- The Washington Times - Monday, June 5, 2017

Frank Mason III’s list of college basketball accomplishments is long. He won the Wooden Award, Bob Cousy Award, Oscar Robertson Trophy, Naismith Player of the Year, plus was a consensus All-American, AP Player of the Year, USA Today Player of the Year, CBS Player of the Year and Big 12 Player of the Year.

Mason’s plethora of hardware came after his senior season at Kansas, where he averaged 20.9 points per game and shot a crisp 49 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from behind the 3-point line as the Jayhawks’ point guard.

He was among six draft-eligible players working out for the Washington Wizards on Monday. The Wizards again have little influence over this season’s draft — they have made just one first-round pick in the last four seasons — but do hold the 52nd overall pick in the second round. Washington also continues to be desperate for a backup to John Wall. It is unlikely to find one at that point in this draft, at least not one who can play a full backup role for a playoff team, but Mason’s shooting makes him worth a look.

His height and age makes his NBA destiny a challenge to project. Mason is 23 years old, a grandfatherly stage by draft parameters, and is listed at 5 foot 11. Thanks to Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, smaller point guards are viewed through a slightly different scope than in the past. However, Thomas has also proven to be an outlier, which is why his success and story are so engaging. He’s not common.

Mason said he’s watched smaller guards like Thomas, but draws little inspiration from them. He thinks he’s going to be able to play in the NBA on his own merit.

“I always believed in myself and knew what I was capable of,” Mason said.

Mason, Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey, Kentucky center Isaac Humphries, Arkansas forward Moses Kingsley, SMU forward Ben Moore and Pittsburgh forward Michael Young worked out for Washington on Monday. Another batch of second-round prospects comes to the District Tuesday: Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski, Villanova forward Kris Jenkins, Central Michigan guard Marcus Keene, Kansas center Landen Lucas, Florida State forward Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and Monmouth guard Justin Robinson.

 

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