kansas point guard situation
I was impressed watch Frank Mason play last night. Every time he had the ball, he was aggressive and putting lots of pressure on Duke's defenders. Also loved how he got to the line 12 times and made all but one of them. Kansas offense flowed better with him on the court, and they got the ball to the post more often.
On defense, he looked good for a freshman. Harassed Quin cook and stripped him clean near half court on one play. While he's undersized, his lateral quickness and anticipation are solid and he could develop into a pesky on-ball defender. His defense and ability to get in the paint are really similar to peyton siva and I feel he can develop into the same kind of cerebral lead guard for kansas as siva was for louisville over time.
Thaarpe on the other hand was pretty dissapointing. Just seemed lost on offense and Selden/Mason were both doing a better job of creating plays for their teammates. Had a really bad turnover where he over threw a simple pass to a teammate, then pulled out and reset instead of looking to make a play on a 4 on 2 fast break. Defensively, he was guarding Sulaimon when he went off late in the 2nd half (though to be fair, Selden and Mason both got torched by Sulaimon as well).
I know it's very early in the season and that freshman point guards rarely start but I feel that come February, Mason will have proven that he deserves to be in the starting line up over Thaarpe
As a KU fan I felt coming into the season that Frank Mason would be on Naadir Tharpe's tail for more minutes. But I have to be honest I didn't think he would be breathing down his neck this fast. Frank Mason has more athleticism than Naadir Tharpe and he puts it to great use. He showed more poise than Tharpe did as well. Tharpe is not a slouch though and I'm not sure if self is ready to give Mason the keys to the car just yet but when conference play comes things can change. Mason is a bulldog out there.
Naadir Tharpe looked timid, bad, and unconfident.
Tharpe looked great in the preseason. He looked much better than last yr where he played completely out of control. That being said, I don't think there's that much seperating the 2. They're pretty similar ballplayers skill and talent wise. Mason was more of a dog this game, but Tharpe has some dog in his game as well. Self could just ride with whoever is playing better that game. In this case, it was Mason.
Mason put on his big boy pants last night....while Tharpe is the starter, it's nice to know mason is not that far behind especially with the new rules.
Keep in mind, that was Tharpe's first regular season game. Mason got the start against UL Monroe due to a suspension for Tharpe playing in an unsanctioned summer game. There was some rust, but he's a nice playmaker and I don't think his job is on the line. I think Self has a lot of confidence in Frank Mason, though.
Self has got to go with either Frank Mason or Wayne Selden at the point. Just look at the energy and attitude of these two guys. Tharpe lacks skill and the intangibles to man the point.
BTW is anyone else glad to see Selden replacing McLemore at Kansas?
McLemore has that sexy athleticism/shooting ability combo but he was a major liability at times last year. For instance, in the final 16 minutes of the Sweet Sixteen game against Michigan, he had 0 points, 0 rebounds, and 0 assists. He disappeared at the most critical times last year and I believe his lack of a killer instinct will hold him back in the NBA. Selden is more aggresive, more confident, and can create far better for his teammates.