McGuirl named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention

Wildcats

Kansas State guard Mike McGuirl, right, goes to pass the ball as he is defended by West Virginia guard Sean McNeil (22) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Kathleen Batten)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Athletics) – Mike McGuirl was rewarded for his solid senior season by the league coaches with a selection to the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention team, as the conference office announced its annual men’s basketball awards on Monday afternoon (March 8).

It was the first career honor for McGuirl, who has twice been named an Academic All-Big 12 selection (2019, 2020). He is the 14th Wildcat to earn All-Big 12 accolades under head coach Bruce Weber.

The awards were headlined by freshman phenom Cade Cunningham, who was selected as both the Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year and was one of two unanimous selections to the All-Big 12 First Team, along with Baylor’s Jared Butler. Cunningham was also a unanimous pick to the All-Newcomer and All-Freshman Teams.

Big 12 regular-season champion Baylor earned a pair of individual awards, as junior Davion Mitchell was named the Defensive Player of the Year and Scott Drew repeated as Coach of the Year. Other honorees included Texas Tech’s Mac McClung as Newcomer of the Year, Kansas’ David McCormack as Most Improved Player and Texas’ Kai Jones as the Sixth Man Award winner.

The All-Big 12 awards are selected by league’s 10 head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

McGuirl has made the most of his senior season, as he is among the team leaders in several categories, including first in points (322), double-digit scoring games (19), field goals made (105) and attempted (294), 3-point field goals made (58) and attempted (177), assists (91) and minutes (34.3). He is second in scoring (11.9 ppg.) and steals (25) to freshman teammate Nijel Pack.

McGuirl’s 19 double-digit scoring games have nearly doubled his entire career total (10) that he had entering the 2020-21 season. He opened the year with his first career 20-point game vs. Drake on Nov. 25 with 22 points then equaled it vs. Fort Hays State (12/8/20). He has scored in double figures in 15 of the last 19 games, including each of the last 4 outings with a 17-point effort in the win over Iowa State on Saturday.

The only player to start all 27 games, McGuirl has shown his versatility by leading the Wildcats in scoring a team-best 11 times, while he also pacing the team in rebounding 4 times, in assists 12 times and in steals on 9 occasions. For the first time in his career, he led the team in scoring (16), rebounding (9) and assists (5) in the win over TCU on February 20.

McGuirl had a Senior Night to remember in the 62-57 win over No. 7/8 Oklahoma on February 23, as he hit a career-best 5 3-pointers, including 3 in a row, to help flip a 6-point deficit into a 3-point lead with 2:14 to play. He finished with team-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting with 7 rebounds in 39 minutes.

In addition to his scoring, McGuirl has also set up his teammates, dishing out a team-best 91 assists (to 72 turnovers). He has 9 games at least 5 assists this season, including a career-best 8 vs. Milwaukee on December 11, 2020. He needs 3 assists to become the 28th Wildcat to eclipse 200 in his career.

Kansas State is the No. 9 seed at this week’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City and will play No. 8 seed TCU (12-13, 5-11 Big 12) at 5:30 p.m., CT on Wednesday on ESPN.

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