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March 8, 2009

Collins, Aldrich first team All-Big 12 performers

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Oklahoma standout Blake Griffin, who set numerous records during his sophomore campaign, leads the 2009 edition of the All-Big 12 Men's Basketball honors as Player of the Year. Cole Aldrich (Kansas) and J.T. Tiller (Missouri) share the Defensive Player of the Year award, while Denis Clemente (Kansas State) is the top newcomer. Willie Warren (Oklahoma) is the Freshman of the Year, while LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor) and Matt Lawrence (Missouri) share the Sixth Man Award. Bill Self of Kansas is the Big 12 Coach of the Year.

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

Griffin, a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team choice, led the Big 12 in scoring (22.1) and was first in the nation in rebounding (14.2). He set a Big 12 record by finishing 13 games with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds. Griffin also became the first player in conference history to have 40 points and 20 rebounds in the same game. He is the first OU student-athlete to be named the Big 12 Player of the Year since the conference began competition in 1996-97.

This season marks the second time in the last three years two players have shared defensive accolades. Aldrich led the Big 12 in blocked shots with 77 on the season, including 35 in league play. He is the second Jayhawk in four years of the award to earn the honor. Tiller is known as one of the nation's top defenders. He was second in the Big 12 with 57 steals overall, more than doubling his total from a year ago. He is the first Mizzou student-athlete to earn top defender recognition.

Clemente is the first Kansas State player to be named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. The junior guard was the key performer in the Wildcats' fourth-place finish, leading the squad with 15.6 points per game. He had the top single-game scoring effort in the league this year, netting 44 points at Texas on January 31. The total tied the Big 12 all-time single-game scoring record.

Warren was the unanimous pick as Big 12 Freshman of the Year. He was the top scoring freshman in the conference, averaging 14.7 points with 95 assists. The first OU standout to earn the Big 12's top freshman accolade, he ranked second on his team in scoring and posted double-digit point totals in 23 games, including 20 points or more seven times.

The top sixth man honor is being shared for the first time in conference history. Despite coming off the bench in 25 of 30 games this season, Dunn finished second in scoring for Baylor with 15.1 points per game. He led his squad with 79 field goals from 3-point range. Lawrence was also known as a 3-point specialist, leading MU with 65 makes from beyond the arc. Both honors mark the first time either school has had a player earn the Big 12 Sixth Man Award.

After losing every starter from last year's NCAA Championship squad, Self led his team to its ninth Big 12 title. The Jayhawks entered the season returning less than 20 percent from every statistical category, including only 16.9 percent of their scoring. KU responded by posting a 25-6 record, including 14-2 in Big 12 play, to earn the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Big 12 Championship. Self is named the Big 12's top coach for the second time (2005-06).

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. Griffin is the lone repeat performer from last year's first team, while A.J. Abrams and Damion James of Texas were on the second team for the second straight season. Oklahoma State guard Byron Eaton was a holdover from last year's third team. UT guard Justin Mason was the lone player from a season ago to earn All-Defensive Team accolades again.


2008-09 PHILLIPS 66 ALL-BIG 12 MEN'S BASKETBALL AWARDS


PLAYER OF THE YEAR:

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma, F, So., 6-10, 251, Oklahoma City, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School


DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:

Cole Aldrich, Kansas, C, So., 6-11, 245, Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson

J.T. Tiller, Missouri, G, Jr., 6-3, 200, Marietta, Ga./Wheeler


NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:

Denis Clemente, Kansas State, G, Jr., 6-1, 175, Bayamon, Puerto Rico/Calusa Prep/Miami (Fla.)


FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:

Willie Warren, Oklahoma, G, Fr., 6-4, 207, Fort Worth, Texas/North Crowley**


SIXTH MAN AWARDS:

LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor, G, So., 6-4, 201, Monroe, La./Excelsior Christian School

Matt Lawrence, Missouri, G, Sr., 6-7, 203, St. Louis, Mo./Lafayette

COACH OF THE YEAR:

Bill Self, Kansas [Career: 374-143, 16th season; At KU: 167-38, 6th season]


All-Big 12 First:

Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)

Craig Brackins, Iowa State F 6-10 230 So. Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road/Stoneridge Prep [Calif.]

Cole Aldrich, Kansas C 6-11 245 So. Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson

Sherron Collins, Kansas** G 5-11 200 Jr. Chicago, Ill./Crane

DeMarre Carroll, Missouri F 6-8 225 Sr. Birmingham, Ala./Hoover/UAB

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma** F 6-10 251 So. Oklahoma City, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School


All-Big 12 Second:

Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)
Denis Clemente, Kansas State G 6-1 175 Jr. Bayamon, Puerto Rico/Calusa Prep/Miami (Fla.)

Willie Warren, Oklahoma G 6-4 207 Fr. Fort Worth, Texas/North Crowley

James Anderson, Oklahoma State G/F 6-6 195 So. Junction City, Ark./Junction City

A.J. Abrams, Texas G 5-11 161 Sr. Round Rock, Texas/McNeil

Damion James, Texas G/F 6-7 222 Jr. Nacogdoches, Texas/Nacogdoches


All-Big 12 Third:

Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)
Curtis Jerrells, Baylor G 6-1 201 Sr. Austin, Texas/Del Valle

Cory Higgins, Colorado G 6-5 185 So. Danville, Calif./Monta Vista/The Pendleton School [Fla.]

Leo Lyons, Missouri F 6-9 244 Sr. Kansas City, Kan./Coastal Christian Academy

Ade Dagunduro, Nebraska G 6-5 200 Sr. Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood/Antelope Valley CC

Byron Eaton, Oklahoma State G 5-11 218 Sr. Dallas, Texas/Lincoln

Josh Carter, Texas A&M G/F 6-7 205 Sr. Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands


All-Big 12 Honorable Mention: (Listed alphabetically by school)

LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor), Kevin Rogers (Baylor), Jacob Pullen (Kansas State), J.T. Tiller (Missouri), Austin Johnson (Oklahoma), Terrel Harris (Oklahoma State), John Roberson (Texas Tech), Alan Voskuil (Texas Tech)


Big 12 All-Defensive

Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)
Cole Aldrich, Kansas C 6-11 245 So. Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson

J.T. Tiller, Missouri** G 6-3 200 Jr. Marietta, Ga./Wheeler

Ade Dagunduro, Nebraska G 6-5 200 Sr. Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood/Antelope Valley CC

Terrel Harris, Oklahoma State G 6-5 184 Sr. Dallas, Texas/South Garland

Justin Mason, Texas G 6-2 194 Jr. Amarillo, Texas/Palo Duro

Derrick Roland, Texas A&M G 6-4 190 Jr. Dallas, Texas/Seagoville


Big 12 All-Rookie:

Team Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)

Marcus Morris, Kansas F 6-8 225 Fr. Philadelphia, Pa./Prep Charter/APEX Academy [N.J.]

Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas** G 6-3 180 Fr. Hoboken, N.J./Saint Anthony

Denis Clemente, Kansas State** G 6-1 175 Jr. Bayamon, Puerto Rico/Calusa Prep/Miami (Fla.)

Zaire Taylor, Missouri G 6-4 189 Jr. Staten Island, N.Y./University of Delaware

Willie Warren, Oklahoma** G 6-4 207 Fr. Fort Worth, Texas/North Crowley

** - Unanimous Selection

Ties in the voting created additional spots for Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man Award and on the third and all-defensive teams


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