Mark Few, Frank Mason III earn Naismith honors


On Sunday, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few and Kansas senior guard Frank Mason III added more awards to their respective trophy cases.

Few, who will coach in his first national championship game on Monday night, was named Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year. Mason was awarded the Naismith Trophy, given to the top college basketball player annually.

Both Few and Mason won the same honors given out by the Associated Press earlier this month.

“Mark has been a model of consistency throughout his tenure at Gonzaga, but reaching the Final Four made this season truly special, and he deserves tremendous credit for leading the team to that remarkable accomplishment,” Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, said in a press release. “Our voters made a terrific choice in selecting him the Werner Ladder Coach of the Year.”

The other finalists for this award were Northwestern’s Chris Collins, Villanova’s Jay Wright and future member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Bill Self of Kansas.

Few has guided Gonzaga’s top the program’s first-ever Final Four appearance. The Bulldogs won 29 consecutive games to start the season. The Zags enter Monday night’s title game with a 37-1 record.

“This is one of those seasons for the ages where all the hard work, drive and dedication led to superb individual and team success for Frank, and our voters recognized that by selecting him as the 2017 Citizen Naismith Trophy winner,” Oberman said in a statement.

Among the finalists for this award was Villanova swingman Josh Hart, Purdue big man Caleb Swanigan and UCLA freshman phenom Lonzo Ball.

Mason led the Jayhawks to the Elite Eight, averaging 20.9 points, 5.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from three.