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Rock Chalk Talk's first annual preseason Big 12 awards

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With college basketball right around the corner, some writers and commenters here at RCT got together and voted for our own Big 12 preseason awards

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Late Night is now behind us, and the countdown to the first game has begun (20 days as of writing). With Big 12's mens basketball media day today, I thought it would be interesting to gather opinions from some writers and commenters here at the site, and do our very own preseason awards. As expected, we did far better than the actual media. Here are the results, voted on exclusively by the Rock Chalk Talk elite

Player of the Year: Juwan Staten (G - West Virginia)

Staten is no surprise as the preseason pick for POTY, as last year's leading scorer. Though Staten's defense is questionable, his scoring (1st) and assist (3rd) numbers leave little doubt about his offensive ability. Though he lacks much of an outside shot, Staten ranked first in both free throws made and free throws attempted, making him an incredibly efficient scorer. He does this while turning it over just 12.6% of the time. If his defense solidifies at all, Staten has the potential to be mentioned as a national player of the year candidate

Defensive Player of the Year: Cameron Ridley (C - Texas)

Ridley was nearly a unanimous selection for defensive player of the year. Though his minutes have been fairly limited so far in his career, Ridley is a force on the blocks when he's in the game, ranking 4th and 3rd in the conference in block % in his two years of college basketball. He showed better ability to keep his foul numbers in check last year, and if he's able to stay on the court, could be poised for a monster season in 2014-15

Newcomer of the Year: Bryce Dejean-Jones (G - Iowa State)

Fred Hoiberg has had fantastic success with transfers in Ames, and Dejean-Jones, a newcomer from UNLV, looks to continue the trend. He was able to lead a solid Runnin' Rebels team in both points and assists last year, and will likely take over DeAndre Kane's role from last season for the Cyclones. His outside shooting leaves quite a bit to be desired, so he may be an interesting fit in Hoiberg's offense

Freshman of the Year: Cliff Alexander (F/C - Kansas)

Alexander was rated the #4 high school senior in the nation this past year by Rivals, so it's no surprise to see him winning this award. Alexander is built like a bull and plays a bit like one, too. He'll likely start from day one for the Jayhawks, who hope his incredible high school performances translate quickly to his college game

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First Team All-Big 12

G - Juwan Staten (West Virginia)
G - Buddy Hield (Oklahoma)
F - Georges Niang (Iowa State)*
F - Perry Ellis (Kansas)
C - Cameron Ridley (Texas)

Second Team All-Big 12

G - Marcus Foster (Kansas State)
G - Wayne Selden (Kansas)
G - Kyan Anderson (TCU)
F - Dustin Hogue (Iowa State)
F - Ryan Spangler (Oklahoma)

Honorable Mention

Cliff Alexander (Kansas), Isaiah Taylor (Texas), Myles Turner (Texas)

*unanimous first team pick

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Big 12 Preseason Poll

1) Kansas
2) Texas
3) Iowa State
4) Oklahoma
5) Kansas State
6) Oklahoma State
7) West Virginia
8) Baylor
9) Texas Tech
10) TCU

The Jayhawks were (not surprisingly, given the site you're reading) a unanimous favorite at the top, but there was a lot of competition for the other spots in the poll. Texas found 2nd place by only three points over Iowa State, and only two points separated Iowa State and Oklahoma at 3rd and 4th. There was a huge gap between those four teams and Kansas State at 5th, with another huge gap between K-State and 6-8. Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Baylor were all separated but just one point a piece for those spots. This would suggest a lot of competition near the top, and then a separate competition in the middle of the conference

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In case you'd like to see what the "real" media thought, here are their awards:

POTY: Staten
NOTY: Dejean-Jones
FOTY: Cliff Alexander/Myles Turner

1st team All-Big 12
Juwan Staten
Marcus Foster
Buddy Hield
Georges Niang
Perry Ellis

Preseason Rankings
1) Kansas
2) Texas
3) Oklahoma
4) Kansas State
5) Iowa State
6) Baylor
6) West Virginia
8) Oklahoma State
9) TCU
10) Texas Tech

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What do you think? Where did we get it wrong? If you were one of the voters, where did the rest of us go wrong? Be sure to keep reading as we head into the basketball season, as several writers will be sharing their personal previews of the conference as well!