BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Kansas guards Josh Jackson and Frank Mason III were among the 60 players selected in the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn Thursday night. Jackson was the overall No. 4 choice of the Phoenix Suns, while Mason was taken in the second round by the Sacramento Kings and was the No. 34 selection.
Historically, Jackson is the 17th KU lottery selection and the 11th in the Bill Self era. Jackson is the 79th player to be drafted in Kansas men’s basketball history and the 21st in the Self era which began in 2003-04.
“I’m really happy for Josh,” Self said. “I think Phoenix got a great pick and to be honest I think they got a steal at four, if that’s possible. He’ll be a guy that helps with their culture, not that it needs to be changed, but he’ll definitely add to it in a positive way from day one.”
In his lone season at Kansas, Jackson became one of the most decorated freshman school history. The Detroit native became only the fourth KU freshman to be named first-team all-conference. A Wooden All-America selection and named to numerous All-America teams, Jackson averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds in 2016-17. The 2017 Big 12 Freshman of the Year set three KU frosh records, including rebounds (258), double-doubles (13) and field goals made (220). He also set the school career record for conference weekly honors with nine — seven newcomer of the week and two player of the week — in 2016-17.
“I’m excited to be a Phoenix Sun,” Jackson said. “I know they’re a pretty young team. I think that’s really special, though, because coming in I think we can learn a lot together, and over the years we can be something really special and just being able to grow together, I think that’ll make our team chemistry a lot better.”
Mason became the most distinguished player in Kansas basketball history following his senior season. The Petersburg, Virginia, native was named the 2016-17 national player of the year by 10 different entities: Wooden, Naismith, NABC, Associated Press, USBWA Oscar Robertson, Sporting News, CBS Sports, USA TODAY, Bleacher Report and NBC Sports. He was the first Jayhawk to be named Associated Press Player of the Year and the first KU recipient of both the Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by the USBWA and the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.
Kansas’ 29th Consensus All-America First Team selection, Mason became the first player in KU and Big 12 history to average more than 20 points (20.9) and five assists (5.2) in a single season in 2016-17. The 2017 Big 12 Player of the Year ranked first in the league in scoring (20.9), including a 21.0 average in conference play.
“I think its (Sacramento) is a great place for Frank,” Self said. “His value will be even more so than what he does on the court because he’ll bring a toughness to their culture that will be a positive. I think he and De’Aaron Fox will be great for their franchise together.”
Kansas posted a 31-5 overall record in 2016-17 and won its13th-straight, 17th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 60th overall conference regular-season championship with a 16-2 league record. KU’s 13 consecutive titles ties for the most in NCAA history with UCLA (1967-79). KU also won the 2016 CBE Hall of Fame Classic and entered the NCAA Tournament as the overall No. 1 seed for the second-straight year.