MA­SON GETS TOP PLAYER TRO­PHY

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

glen­dale, ariz. » No piece of hard­ware could take Frank Ma­son III’s mind off what could have been.

The se­nior point guard from Kansas re­ceived The As­so­ci­ated Press player of the year tro­phy Thurs­day at the Fi­nal Four. He was there with­out his team­mates since the Jay­hawks were elim­i­nated in the re­gional fi­nal by Ore­gon.

“I’ve still been think­ing about it. It’s been on my mind a lot,” Ma­son said when asked if he had got­ten over that loss. “And I just have to move on to what’s next. And I just look at the big­ger picture and fo­cus on every­thing that I can con­trol.”

Ma­son said he ex­pected to be at the Fi­nal Four with his team­mates and coaches.

“You know, I didn’t plan on do­ing this,” Ma­son said. “My goals and our goals as a teamwas to be here as a fam­ily.”

Gonzaga coach Mark Few, the AP’s coach of the year, has his team here as the Zags make their first Fi­nal Four ap­pear­ance.

The Zags, who are 36- 1 this sea­son, are in the NCAA Tour­na­ment un­der Few for the 18th con­sec­u­tive year.

Few, who has a ca­reer record of 502- 112, re­ceived 37 votes from the same 65- mem­ber na­tional me­dia panel that selects the weekly Top 25.

Sean Miller of Ari­zona re­ceived eight votes while Chris Collins of North­west­ern had seven and SMU’s Tim Jankovich got six.

Ma­son re­ceived 37 votes, well ahead of Josh Hart of Vil­lanova, who got 16. Caleb Swani­gan of Pur­due had nine and Lonzo Ball of UCLA had three.

Ma­son is the first Kansas player to win the award.

Plum, Auriemma take women’s awards B

dal­las » Kelsey Plum had a his­toric sea­son for Wash­ing­ton while Geno Auriemma did one of his best coach­ing jobs at UConn.

Both were over­whelm­ing choices as the AP women’s bas­ket­ball player and coach of the year.

Plum broke the ca­reer NCAA scor­ing mark, top­ping Jackie Stiles’ 16- yearold record in style with a 57- point ef­fort on her se­nior night.

Auriemma, who lost three All- Amer­i­cans to grad­u­a­tion, thought there was no way that the team’s 75- game win­ning streak head­ing into the sea­son would con­tinue that much longer— not with a sched­ule filled with the na­tion’s top teams.

Yet UConn met ev­ery chal­lenge and en­ter the Fi­nal Four with­out a loss, win­ners of 111 straight games.

Arkansas try­ing to amend gun law.

The Arkansas House has passed a pro­posal to ex­empt col­lege sport­ing events from a new Arkansas law ex­pand­ing where con­cealed hand­guns are al­lowed af­ter a sec­ond ath­letic con­fer­ence called for changes to the guns rights mea­sure.

The pro­posal ad­vanced on a 71- 20 vote Thurs­day. It will now go to the Se­nate for con­sid­er­a­tion.

Un­der the ex­emp­tion pro­posal, which Gov. Asa Hutchin­son sup­ports, col­lege sta­di­ums such as the Univer­sity of Arkansas’ Don­ald W. Reynolds Ra­zor­back Sta­dium and the Univer­sity of Arkansas for Med­i­cal Sciences would be able to des­ig­nate sen­si­tive ar­eas where they wouldn’t want peo­ple to carry con­cealed hand­guns.

The law Hutchin­son signed last week al­lows peo­ple with con­cealed hand­gun li­censes to carry on col­lege cam­puses, in gov­ern­ment build­ings and some bars if they un­dergo up to eight hours of ac­tiveshooter train­ing.

Foot­notes.

Ari­zona fresh­man for­ward Lauri Markka­nen is leav­ing early for the NBA and is ex­pected to hire an agent. An ath­letic 7- footer from Fin­land, Markka­nen av­er­aged 15.6 points and 7.2 re­bounds and was named a thirdteam All- Amer­i­can by the AP. … TJ Leaf is leav­ing UCLA for the NBA draft, join­ing fel­low fresh­man Lonzo Ball in de­part­ing af­ter one stel­lar sea­son in West­wood. … North­ern Iowa coach Ben Ja­cob­son was given a two- year con­tract ex­ten­sion that will keep him with the Pan­thers through 2027. Ja­cob­son just com­pleted his 11th sea­son at North­ern Iowa. He has a school- record 234 wins and has led North­ern Iowa to eight con­sec­u­tive top- four fin­ishes in the Mis­souri Val­ley Con­fer­ence.

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