PROVIDENCE, RI – After Makai Mason became the latest breakout star to emerge in an NCAA Tournament upset, his head coach, Yale University’s James Jones, described him – and his performance – pretty succinctly…and colorfully.
“He’s a bad little man.”
Not to be outdone, Rebecca Jones, James’s wife, while waiting just outside of the locker room area in front of a black curtain separating the throngs of press from a jubilant Yale locker room, also took a spin at describing the sophomore who dropped 31 points in an upset win over Baylor this afternoon.
“He’s like a Tonka truck. He’s indestructible.” That was followed by another Yale supporter who stood next to her, who compared the sophomore guard to a cyborg.
Whether he took human form or otherwise could be legitimately be debated until Saturday, but Mason and his Bulldogs will be playing on in the NCAA Tournament this weekend after they defeated No. 5 sed Baylor 79-75 in the first round of the West Region.
Mason hypnotized with his dribbling sleight of hand. He mesmerized with his numerous free throw line jumpers, a shot that had to be categorized as automatic as the game went on. Just as important, he showed his toughness over and over again, being banged around by Baylor’s pressure defense late in the game yet sinking each of his 11 free throws to go along with his 50 percent shooting (9-of-18) and two three pointers.
Here’s our interview with Mason after the game, and stay tuned for our interview with Yale forward Brandon Sherrod as we continue our coverage of the 2016 NCAA Tournament in Providence.
[Cover photo (Makai Mason) courtesy of Jim Rogash/Getty Images]