Buddy Hield had quite a repeat performance to post a remarkable first in the 20 seasons of Big 12 basketball.
Oklahoma’s spectacular senior guard and the league’s top scorer is The Associated Press Big 12 Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He is the first player to twice be named the AP’s top player in 20 seasons of Big 12 basketball, and was a unanimous pick this time after getting all 20 votes cast.
Hield wasn’t alone in repeating as an All-Big 12 pick in the annual AP awards announced Monday, joined on the first team for the second year in a row by Kansas senior forward Perry Ellis, also a unanimous pick, and Iowa State senior forward Georges Niang. They are the league’s top three scorers.
Iowa State junior guard Monte Morris and Texas junior guard Isaiah Taylor rounded out the top five players.
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There was also a repeat winner for AP Coach of the Year, with Kansas’ Bill Self winning for the fifth time in 11 seasons. He is the fourth coach in league history to be coach of the year in consecutive seasons.
Self received 12 of 20 votes for top coach after the Jayhawks won their 12th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title. Tubby Smith got six votes after Texas Tech finished 9-9 in conference play, and West Virginia’s Bob Huggins got two from an AP panel of sports writers and sportscasters who cover the league on a regular basis. In voting by the Big 12 coaches, they tabbed Smith as their coach of the year.
Before last season, when Self became the first four-time winner, he also won the AP coaching award in 2006, 2009 and 2011.
Hield averages 25.1 points per game, and is the nation’s best with 4.1 made 3-pointers per game – all career highs for the 6-foot-4, 214-pound guard from the Bahamas. He goes into this week’s Big 12 tournament with nine 30-point games, the same as the rest of the league combined this season. His 124 total 3-pointers this season are already a Big 12 record.
Niang is second in the Big 12 at 19.4 points a game, and is the only player in the nation averaging 19 points and six rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line.
Ellis, who is averaging 16.5 points per game, finished the regular season with consecutive 20-point games, giving him 11 this season.
Morris, the second Cyclones player on the AP first team, is the Big 12 leader with 7.1 assists per game and also averages 14.2 points and 4.0 rebounds a game. Taylor leads Texas with 15 points and 4.8 assists per game.
Because of a tie for the final spot, there are six players on the AP second team, which like the first team is made up of only seniors and juniors. The second-team picks were Baylor senior forwards Rico Gathers and Taurean Prince; Kansas junior guard Frank Mason III, West Virginia senior guard Jaysean Paige and Mountaineers junior forward Devin Williams, and Oklahoma senior forward Ryan Spangler.
Iowa State junior guard Deonte Burton is the league’s newcomer of the year in a close vote over Oklahoma State freshman point guard Jawun Evans.
Burton has averaged 10 points a game this season after sitting out a year following his transfer from Marquette. He got nine of the 20 votes for top newcomer, while Evans got seven and TCU sophomore guard Malique Trent, a junior college transfer, got three. Kansas State freshman forward Dean Wade got the remaining vote.