Here we sit, at the end of the Big 12 season. It seems just like yesterday when Big 12 action tipped off, when Texas was a Top 10 team and Kansas and Missouri stood unranked.
Much has changed in the past two months, and there were some incredible games. Over the next couple of days, we'll be thoroughly summarizing the Big 12 season, while simultaneously previewing the Big 12 Tournament. But for now, we'll just name our All-Big 12 Selections, just as the Big 12 Media did earlier in the day.
So, let's get to those Big 12 Awards. Those are more fun, anyways.
We'll dish out most of the same categories the media does: First Team, Second Team, Third Team, All-Rookie Team, Newcomer of the Year, Rookie of the Year and the big one, Player of the Year...
Note: Number rankings is in order of where I'd rank them, which should provide quite a hint for the POY rankings.
- Blake Griffin (F, Oklahoma) -- Obviously. This is as easy as it gets, folks.
- Sherron Collins (G, Kansas) -- Emotional leader of the Conference Champions. Plus, for a three-week stretch in late February, he was as good of a guard as anyone in the country.
- Craig Brackins (F, Iowa State) -- Best pure scorer in the conference. Overlooked nationwide, but everyone in the Big 12 knows exactly how good he is.
- Cole Aldrich (C, Kansas) -- Averaging a double-double. 'Nuff said.
- Demarre Carroll (F, Missouri) -- I wanted to go with someone else just to be different than the Media, but he deserves it.
All further Teams and Awards after the break...
- Damion James (F, Texas) -- Almost got in over Carroll on the First Team. His Durant-esque first half yesterday didn't hurt his case, but it was his offensive rebounding and overall importance that really got him here.
- Cory Higgins (G, Colorado) -- Doesn't get the credit he deserves because he plays in the abyss of Boulder. Still, the dude can score on anybody, and will be the leader of any potential Colorado resurgence these next two seasons.
- Denis Clemente (G, Kansas State) -- Has a rather large temper, and isn't always consistent, but damn, is he quick with the ball. Oh, and when he gets hot, he's virtually unguardable. Basically, he's like a slightly less-athletic Dogus Balbay, only he can hit the three. So, yeah, be afraid.
- James Anderson (G, Oklahoma State) -- Incredible scorer, he probably should be slightly higher on the Second Team. If Sherron and Cole and Blake and Craig all leave school early, he could be the preseason favorite for Big 12 POY in Travis Ford's run-and-gun-type system.
- Ade Dagunduro (F, Nebraska) -- A personal favorite of mine. The dude is probably my favorite player in college basketball. It's unreal how good he is, considering he was often the tallest player on the floor for the Huskers, standing only 6'6". I really wish he was only a junior, so he could play with actually tall people next year. In any case, incredibly underrated.
- Leo Lyons (F, Missouri) -- Dude isn't nearly as good as his frontcourt mate, Carroll, but still plenty talented. When, as RMN calls him, "Good Leo" shows up, he is one of the conference's best. But "Bad Leo" shows up far too often for him to be considered any higher.
- Willie Warren (G, Oklahoma) -- Probably should be higher, and I kind of forgot about him, to be honest. The dude can score with the best of them.
- LaceDarius Dunn (G, Baylor) -- Another personal favorite. Jerrells probably deserves it more, but I love LDD.
- Curtis Jerrells (G, Baylor) -- Dude can penetrate into the lane with the best of them, but isn't consistent enough of a shooter to really scare you. He's a lot better than Dogus, though.
- Dexter Pittman (C, Texas) -- Came on really strong at the end of the year, and while his overall season accomplishments probably don't deserve such an honor, but he was awesome yesterday. Pretty much, he destroyed Cole Aldrich. Dude has a really bright future, as long as he doesn't regain that weight back.
- Denis Clemente (G, Kansas State) -- See above.
- Willie Warren (G, Oklahoma) -- See above.
- Tyshawn Taylor (G, Kansas) -- Thank goodness he came to Kansas. He started off the year piping hot, and while he went through a two-month slump of sorts, he's come on late as the badly-needed third scorer behind Cole and Sherron. Dude has a special career in front of him, everybody.
- Zaire Taylor (G, Missouri) -- Hit two game-winners in less than a week's time, in Austin and at home in their National Championship (Leo Lyons' words, not mine). Should be a mighty fine player next year, where he and Tiller will likely have to lead the team night-in, night-out.
- Marcus Morris (F, Kansas) -- I love me some Marcus Morris, man. He's come on really strong, as of late, and is becoming an awesome rebounder.
And now, on to the Awards.
Player of the Year
- Blake Griffin (F, Oklahoma)
- Sherron Collins (G, Kansas)
- Craig Brackins (F, Iowa State)
Newcomer of the Year
- Denis Clemente (G, Kansas State)
- Zaire Taylor (G, Missouri)
- Mario Little (G/F, Kansas)
Freshman of the Year
- Willie Warren (G, Oklahoma)
- Tyshawn Taylor (G, Kansas)
- Marcus Morris (F, Kansas)
Coach of the Year
- Bill Self (Kansas)
- Mike Anderson (Missouri)
- Travis Ford (Oklahoma State)
- Jeff Capel (Oklahoma)
That's all, for now. These being the hotly-contested decisiosn they are, I'm sure yours are something different. Feel free to chastize, criticize and complain, as long as you give your answer. If you think someone should be on the First Team, pick someone to actually come off the team. You can't just add more than 5 to a team. I don't roll like that.
As I said, this is just the kickoff to plenty of Big 12-related content as we quickly move towards the Big 12 Tournament, which begins Wednesday.
I can't wait.