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Frank Mason III, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound point guard from Petersburg, Va., might have come up short in leading Kansas to the Final Four, which was his ultimate goal heading into his senior season. However, Mason III, as painful and KU’s loss to Oregon in the Elite Eight may still be, is being rewarded for putting together one of the most impressive individual performances of any Kansas player.
Mason, on Thursday, became the first Jayhawk to be named AP (Associated Press) National Player of the Year. On Friday afternoon, he became the first Jayhawk to win the Oscar Robertson Trophy as the National Player of the Year in voting by the U.S. Basketball Writers Associations.
"To be the first player from Kansas to win the Oscar Robertson Trophy is amazing as there have been so many great players at KU," Mason said. "There is no way I could have won this without great coaches, like coach (Bill) Self, the rest of the staff and great teammates. We accomplished a lot this season and this award would not have been won without my teammates and coaches."
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In helping Kansas capture its 13th-striaght Big 12 regular season championship, Mason averaged 20.9 points and 5.1 assists per game this season while shooting 48.7 percent from behind the arc. Mason, the 2017 Big 12 Player of the year and a three-time all-conference selection, became the only player in Kansas and conference history to average more than 20 points and five assists per game in the same season.
Set to graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and sciences, Mason finished his career sixth on the Kansas all-time scoring list with 1,885 points, sixth in assists with 576 and eighth in three-point field goals with 185. Currently, no Jayhawk player in KU history ranked sixth or higher in both points and assists.
Mason's 2016-17 Season Summary:
• Became the only player in KU and Big 12 history to average more than 20 points and five assists in the same season.
• Showed a knack for taking over games, which directed Kansas to a 31-5 record and its 13th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title with a 16-2 league mark.
• Led the Big 12 in scoring overall (20.9 ppg) and during conference play (21.0 ppg).
• Averaged 5.2 assists per game.
• Two-time national player of the week.
• Three-time Big 12 Player of the Week.
• Posted 23 games of 20 or more points, including his final seven contests and 10 of KU's last 11 outings.
• KU's leading scorer in 26 games.
• In the Big 12, Mason ranked first in 3-point field goal percentage (47.1), fourth in assists (5.2), fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.3), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2), seventh in free throw percentage (79.4), ninth in field goal percentage (49.0) and 14th in steals (1.3).
• Made 50.0 percent (43-for-86) from 3-point range and 2.4 treys per game in Big 12 play.
• Shot 103-for-119 (86.6 percent) from the free throw line in his final 15 games, making 6.9 charity shots per contest in that span.
• Concluded his career No. 6 on the Kansas scoring list (1,885 points), No. 6 in assists (576), No. 8 in 3-point field goals (185), No. 13 in steals (165) and tied for third in consecutive starts (110). No Jayhawk in KU history ranked sixth or higher in both points and assists.
NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR COUNT:
Frank Mason III's National Player of the Year honors and the remaining awards he is a candidate for.
USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy
Associated Press Player of the Year
Sporting News Player of the Year
CBS Sports Player of the Year
USA TODAY Player of the Year
Bleacher Report Player of the Year
NBC Sports Player of the Year
NABC Player of the Year - April 2
Naismith Trophy - April 2
Bob Cousy Award for Point Guard of the Year - April 7
Wooden Award - April 7