Kansas' Frank Mason III: Wooden Award caps good, not great season

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

KansasguardFrank Mason IIIwas named the winner of this year's John R. Wooden Award as the nation's most outstanding men's college basketball player.

The winner was announced Friday night at ESPN's College Basketball Awards show in downtown Los Angeles.

There might come a time when Mason is able to soak in the significance of the honor, but for now, he is not putting much stock in individual accolades. Mason said he felt he had a good year but not a great one, "because a great year to me is winning it all."

"I know right now it probably sounds crazy, but it doesn't really mean much to me right now," said Mason, who also won the Bob Cousy Award as the nation's best point guard. "I guess when I get older and I really look back on it, I'll brag on it. But right now, it doesn't really mean much to me."

A senior, Mason averaged 20.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds to help the Jayhawks reach the Elite Eight.

He beat out fellow Wooden finalists Lonzo Ball of UCLA, Josh Hart of Villanova, Caleb Swanigan of Purdueand Nigel Williams-Goss of Gonzaga.

"Frank is very deserving of it," Ball said. "Props to him. He's a great dude. I just met him today. He's definitely tough. You can tell that the first time you meet him."

Mason, who will graduate from Kansas in May, planned to fly back to Kansas following the awards ceremony for the team banquet. He will then return to Los Angeles, where he will work out in preparation for the NBA draft.

"My goal is to get drafted in the first round, and I'm going to work hard to make that happen," he said.

Among the other awards handed out Friday, Hart won the Julius Erving Award (top small forward),Kentucky'sMalik Monk took the Jerry West Award (top shooting guard),Baylor'sJohnathan Motley earned the Karl Malone Award (top power forward) and Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski received the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (top center).

ESPN's Kyle Bonagura contributed to this report.

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