Azubuike headlines 2020 All-Big 12 Honors for Kansas

Jayhawks

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) reaches for the ball while covered by Texas Tech forward TJ Holyfield (22) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

IRVING, Texas (KU Athletics) – Highlighted by Big 12 Player of the Year Udoka Azubuike, Kansas was well represented on the men’s basketball 2019-20 All-Big 12 Team selected by the conference coaches, the league announced Sunday.

Azubuike, a senior, was the Big 12 Player of the Year and he and KU sophomore guard Devon Dotson were unanimous selections for the 2020 All-Big 12 First Team. Jayhawk junior Marcus Garrett is the 2020 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and he was named to the All-Big 12 Third Team. Both Garrett and Azubuike were named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team with Garrett being a unanimous selection. Sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention choice and guard Christian Braun was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.

“Dok getting Player of the Year is very well deserved and I actually thought we have another player, Devon, that it would not have surprised me if he was selected because I thought he was also deserving,” head coach Bill Self said. “To me, the way Dok performed down the stretch put him in a position to win the award. I can’t express enough how proud we are of him and the progress that he has made. For somebody that has gone through as much adversity as him – health-wise – since he’s been here, to see it all be worth it, to fight through it, I think speaks volumes to his work ethic and character.”

Azubuike is appearing on the All-Big 12 Team for the second time as he was a third-team honoree in 2018. Dotson was a third-team selection in 2019, while Garrett and Agbaji are making their first appearances on the all-conference squad. This is the second-straight year Garrett has been named to the league’s all-defensive team.

“I’m happy for Devon that he and Dok were unanimous first-team selections,” Self said. “Devon could have been the Player of the Year as well. Marcus being third team, Ochai Honorable Mention and Christian on the All-Freshman team are very worthy.”

Azubuike and Dotson were joined on the All-Big 12 First Team by Jared Butler (Baylor), Kristian Doolittle (Oklahoma) and Desmond Bane (TCU). Baylor won four individual honors with Davion Mitchell the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Devonte Bandoo the Sixth Man Award, Freddie Gillespie the Most Improved Player and Scott Drew the Coach of the Year. Texas Tech’s Jahmi’us Ramsey was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

“This league plays great defense, but Marcus was the premier defender in the conference and I am very happy for him getting Defensive Player of the Year,” Self said of Garrett. “Hopefully this will propel him into some national defensive awards. The reason Dok was the most outstanding player and the reason Marcus won defensive player was because they are both terrific defenders and both being on the all-defensive team was deserving as well.”

Historically, Azubuike marks the 16th time a Jayhawk has been named conference player of the year, including the ninth in the Big 12 era, since 1996-97. He joins Dave Robisch (1970, ‘71), Bud Stallworth (1972), Danny Manning (1986, ’87, ’88) and Jacque Vaughn (1996) from the Big Eight era and Raef LaFrentz (1997), Drew Gooden (2002), Nick Collison (2003), Wayne Simien (2005), Marcus Morris (2011), Thomas Robinson (2012), Frank Mason III (2017) and Devonte’ Graham (2018) in the Big 12 period.

“First, I want to thank God for making this possible. I also want to thank all the coaches for believing in me, Coach Self and Coach Rob (Norm Roberts). I also want to thank all my teammates. They played a huge part in helping me win this. I want to thank all my teammates and everyone who has supported me from the very beginning.”UDOKA AZUBUIKE

Garrett marks the seventh time a Jayhawk has been named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He joins Mario Chalmers (co-2007), Cole Aldrich (co-2009, ’10), Jeff Withey (2012, ’13) and Joel Embiid (2014). Garrett and Azubuike mark the sixth time two KU players have been named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team with the last being in 2016 (Mason and Graham). The Big 12 All-Freshman Team started last season and Braun joins Dotson, a 2019 honoree, as KU representatives on the squad.

In the history of the Big 12, Kansas has now landed two players on the All-Big 12 First Team 11 times with the last being Mason and Josh Jackson in 2017. Kansas leads the Big 12 with an all-time high 127 student-athletes named to All-Big 12 Teams. Texas is second with 98, while Baylor is third with 85 selections.

Azubuike leads the NCAA in field goal percentage at 74.8%. The Delta, Nigeria, center is the only player in the Big 12 averaging a double-double with 13.7 ppg and 10.5 rpg. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week (1/27, 2/10, 2/24) and a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year finalist (1 of 5), Azubuike also leads the Big 12 in double-doubles with 15 and is second in blocked shots at 2.6 per game.

A Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year finalist (1 of 5), Dotson leads the Big 12 in scoring at 18.1 points per game, which includes nine 20-point efforts this season, and steals at 2.1. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week (12/2, 12/16, 2/3), Dotson also leads the conference in free throws made with 142. The Charlotte, North Carolina, guard ranks among the Big 12 leaders in scoring, steals, free throws made, field goal percentage (second at 46.8), assists (fifth at 4.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fifth at 1.6).

Named a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year (1 of 10), Garrett leads the Big 12 in assists (4.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7). The Dallas native averages 9.2 points and 4.5 rebounds and also ranks among the conference leaders in steals (fourth at 1.8).

Agbaji is second on the Kansas team with 46 3-pointers made this season and his 1.5 made per game are 15th in the Big 12. The Kansas City, Missouri, guard averages 10.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and is one of three Jayhawks averaging 32-plus minutes per game at 33.3. Braun, from Burlington, Kansas, has started five games in 2019-20 and averages 5.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. He has made 32 3-pointers in this, his freshman season.

“These individual accomplishments are usually achieved by the team’s success. I know our guys all realize that. This is a credit to the entire team and not just individuals.”BILL SELF

No. 1 Kansas (28-3, 17-1) enters the 2020 Big 12 Championship as the No. 1 seed for the 16th time in the 24-year history of the league. The Jayhawks will face the winner of the No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Iowa State game in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 12, at 1:30 p.m. (Central) at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The OSU-ISU contest will be played March 11 at 6 p.m., also at Sprint Center. The Kansas quarterfinal will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2. KU has won 15 league postseason tournament titles, including 11 in the Big 12 era, with the last in 2018. Eight of KU’s 11 league tourney titles in the Big 12 have been under head coach Bill Self.

2019-20 All-Big 12 Team

(As selected conference coaches; **unanimous selection)

Player of the Year – UDOKA AZUBUIKE, KANSAS (Sr., C)
Defensive Player of the Year – MARCUS GARRETT, KANSAS (Jr., G)
Newcomer of the Year – Davion Mitchell, Baylor (So., G)
Freshman of the Year – Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech (G)
Sixth Man Award – Devonte Bandoo, Baylor (Sr., G)
Most Improved Player – Freddie Gillespie, Baylor (Sr., F)
Coach of the Year – Scott Drew, Baylor

All-Big 12 First Team
**Jared Butler, Baylor (So., G)
**UDOKA AZUBUIKE, KANSAS (Sr., C)
**DEVON DOTSON, KANSAS (So., G)
Kristian Doolittle, Oklahoma (Sr., F)
Desmond Bane,TCU (Sr., G)

All-Big 12 Second Team
MaCio Teague, Baylor (Jr., G)
Freddie Gillespie, Baylor (Sr., F)
Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State (So., G)
Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech (Fr., G)
Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia (Fr., F)

All-Big 12 Third Team
Davion Mitchell, Baylor (So., G)
Mark Vital, Baylor (Jr., G/F)
MARCUS GARRETT, KANSAS (Jr., G)
Brady Manek, Oklahoma (Jr., F)
Matt Coleman III, Texas (Jr., G)

All-Big 12 Honorable Mention (Listed alphabetically by school)
Rasir Bolton (Iowa State), OCHAI AGBAJI, (KANSAS), Xavier Sneed (Kansas State), Austin Reaves (Oklahoma), Isaac Likekele (Oklahoma State), Cameron McGriff (Oklahoma State), Andrew Jones (Texas), Courtney Ramey (Texas), Jericho Sims (Texas), Davide Moretti (Texas Tech), Derek Culver (West Virginia)

Big 12 All-Defensive Team
Freddie Gillespie, Baylor (Sr., F)
Davion Mitchell, Baylor (So., G)
**Mark Vital, Baylor (Jr., G/F)
UDOKA AZUBUIKE, KANSAS (Sr., C)
**MARCUS GARRETT, KANSAS (Jr., G)

Big 12 All-Newcomer Team
**Davion Mitchell, Baylor (So., G)
**MaCio Teague, Baylor (Jr., G)
Austin Reaves, Oklahoma (Jr., G)
Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech (Fr., G)
Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia (Fr., F)

Big 12 All-Freshman Team
CHRISTIAN BRAUN, KANSAS (G)
**Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech (G)
Terrence Shannon Jr., Texas Tech (G)
Miles McBride, West Virginia (F)
**Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia (F)

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