Frank Mason's defense draws rave reviews: 'He's got a lot of bulldog in him'

Sacramento Kings guard Frank Mason (center) looked to pass between two Miami Heat defenders during the second half of an NBA summer-league game Thursday in Sacramento, Calif. | Rich Pedroncelli | The Associated Press

By Gary Bedore

Former Kansas point guard Frank Mason of the Sacramento Kings averaged 11.7 points and 6.3 assists in three games for the Sacramento Kings at this week’s California Classic in Sacramento, Calif.

The 5-foot-11 second-year pro scored 16 points in a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers and 16 more in a loss to the Golden State Warriors. However, he finished with just three points on 1-of-7 shooting in Thursday’s 86-76 loss to the Miami Heat.

Mason had zero steals versus Miami after recording five thefts in the first two games of the tourney — a tuneup for the Las Vegas Summer League, which runs Friday through July 17.

“He’s got a lot of bulldog in him, and when he really, really wants to, you’ll see him just come up with the ball a few times,” Kings summer coach Larry Lewis told the Sacramento Bee after Mason’s three-steal performance versus Golden State.

“He’ll just take it. He can be a little mean and really get after it defensively. He’s a kid that can pick the ball up fullcourt in different spurts of the game and really trigger some momentum-changing plays,” Lewis added.

Mason, the consensus national college player of the year in 2017, has fully recovered from a left foot injury (tear of plantar fascia) he incurred near the end of the 2017-18 NBA season.

“I really hate when someone scores on me, and I take it personal,” Mason told the Bee. “I just want to make the (opponent) feel me every possession and make it as hard for him as I can every possession.”

Mason, 24, averaged 7.9 points on (37.9 percent shooting), 2.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 58 games for the Kings his rookie season.

According to, Mason, who averaged 18.9 minutes per contest, had 15 games with double-digit points, 10 games with at least five assists and 23 games with at least one steal.

“Frank played great minutes for us last year, so it’s nothing new seeing him out there trying to facilitate and be aggressive whenever he can. That’s something we see all the time,” Kings forward Justin Jackson told the Bee.

Selden contract guaranteed

The Memphis Grizzlies recently guaranteed the second year of former KU guard Wayne Selden’s two-year, $2,857,562 contract, according to NBA writer Michael Wallace of

Selden, 23, who was not selected in the 2016 NBA Draft, will make $1.5 million this season. The team had until July 10 to decide whether to keep Selden or waive him and allow him to become a free agent.

Selden missed 44 games in 2017-18 because of right quadriceps and knee injuries.

According to, “the Grizzlies would prefer to bring Selden off the bench but aren’t opposed to starting Selden alongside point guard Mike Conley, who is expected to return healthy for training camp after recovering from heel surgery that cost him 70 games last season.”

Selden scored 20 points in his summer debut — Tuesday’s 95-92 win over Utah in the Utah Jazz summer league. He scored 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting (6 of 7 from three) in Thursday’s 94-87 loss to San Antonio. He also had seven rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes.

“I feel like I’m in pretty good shape right now, but you can always get better with it. So I think that’s the biggest thing for me. I just want to play in as many games as I can next season,” Selden told

Robinson on NBA radar

Former KU power forward Thomas Robinson, a free agent who played for Khimki Moscow last season, has received interest from the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns, according to Alex Kennedy of

Robinson, a 6-10, 240-pound, 27-year-old native of Washington, D.C., averaged 8.4 points and 5.7 rebounds in 28 games for Khimki Moscow. He hit 48.7 percent of his shots.

Robinson was the fifth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by Sacramento. He’s played for the Kings, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.

Svi cold from beyond arc

Former KU wing Svi Mykhailiuk scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 77-71 loss to Golden State in the Lakers’ final game of the California Classic on Thursday. Mykhailiuk, who was 1 of 4 from three, went 6 of 18 from beyond the arc in three games. Former KU guard Malik Newman did not play in any of the three contests because of an ankle sprain. He is hoping to play in the Las Vegas Summer League.

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