Frank Mason helps Kansas stand atop Big 12 in second-hand way
Kansas State landed the biggest surprise of the week so far in the Big 12, blasting Oklahoma, 87-69, in Manhattan by holding Trae Young to 20 points Tuesday night.
That result, coupled with Texas Tech losing to Texas, left Kansas alone atop of the Big 12 with a 5-1 record.
K-State coach Bruce Weber threw a little second-hand credit for the job the Wildcats did on Young to former Kansas guard Frank Mason.
Junior Barry Brown was the primary defender against Young and had plenty of help from teammates adhering to what seems to be the book on how to play Young: be physical.
“I think we wanted him to try to make him make big plays and stay in on him,” Weber said of defending Young. “And Barry’s a good defender. I’m not sure people realize how good he is. He was one of the leading steal guys in the Big 12 and in the country last year. He’s guarded all the team’s best players. He’s taken it upon himself.”
Mason, national player of the year last season, was among Brown’s assignments.
“You go against Frank Mason for two years, you’re going to get cooked, but you’re going to learn from it,” Weber said.
Young’s 20-point output was his lowest since scoring 15 points against Omaha in his college debut.
“Barry locked into him and he’s a little bigger, a little more physical,” Weber said.
Young made 2 of 10 3-pointers in the loss to Kansas State.
If Brown had done better in the final possession of the 73-72 loss to Kansas, when his low-percentage, 25-footer kissed off the front of the rim at the buzzer, five teams would share the Big 12 lead with 4-2 records.