It's not a focus at this time, and all I'm trying to say is that it will have to become a focus for this team to win a title.
"An angry man catches no fish"-Zen proverb.
“Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”
Watching game in and game out, Mason has made a lot more progress then he may have shown in the stretches you have paid closest attention to. However, your observations underscore that his goal should be to get to a level of consistency where, no matter which games you watch and which stretches of those games you watch, he is a meaningful offensive presence. That is a likely unattainable goal, but worth striving for.
All that being said, he's really coming along, as is Kelly. Kelly busted out some bona-fide Kevin McHale low post footwork and upfakes last night in a first half sequence where he drew a foul on the third fake. Mason has also been effective catching and operating. The difference between Kelly and Mason and, say, Zeller, is that we aren't setting them up in seal and catch situations on the block but rather isolating them mid lane or foul line extended trying to let them use their ball-handling as an advantage. I agree that the term "Mason's ballhandling" has been a historical oxymoron but he's made a big leap this year. I think both guys are more effective catching and operating off the baseline...more mid post. You may feel that we can't be great with bigs who can't operate on the baseline in a traditional seal-and-operate-back-to-the-basket manner, but I don't agree. We'll see what happens, but I think we've got more post offense this year than we have had since Shelden graduated. The opposition will obviously pick up on this and send their guards and wings to try and strip them on the move, and they'll have to effectively redirect.
Even that being said, Mason doesn't have to make a post move and score every time to be effective. Like I said previously, there were several plays where he ended up getting double teamed and was able to kick the ball out to the perimeter with success. I recall an ESPN analyst or commentator remarking on something Mason said to him/her in an interview about his goal when he gets the ball this year: accomplish one of three things -- 1) Score, 2) Get fouled or 3) Get double teamed. I'd say he's been very successful at doing that so far, even in last night's game.
All I'm saying is that you're making some very sweeping generalizations about Mason, and this team's strengths and weaknesses, based on a single game (or two?), when most here have now watched six complete games.
I think Mason's Option #2 -- Getting Fouled -- is working for the opposing team so far -- except when Ryan Kelly is able to grab the rebound. I fear that that option is going to be used over and over by defenses until Mason gets better at free throws. A real Achilles heel for Mason right now. Why can't good coaching fix that, I wonder?
One could easily point to 2010 as a year we succeeded without a traditional post scorer. Z and Thomas gave us just enough presence that the defense couldn't ignore them (like you could with, say, Dave McClure) and you had to always keep a body on them to keep them off of the boards.