Azubuike wins Big 12 Player of the Year as Conference hands out yearly honors

Sports

WACO, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 22: Udoka Azubuike #35 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates a 64-61 win against the Baylor Bears at Ferrell Center on February 22, 2020 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Udoka Azubuike was selected as Kansas’ ninth Player of the Year while Scott Drew earned Baylor’s first Coach of the Year  to headline the 2019-20 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Men’s Basketball awards.

Marcus Garrett (Kansas) was named Defensive Player of the Year while Davion Mitchell (Baylor) was voted Newcomer of the Year and Jahmi’Us Ramsey (Texas Tech) captured Freshman of the Year. Devonte Bandoo (Baylor) picked up the Sixth Man Award and Freddie Gillespie (Baylor) was voted as the Most Improved Player.

Azubuike leads the NCAA in field goal percentage at .748. The Delta, Nigeria, center is the only player in the Big 12 averaging a double-double with 13.7 ppg and 10.5 rpg. He also leads the Big 12 in double-doubles with 15 and is second in blocked shots at 2.6. Azubuike is the only player in the NCAA averaging a double-double (14.0 ppg, 11.6 rpg) and 3.0 blocks in conference games this season.

Versatile on both ends of the court, Garrett was also named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team for the second straight season. He leads the league with 4.65 assists and a 2.67 assist/turnover ratio while ranking fourth with 1.81 steals. The junior guard from Dallas contributes 9.2 points and 4.5 rebounds.

After sitting out a year as a transfer, Mitchell earned a spot in the starting lineup in his first season on the floor with the Bears. The sophomore point guard from Hinesville, Georgia, is fourth in the Big 12 in assist/turnover ratio at 1.70, seventh with 3.8 assists and eighth with 1.5 steals. He averages 9.9 points and 2.7 rebounds.

Ramsey is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring and leads all freshmen with 15.0 points a game. His .442 field goal percentage also ranks fifth while he is second in three-point percentage (.426) and fifth in three-pointers made per game (2.2). The guard from Arlington, Texas, has started all 27 games he played in and scored 20-plus points in five outings. Ramsey was a three-time honoree for Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.  

Bandoo plays over 25 minutes a game for Baylor as the first man off the bench. In his second season with the Bears, the senior guard averages 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds. The Canada native has nine double-figure scoring games this season with a season-high of 18 points  in his last home game on March 2 against Texas Tech.

Gillespie has started 39 of 42 games since entering BU’s starting lineup on Feb. 9, 2019, including all 30 games this season. The senior forward from St. Paul, Minnesota, is third in the Big 12 with 9.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks while averaging 9.6 points. His 4.1 offensive rebounds are tied for first in the Conference while his 16 double-digit rebound games and 11 double-doubles are second.

Drew has led Baylor to its highest Big 12 finish in program history with sole possession of second place. The Bears set a school-record with 15 league wins, three more than any previous season in program history. BU has been ranked in the top 5 in the national polls for nine straight weeks, including five consecutive weeks at No. 1.  Baylor’s 23-game win streak from November 15-February 18 set a Big 12 record for longest in a season.

The official All-Big 12 awards are selected by the league’s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players. All-Big 12 First Team honorees include Azubuike, his Kansas teammate Devon Dotson, Jared Butler (Baylor), Kristian Doolittle (Oklahoma) and Desmond Bane (TCU).


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