the Oscar Robertson Trophy on Friday and the Naismith Trophy and National Basketball Coaches Association player of the year award on Sunday.
The AP, Oscar Robertson Trophy, awarded by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, Naismith Trophy and NABC award are four of seven player of the year honors recognized by the NCAA, which started tracking national players of the year in 1959. The Basketball Times, the Wooden Award and the Adolph Rupp Trophy are the others.
Before Mason, only three KU players had won at least one of those seven awards. None had won consensus player of the year status, or four or more 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.
Drew Gooden shared the NABC honor with Duke’s Jason Williams in 2002 and Nick Collison won it outright in 2003.
Mason is one of five finalists for the Wooden Award (announced at 7 p.m. Friday). The Rupp Trophy did not name a player of the year in 2016 and the Basketball Times awarded its 2017 honor to Purdue's Caleb Swanigan.
Mason has already already achieved 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. Mason also landed on the NABC and AP first-teams.
Mason is 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:
▪ 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, CBS Sports and NBC Sports national player of the year