PHOENIX – Kansas guard Frank Mason III and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few received top honors as Division I Player and Coach of the year respectively from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) at the annual AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show on Sunday, April 2, at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix.
Mason, a senior point guard named earlier to the NABC Coaches’ All-America first team, averaged 20.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists this season for the Jayhawks. He was especially deadly from behind the arc, hitting 48.7 percent of his three-point attempts this season while leading Kansas to its record 13th consecutive regular season title in the Big 12 and a 31-5 overall won-lost record.
Few, whose Bulldogs play for the national championship against North Carolina Monday night, has guided Gonzaga to a 37-1 won-lost record. Despite not being ranked in the preseason top 10, Few led the Zags to their 16th regular season title in the West Coast Conference and 14th WCC tournament championship. His teams have been the prototype for long-term success, winning 82% of their games since he took over in 1999. Few is the third fastest coach in NCAA Division I history to win 500 games.
Few and UNC head coach Roy Williams appeared onstage during the show with host Allie LaForce in the AT&T Coaches’ Chat to talk about Monday night’s championship game. The awards show was streamed live on Twitter.
Among other awards announced Sunday night included West Virginia guard Jevon Carter as the NABC Defensive Player of the Year, presented by Marriott Rewards; Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan as the NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year, presented by Paramount and Co.; and Lonzo Ball of UCLA as the NABC Freshman of the Year, presented by adidas.