For just the second time in conference history the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year hails from Iowa State, as senior guard Monté Morris has been recognized.
Morris started all 35 games for the Cyclones a year ago, finishing second on the team with 13.8 points per game. An All-Big 12 Second Team choice, he is the top returning scorer in the league this season. The senior led the Big 12 in assists (6.9 apg) and minutes played (38.0 mpg) in 2015-16, while placing second in steals with 62. Morris was the 32nd Cyclone to record 1,000 career points when he did so last season and also placed third nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.23).
One other senior, two juniors and a sophomore make up the remainder of the preseason squad, with Johnathan Motley (Baylor), Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham (Kansas) and Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State) recognized. Mason was on the all-conference second team last year, while Motley was a member of the All-Big 12 Third Team. Graham earned the Most Outstanding Player award at the 2016 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship and Evans was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
Junior guard Manu Lecomte is just the second Baylor player in league history to be tabbed the preseason’s top newcomer (Terry Black, 1999-2000). Lecomte is a transfer from Miami (Fla.), where he finished his Hurricane career ranked second in school history in 3-point percentage (.434). Guard Josh Jackson of Kansas is the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year. He was a McDonald’s All-American and also participated on numerous USA Basketball national teams.
The Big 12 will tip off the 2016-17 campaign with its annual media day, slated for Tuesday, October 25 at Sprint Center in Kansas City. The conference preseason poll will be announced prior to the event on Thursday, October 13.
Preseason Player of the Year
Monté Morris, Iowa State, G, Sr., 6-3, 175, Flint, Mich./Beecher
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Manu Lecomte, Baylor, G, Jr., 5-11, 175, Brussels, Belgium/Athene des Pagodes/Miami (Fla.)
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Josh Jackson, Kansas, G, Fr., 6-8, 270, Detroit, Mich./Prolific Prep [Calif.]
2016-17 Preseason All-Big 12 Team
|Name, School||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Class||Hometown/Previous School(s)|
|Johnathan Motley, Baylor||F||6-10||230||Jr.||Houston, Texas/North Shore|
|Monté Morris, Iowa State*||G||6-3||175||Sr.||Flint, Mich./Beecher|
|Devonte’ Graham, Kansas||G||6-2||185||Jr.||Raleigh, N.C./Brewster Academy [N.H.]|
|Frank Mason III, Kansas||G||5-11||190||Sr.||Petersburg, Va./Massanutten Military Academy|
|Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State||G||6-1||185||So.||Dallas, Texas/Kimball|
Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school):
Josh Jackson, Kansas; Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma; Jarrett Allen, Texas; Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr., West Virginia
* - Unanimous Selection