(AP) – Big 12 scoring and rebounding leader Jalen Wilson of the University of Kansas (KU) Jayhawks is the unanimous pick as The Associated Press Big 12 player of the year.
Kansas State University (K-State) Wildcat senior forward Keyontae Johnson joined Wilson as the only unanimous first-team picks in the selections revealed Tuesday. Johnson, a transfer from Florida who has turned into a top player after a frightening collapse more than two years ago, was also selected as newcomer of the year in voting by a panel of 17 journalists who cover the league.
First-year K-State coach Jerome Tang was voted as coach of the year. After 19 seasons as an assistant for coach Scott Drew at Baylor, including the national championship two years ago, Tang directed the Wildcats to a 23-8 record in the regular season and third place in the Big 12 standings after being picked to finish last in a preseason poll of league coaches.
Wilson, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, goes into this week’s Big 12 tournament leading the league with 19.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. The 6-6 Johnson averages 17.8 points and 7.0 rebounds.
Texas graduate guard Marcus Carr, Baylor senior guard Adam Flagler and K-State junior guard Markquis Nowell round out the first-team picks. The 5-8 Nowell is the Big 12’s top free-throw shooter (88.5%) and also leads the league with 7.7 assists, and 2.5 steals a game.
The second-team picks are senior Damion Baugh and junior Mike Miles Jr. from TCU, along with KU freshman guard Gradey Dick, Baylor freshman guard Keyonte George and Kansas senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr., a transfer from Texas Tech.
Johnson got 13 of the 17 votes for newcomer of the year, while Baylor’s George got the other four.
Tang was the overwhelming choice for top coach with 15 votes. The remaining two votes went to Texas interim coach Rodney Terry, who led the Longhorns to a second-place finish in the Big 12 following the December dismissal and eventual firing of Chris Beard.
FIRST TEAM (“u-” denotes unanimous selection)
- u-Keyontae Johnson, K-State, 6-6, 230, Sr., Norfolk, Virginia
- u-Jalen Wilson, KU, 6-8, 225, Jr., Denton, Texas
- Marcus Carr, Texas, 6-2, 175, Gr., Toronto
- Adam Flagler, Baylor, 6-3, 185, Sr., Duluth, Georgia
- Markquis Nowell, K-State, 5-8, 160, Sr./Jr., New York
- Damion Baugh, TCU, 6-4, 195, Sr., Nashville, Tennessee
- Gradey Dick, KU 6-8, 205, Fr., Wichita, Kansas
- Keyonte George, Baylor, 6-4, 185, Fr., Lewisville, Texas
- Kevin McCullar Jr., KU, 6-6, 210, Sr., San Antonio
- Mike Miles Jr., TCU, 6-2, 195, Jr., Dallas, Texas
Coach of the year — Jerome Tang, K-State
Player of the year — Jalen Wilson, KU
Newcomer of the year — Keyontae Johnson, K-State