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Today’s U’s Big 12 Awards

All Big 12 Team

Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma

Le’Bryan Nash, G/F, Oklahoma State

Perry Ellis, F, Kansas

Georges Niang, F, Iowa State

Rico Gathers, F, Baylor

Honorable mention (Alphabetical): Kyan Anderson (TCU), Phil Forte III (Oklahoma State), Monte Morris (Iowa State), Frank Mason III (Kansas), Taurean Prince (Baylor), Juwan Staten (West Virginia), Isaiah Taylor (Texas), Myles Turner (Texas), Devin Williams (West Virginia)

 

MVP

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

Hield showed his dominance all season. As the Big 12’s leading scorer, Hield scored 17.3 points per game along with 5.4 rebounds per game and 1.8 assists per game. He led the Sooners to a 21-9 record in the toughest conference in college basketball. This award was up for grabs with Perry Ellis (Kansas), Georges Niang (Iowa State) and Rico Gathers (Baylor). However, Hield’s tip-in shot to beat Kansas on Saturday capped off a remarkable regular season for him and proved how well he plays in big games.

 

Coach of the Year

Bill Self, Kansas

The Jayhawks lost 5 key players from last year. This year, Bill Self had one of the youngest teams in college basketball with only one senior on the roster. Yet, that didn’t stop Self. After resolving some team chemistry issues at the beginning of the season, Self coached Kansas to their 11th consecutive Big 12 regular season title and a 24-7 overall record.

After leading a young Jayhawks team with only one senior to their 11th-consecutive Big 12 title, Bill Self deserves to win the Big 12 Coach of the Year Award.

After leading a young Jayhawks team with only one senior to their 11th-consecutive Big 12 title, Bill Self deserves to win the Big 12 Coach of the Year Award.

6th Man

Taurean Prince, Baylor

While coming off the bench the entire season, Prince scored in double figures in 25 of 30 games, becoming Baylor’s leading scorer at 14.0 PPG. Even with Rico Gathers on his team, Prince picked up 5.5 rebounds a game as well. Prince was consistent all season and was a big reason why the Bears finished 23-8 on the season.

 

Most Improved

Frank Mason III, Kansas

With Nadir Tharpe and Andrew Wiggins gone, someone had to help Wayne Selden Jr. in the backcourt. Mason quickly became a team leader, accumulating 12.4 PPG, 3.8 rebounds per game, and 4.2 assists per game. The 5’11” point guard showed up in big games, scoring in double figures in almost every contest, when last year he only averaged 5.5 PPG. He has become a very good shooter and superb passer with the ability to change the tempo of any game by himself.

 

Defensive Player

Rico Gathers, Baylor

He plays like Dennis Rodman: rebound, hustle, dunk, repeat. As (debatably) the strongest college basketball player in the country, Gathers grabbed 11.7 rebounds per game (the 2nd best average in the nation behind Delaware States’s Kendall Gray). Gathers played great fundamental defense all year: with his hands straight in the air, Gathers was able to gather 1.0 blocks and 1.2 steals per game without fouling out once all season.

 

Rico Gathers (2) could very well be the best defensive player in all of college basketball.

Rico Gathers (2) could very well be the best defensive player in all of college basketball.

Best Freshman

Myles Turner, Texas

Although this award could have gone to Kelly Oubre Jr., Turner simply had better stats throughout the season. Turner was a streaky player, but he scored 11 points per game with 6.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. The 6’11” forward was a force down low and also occasionally showed his ability to shoot from distance. Many presume Turner to be a Top 10 draft pick, as his size and low post abilities speak for themselves.

 

Top Dunks

3. Trey Zeigler (TCU) over Taurean Prince (Baylor)

 

2. Cliff Alexander (Kansas) over 7-footer Anthony Allen Jr. (OSU)

 

1. Le’Bryan Nash (OSU) over Demarcus Holland (Texas)

 

Honorable Mention (because it was called an offensive foul): Jonathan Motley (Baylor) over Jamari Traylor (Kansas)

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