The Big 12 released their preseason conference awards on Thursday, and while upwards of half the league could end up finding themselves in the preseason top 25, the league’s head coaches didn’t vote a player from Kansas or Texas or Iowa State as Preseason Player of the Year.
They voted on West Virginia guard Juwan Staten.
And, here’s the thing, they’re right about it.
You might not have ever seen Staten play, and that should change this season, because he’s one of the nation’s most dynamic and talented back court players despite standing all of 5-foot-11. Remember, he led last year’s Big 12 — the conference with the most individual talent in the country — in scoring at 18.1 points.
The rest of the Big 12 preseason awards:
- First team all-conference included, in addition to Staten, Marcus Foster, Perry Ellis, Buddy Hield and Georges Niang. No complaints here.
- Iowa State’s Bryce Dejean-Jones was named the Newcomer of the Year, which will turn out to be true if Fred Hoiberg gets him to buy-in the way past Cyclones transfers have.
- Where I disagree with the Big 12 coaches is on their Freshman of the Year. Cliff Alexander and Myles Turner shared the award. My vote would go to a different Kansas freshman: Kelly Oubre.