Johnathan Motley was a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 First Team. He is the first Bear to be a unanimous selection. Motley was joined on the first team by Monte Morris (Iowa State), Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State), Josh Jackson (Kansas) and Frank Mason (Kansas). Mason was named Player of the Year.
I tweeted this out jokingly:
When the left tells you they believe in science: pic.twitter.com/qXobXaJY7G— Kendall (@kkaut) March 5, 2017
Motley had a good case for Player of the Year. He’s first in KenPom’s Big 12 ranking, and the focal point of Baylor’s offense. Teams beg Baylor to make 3-point shots and double team Motley. But he still scores consistently and finished 2nd in the Big 12 in P.E.R. Motley’s work on the offensive and defensive glass is special, and he’s managed to be a big piece defensively. Mason was incredible though. We were shocked anytime he missed a 3-point shot, and K.U. won a ton of close games with him taking the lead.
Manu Lecomte was named Newcomer of the Year and selected to the All-Big 12 Third Team. There isn’t much to quibble with there. Josh Jackson won the freshman award, and nobody had much claim to the Newcomer of the Year award beyond Lecomte.
Ish Wainright was named to the All-Defense team and he was also listed as honorable mention. Jo Lual-Acuil joined Wainright on the defensive team.
Jevon Carter (West Virginia) was Defensive Player of the Year. Wainright and Lual-Acuil were awfully good too, but once again, you can understand Carter winning this one. Carter led the league in many advanced statistical categories on defense. And when you watch the games, he’s active on the ball and the driving force behind many of the defensive looks that made West Virginia the most efficient Big 12 defense.
Bill Self won Coach of the Year. I would have voted for Scott Drew. The Bears received zero votes in the preseason poll, and Baylor will end in the season ranked in the top 10. Drew lost a lottery pick, his leading rebounder and starting point guard. Yet, Baylor is set to make the NCAA Tournament for a school record fourth straight time. That performance is more impressive than Self having a team performing (incredibly well) as we expected. It’s not terrible that Self won, but Drew has still not won this award. He could have won in 2010, 2015 or this year. I’m just worried he’s never going to win the way the vote has gone.
There were a few baffling votes. First, Jackson was not a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 team. There is zero way you can find five better players in the Big 12. Second, Lecomte and Lual-Acuil were not unanimous selections for the newcomer team. Once again, there is just no way you can think there are five guys that joined the league better than them. The coaches vote on these awards, so I can’t understand how anyone could exclude these three guys on a ballot.