NBA Draft Profile: Kansas guard Frank Mason
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2017 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of prospective picks. The Celtics have amassed four picks: 1, 37, 53, and 56. The draft will be held June 22 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Name: Frank Mason
Hometown: Petersburg, Virginia
Weight: 190 pounds
Key 2016-17 stats: 20.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists.
Scouting Report: As the most decorated player in Kansas basketball school history, Mason was named the 2017 National Player of the Year and Associated Press Player of the Year and was also the recipient of the Naismith trophy. He was the Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus first team All-American.
The senior guard has shown consistent improvement throughout his four-year career. During his freshman campaign he averaged just 5.5 points, 2.1 assists and 1.3 rebounds. Throughout his progression as a player, he has nearly quadrupled his scoring and assist average in one of the most successful college basketball programs in the country.
Mason has the ability to blow by defenders with a quick first step to the basket. He was able to finish around the basket against the biggest players in college basketball. While he was able to get to the rim at will, he was also able to step back and knock down three-pointers. He shot 49 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from behind the arc. Mason lets the ball fly in transition and out of pick-and-roll situations when defenders go underneath the screens. His court vision and feel for the game has developed after a full college career, as he is able to read defenders and either shot his shot or facilitate, however, he does have the tendency to force passes over the top when he is put on his heels along the perimeter.
Mason has does have scoring limitations. While he has the ability to finish with contact, he struggles getting his shot off against longer defenders which will be problematic at the NBA level. As quick as he is, Mason often rushes his shots and drives which leads to poor shots selections and turnovers. Mason average 2.38 turnovers in the 2016-17 season.
Defensively, he doesn’t have the length to challenge shots on drives against him to the rim. Although he is physical in matchups, players that take him to the rim and are able to finish over him with ease. He isn’t a liability on the defensive end, but longer guards have the upper hand.
“All he has to do is point out [Toronto Raptors point guard] Fred VanVleet and [Dallas Mavericks point guard] Yogi Ferrell, because he’s so smart and he’s so tough,” an Eastern Conference scout told Bleacher Report. “It’s really easy to overlook those guys, because you just write them off, and it’s lazy scouting to just say they’re too small and not athletic, etc., etc.”
Now that the Celtics have traded their No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft for the No. 3 pick, a second-round guard pick isn’t out of the question. Mason pushes the balls well and is able to add speed to any roster, and has often been compared to Isaiah Thomas throughout his journey to the NBA.
Full article @ NBA Draft Profile: Kansas guard Frank Mason
Source: GreenStreet Blog