Despite losing two of their final three games, the Kansas Jayhawks had another successful Big 12 campaign. Several Jayhawks were recognized when the Big 12 released its post-season awards and honors late Sunday.
Freshman Andrew Wiggins was voted Big 12 Freshman of the Year. He is coming off an impressive performance in Kansas’ 92-86 loss at West Virginia. Wiggins scored a career-high 41 points in the loss.
Andrew Wiggins was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team along with Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, West Virginia guard Juwan Staten, and Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane. Ejim also took home Big 12 Player of the Year honors as voted by the coaches and the Associated Press.
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year went to Joel Embiid. Though he has been recently hampered by a back injury, the future lottery pick finished the regular season with 72 blocks, and was a consistent deterrent in the lane for the Jayhawks all season. Embiid was named to the All-Big 12 second team.
These individual accolades come as the Jayhawks clinched their tenth straight Big 12 title. A streak unmatched in a BCS conference since UCLA won 13 straight conference titles under John Wooden.
Critics will point out that there were shared titles among the ten. The Jayhawks have withstood runs at the throne from all corners in the last decade.
Texas with Durant. Oklahoma with Blake Griffin. Kansas State with Michael Beasley. Marcus Smart and this year’s Oklahoma State squad. But, as Mohammed Ali famously said, “They all must fall in the round I call.” And fall they have.
So now it is on to the Big 12 conference tournament for the Jayhawks. The team has first round bye in the tournament and their next game will be this Thursday at 2:00 PM. Kansas will play the winner of Wednesday’s match up between Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.