Kansas junior Thomas Robinson has been chosen Big 12 Player of the Year and leads the 2012 All-Big 12 Men’s Basketball accolades, it was announced. Jeff Withey (Kansas) earned Defensive Player of the Year recognition, while Royce White (Iowa State) is the top newcomer. Quincy Miller (Baylor) and Le’Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State) share Freshman of the Year, while Michael Dixon earned the Sixth Man Award. Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State and Bill Self of Kansas tied for Big 12 Coach of the Year honors.
Robinson is the only player in the Big 12 to average a double-double (18.0 ppg, 11.9 rpg) and his 22 double-doubles this year are fourth on the conference single-season list. Against eight nationally-ranked teams in 2011-12, he averaged 19.8 points and 12.3 rebounds while shooting 55.6 percent. Robinson’s honor is the seventh time that a Kansas men’s basketball athlete has won Player of the Year.
Withey led the Big 12 in blocked shots with 100, a total that ranked fifth on the conference single-season chart. Sixty-five of those rejections came in league games, setting a Big 12 record for conference play. Withey is the fourth Jayhawk to win the top defensive honor since it began in 2005-06, including three times in the past four seasons.
Article continues below ...
White is the second Iowa State player in league history to be named top newcomer. A unanimous selection for the award, he averaged 12.9 points per game and ranks second in rebounding with 9.2 per contest. He was also fifth overall in assists with a 5.2 average, dishing out five or more in a game 17 times in 2011-12.
Miller and Nash shared the accolade for top freshman. Miller was fourth on his team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and scored in double digits 16 times. Nash was the Big 12’s top scoring freshman with 13.3 points per game and tied Miller for third among freshman rebounders with 5.0 per contest. Both athletes are the first from their school’s to be named Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
Dixon was the unanimous pick for the Sixth Man Award. The junior ranked 12th in the conference in scoring with 13.3 points despite coming off the bench in all 31 Missouri contests. He finished the regular season on a strong note, scoring in double figures in the last 10 outings while shooting 57 percent or better seven times. He is the second Tiger to be named top sixth man.
Hoiberg wins coaching accolades after leading the Cyclones to the greatest turnaround in Big 12 history. Iowa State won nine more games than a year ago and earned the No. 3 seed in the Big 12 Championship. Self is named top coach for the third time in the last four seasons and fourth time overall after leading KU to its eighth consecutive Big 12 regular season crown.
The All-Big 12 First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention teams were also announced, while conference coaches also selected All-Defensive and All-Rookie Teams. Marcus Denmon (Missouri) is the lone repeat first team choice from a year ago, while Robinson, White and Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas) were all unanimous first team selections.
The official All-Big 12 awards are selected by the league’s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.