Mason III, Few earn AP honors
Kansas guard Frank Mason III and Gonzaga coach Mark Few have won the Associated Press player and coach of the year awards, respectively, the news cooperative announced yesterday at the Final Four in Glendale, Ariz. NCAA NOTEBOOK
Mason led Kansas to its 13th consecutive Big 12 title. He received 37 votes from the same 65-member media panel that selects the weekly AP Top 25.
Few has taken the Zags to the NCAA tournament in all 18 of his seasons there. He was a runaway winner, receiving 31 votes from the panel.
Mason, a senior point guard, averaged 20.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists while shooting 48.7 percent from 3-point range.
Josh Hart of Villanova was second in player of the year voting with 16 votes, while Caleb Swanigan of Purdue
had nine and Lonzo Ball of UCLA had three.
Mason is the first Kansas player to win the award.
Sean Miller of Arizona finished second for the coach award with eight votes.
Turn over new Leaf
TJ Leaf is leaving UCLA for the NBA draft, joining fellow freshman Ball in departing after one stellar season in Westwood.
Leaf said through a team spokesman that he plans to hire an agent. The forward averaged a teamleading 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 62 percent from the field and 68 percent from the free throw line. … 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 third-team AP All-American. …
NCAA leaders need a few days to digest the new law that will replace North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill” before deciding whether to bring March Madness and other championship sporting events back to the Tar Heel State.