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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, April 02, 2017 10:40 pm

Mason wins Naismith; Swanigan finalist

ASSOCIATED PRESS

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Kansas guard Frank Mason III has won the James A. Naismith Trophy as the top college basketball player.

The award presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club was announced Sunday in Arizona near the site of the Final Four.

Mason adds to his awards haul with the honor, having already won Associated Press player of the year on Thursday.

Mason beat out Lonzo Ball of UCLA, Josh Hart of Villanova and Caleb Swanigan of Purdue, a Homestead graduate, in voting by a panel of journalists, current and former coaches, conference commissioners and former Naismith winners. Voting was conducted during the NCAA Tournament.

Mason says winning the award with Naismith's name on it brings his experience full circle because Naismith invented the game and was the first coach at Kansas.

Mason led the Big 12 in scoring and averaged 20.9 points. The Jayhawks were eliminated in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament by Oregon.