For just the second time in Big 12 history, an Oklahoma State student-athlete has been named Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, as guard Marcus Smart was selected in a vote of the league’s head coaches. Forward Tarik Black (Kansas) is the Preseason Newcomer of the Year, while teammate Andrew Wiggins is the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year. Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own players.
Smart is just the second standout in Big 12 history to return for the next season after being named Big 12 Player of the Year during the previous campaign (Raef LaFrentz, KU, 1997-98). He is the top returning scorer (15.4 ppg) in the Conference with 28 double-figure scoring games in 2012-13 and also set a Big 12 freshman record with 99 steals. Chosen as the national freshman of the year by multiple organizations a year ago, he has been a consensus preseason choice for All-America First Team accolades by various national media outlets this season.
Black will be eligible to play immediately after transferring from the University of Memphis. The senior started 60 of 102 games while at Memphis and averaged 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds. He has scored in double digits 41 times and also recorded 129 blocked shots, 71 steals and 32 assists in three campaigns. The Memphis native has 949 career points and ranks fourth on the school’s career field goal percentage list at 60.5 percent.
Wiggins is the first freshman in Big 12 history to be named to the preseason all-conference team. The five-star player was rated as the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2013 by every recruiting service. He averaged 23.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists for Huntington Prep in West Virginia. Wiggins was voted the national high school player of the year by numerous organizations and has also been touted as a consensus preseason choice for All-America First Team accolades by various national media outlets this season.
The Preseason All-Big 12 team was also announced. In addition to Smart and Wiggins, Isaiah Austin (Baylor), Cory Jefferson (Baylor), Melvin Ejim (Iowa State) and Markel Brown (Oklahoma State) were named. This year’s preseason squad marks the first time in Big 12 history that two foreign players, and specifically two Canadian-born players, have been selected.
Preseason Player of the Year
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, G, 6-4, 220, So., Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus**
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Tarik Black, Kansas, F, 6-9, 260, Sr., Memphis, Tenn./University of Memphis
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, G, 6-8, 200, Fr., Thornhill, Ontario, Canada/Huntington Prep [W. Va.]
2013-14 Preseason All-Big 12 Team
|Name, School||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Cl.||Hometown/Previous School(s)|
|Isaiah Austin, Baylor||C||7-1||225||So.||Arlington, Texas/Grace Preparatory Academy|
|Cory Jefferson, Baylor||F||6-9||220||Sr.||Killeen, Texas/Killeen|
|Melvin Ejim, Iowa State||F||6-6||230||Sr.||Toronto, Ontario, Canada/Brewster Academy [N.H.]|
|Andrew Wiggins, Kansas||G||6-8||200||Fr.||Thornhill, Ontario, Canada/Huntington Prep [W. Va.]|
|Markel Brown, Oklahoma State||G||6-3||190||Sr.||Alexandria, La./Peabody|
|Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State**||G||6-4||220||So.||Flower Mound, Texas/Marcus|
Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school):
Perry Ellis and Joel Embiid, Kansas; Shane Southwell, K-State; Michael Cobbins and Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State, Eron Harris, West Virginia
** - Unanimous Selection
A tie in the voting created a six-member preseason team