Kansas' Frank Mason III is AP Player of the Year, unanimous All-America selection
Only one player on the AP All-America team was on the preseason team
In each of the past four years, there is been at least one unanimous All-America pick. This year, it’s Kansas guard Frank Mason III.
Mason was the only unanimous selection to the 2016-17 Associated Press All-America team, released Tuesday. He was joined on the first team by Josh Hart (Villanova), Lonzo Ball (UCLA), Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) and Justin Jackson (North Carolina). Kansas has produced handfuls of All-Americans through its history, but Mason is the first since Thomas Robinson in 2012.
“My goals were always just to be successful as a team, do whatever I can do to make sure we’re successful and really change it at the defensive end and get after it,” Mason told the AP. “Yeah, that’s pretty cool to see my name alongside those great KU players, it means a lot to me, but nothing would be possible without my teammates and coaching staff.”
Mason averaged 20.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists while shooting 48.7 percent from 3-point range and has been the one consistent candidate in the Player of the Year discussion, joined at times by fellow first-teamers Hart, a preseason All-America selection, and Swanigan.
The first-team picks are going to be pretty consistent across the board this year, but there are going to be a varying opinions on the rest of the group. Pac-12 freshmen Lauri Markkanen and Markelle Fultz get third-team nods here, while Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox, Iowa State’s Monte Morris and even South Carolina’s Sindarious Thornwell are noticeably absent. Voters were asked to consider just the regular season and conference tournament, but even without the NCAA Tournament run Thornwell’s All-American credentials were established.
Check out the list of AP All-Americans below:
Frank Mason III, Kansas
Josh Hart, Villanova
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga
Dillon Brooks, Oregon
Johnathan Motley, Baylor
Malik Monk, Kentucky
Josh Jackson, Kansas
Markelle Fultz, Washington
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
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