Coach Bill Self has decided to remove Junior Point Guard Naadir Tharpe from the starting line-up and replace him with Freshman Guard Frank Mason, according to reports from KUsports.com.
Mason has averaged 9 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal in just over 19 minutes played per game. Tharpe has averaged 6 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 5 assists in a little over 28 minutes per game.
Mason had two great games in the Bahamas, posting a 12 point effort in the Jayhawks loss to Villanova, and a 13 point performance against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
“Frank doesn’t talk, but he’s been great. He had about as bad a two minutes against UTEP as a guy could possibly have to end the game,” Coach Self said. “But if you’re going to line up the games that are hard to win on who our best player has been, you can make a case it’s been Frank, whether it be Duke, Villanova, Wake. I’m really pleased with him. But he’s got a lot to learn, too, but he’s trying. He tries hard every day. Every day he tries.”
After a difficult outing in the Bahamas, the Jayhawks hope to bounce back on their two game road trip, first to the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder, the second in Gainesville, FL against the 15th ranked Florida Gators.
Point Guard play will ultimately hold key for the Jayhawks run to the program’s sixth National Championship. Will the Mason for Tharpe swap give the Jayhawks the spark Coach Self has been looking for?