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Big 12 Conference Announces MBB Awards

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Several Bears earned recognition but not one that we were expecting

This man was robbed.
This man was robbed.
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, the Big 12 Conference released its All-Big 12 awards and selections as voted on by the league's 10 head coaches. The media will release its all-conference honors sometime early on this week. The results are as follows:

Big 12 Awards

Coach of the Year: Bob Huggins, West Virginia
Player of the Year: Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
Defensive Player of the Year: Jameel McKay, Iowa State
Sixth Man Award: Taurean Prince, Baylor
Newcomer of the Year: TaShawn Thomas, Oklahoma
Freshman of the Year: Myles Turner, Texas

First off, congratulations to Taurean Prince on winning the Big 12's Sixth Man of the Year Award! Prince was the obvious selection here as he led Baylor in scoring at 14.0 points/game to go with 5.5 rebounds/game, second on the team behind Rico Gathers. TP was an instant impact player off the bench for Baylor and he really stepped his game up during conference play. You could've even made a case for him to be on the all-conference first team. Prince is the third Baylor player to win the award, joining LaceDarius Dunn (2009) and Quincy Acy (2011).

Along with most Baylor fans, I have a pretty significant beef with the Coach of the Year selection. The award went to Bob Huggins of West Virginia, who did a wonderful job coaching the Mountaineers this season. Huggins took a team of misfit parts and got them to commit to the full court pressing style this season that propelled WVU to an unexpected 23-8 record. But I really felt like this was Scott Drew's award to lose. The Bears were picked to finish in the bottom half of the Big 12 and be a fringe NCAA Tournament team if not an NIT team. Instead, Baylor has been one of the best teams in not just the Big 12, but the entire country. Several BU players showed clear developmental strides this season, a sign of excellent coaching. And although Baylor and West Virginia tied in the conference standings, Baylor hammered the Mountaineers in both meetings this season. The key reason for this was the preparation that the Bears had in those games. Scott Drew outcoached Bob Huggins in both of those games. Drew has taken a Baylor program that was a pile of ashes in 2003 and has turned it into a regular NCAA contender. The fact that he hasn't won Big 12 Coach of the Year one time is an absolute travesty. Shame on you, Big 12 coaches.

I'd also point out that Rico Gathers could've been in the discussion for Big 12 Player of the Year but I think the coaches got that one right by taking Buddy Hield of Oklahoma.

Big 12 All-Conference Teams

All-Big 12 First Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)
Rico Gathers, Baylor F 6-8 275 Jr. LaPlace, La./Riverside Academy
Georges Niang, Iowa State F 6-8 230 Jr. Methuen, Mass./The Tilton School
Perry Ellis, Kansas F 6-8 225 Jr. Wichita, Kan./Wichita Heights
Buddy Hield, Oklahoma G 6-4 212 Jr. Freeport, Bahamas/Sunrise Christian Academy [Kan.]
Juwan Staten, West Virginia G 6-1 190 Sr. Dayton, Ohio/Dayton
All-Big 12 Second Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)
Kenny Chery, Baylor G 5-11 180 Sr. Montreal, Quebec/Archbishop Carroll [D.C.]/State Fair CC
Taurean Prince, Baylor F 6-7 215 Jr. San Antonio, Texas/Earl Warren
Monté Morris, Iowa State G 6-2 170 So. Flint, Mich./Beecher
Frank Mason III, Kansas G 5-11 185 So. Petersburg, Va./Massanutten Military Academy
Le'Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State F 6-7 235 Sr. Dallas, Texas/Lincoln
All-Big 12 Third Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)
Jameel McKay, Iowa State F 6-9 215 Jr. Milwaukee, Wis./Indian Hills CC [Iowa]/Marquette/Pulaski
TaShawn Thomas, Oklahoma F 6-8 242 Sr. Killeen, Texas/University of Houston
Phil Forte, Oklahoma State G 5-11 185 Jr. Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus
Isaiah Taylor, Texas G 6-1 170 So. Hayward, Calif./The Village School [Texas]
Myles Turner, Texas F 6-11 240 Fr. Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity
All-Big 12 Honorable Mention (Listed alphabetically by school)
Dustin Hogue (Iowa State), Kelly Oubre (Kansas), Wayne Selden (Kansas), Marcus Foster (Kansas State), Thomas Gipson (Kansas State), Nino Williams (Kansas State), Isaiah Cousins (Oklahoma), Ryan Spangler (Oklahoma), Kyan Anderson (TCU), Jonathan Holmes (Texas), Devin Williams (West Virginia)
Big 12 All-Defensive Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)
Rico Gathers, Baylor F 6-8 275 Jr. LaPlace, La./Riverside Academy
Jameel McKay, Iowa State F 6-9 215 Jr. Milwaukee, Wis./Indian Hills CC [Iowa]/Marquette/Pulaski
Michael Cobbins, Oklahoma State F 6-8 230 Sr. Amarillo, Texas/Palo Duro
Anthony Hickey, Oklahoma State G 5-11 185 Sr. Hopkinsville, Ky./Christian County/LSU
Myles Turner, Texas F 6-11 240 Fr. Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity
Jevon Carter, West Virginia G 6-2 185 Fr. Maywood, Ill./Proviso East
Big 12 All-Newcomer Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)
Jameel McKay, Iowa State** F 6-9 215 Jr. Milwaukee, Wis./Indian Hills CC [Iowa]/Marquette/Pulaski
Kelly Oubre, Kansas G 6-7 200 Fr. New Orleans, La./Findlay Prep [Nev.]
TaShawn Thomas, Oklahoma F 6-8 242 Sr. Killeen, Texas/University of Houston
Anthony Hickey, Oklahoma State G 5-11 185 Sr. Hopkinsville, Ky./Christian County/LSU
Myles Turner, Texas F 6-11 240 Fr. Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity

Rico Gathers was rightfully named first team all-conference along Georges Niang (ISU), Perry Ellis (KU), Buddy Hield (OU) and Juwan Staten (WVU). Rico averaged 11.6 points and 11.7 rebounds per game in his first year as a full-time starter, and he is 14 rebounds away from breaking the all-time single season record by a Baylor Bear. Gathers becomes the fourth Baylor player to be named to the first team by the coaches, joining Terry Black (2001), Curtis Jerrells (2008), and LaceDarius Dunn (2011). In addition, Taurean Prince and Kenny Chery were both named to the second team. I was mildly surprised that Royce O'Neale was not an honorable mention, but I think he had enough games where he was unable to contribute a lot offensively to keep him off this list.

Gathers was also named to the Big 12 all-defensive team, the fourth Baylor player to earn that distinction in the last 6 seasons.