DALLAS, Texas – Kansas State freshman forward Michael Beasley was selected as the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year in a vote of the league coaches, as the conference office announced its annual preseason individual men’s basketball honors on Tuesday.
The league also announced that Texas’ D.J. Augustin was named the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year and Missouri’s DeMarre Carroll was selected as the Preseason Newcomer of the Year. In addition to these superlatives, Augustin was joined on the Preseason All-Big 12 squad by Kansas’ Darrell Arthur and Brandon Rush, Baylor’s Curtis Jerrells, Nebraska’s Aleks Maric and Texas A&M’s Joseph Jones. A tie in the voting created an addition position on this year’s preseason squad.
Beasley and freshman forward Bill Walker were named to the honorable mention preseason team, along with Baylor’s Aaron Bruce, Colorado’s Richard Roby, Kansas’ Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Dove, Texas A&M’s Josh Carter and DeAndre Jordan and Texas Tech’s Martin Zeno.
The honor is one of many earned by the 6-foot-9, 235-pound former No. 1 high school player in the country this preseason. Beasley has been selected as a third team Preseason All-American by Collegehoops.net, while he garnered Preseason Freshman All-America distinction from Athlon’s College Basketball Yearbook. In addition, he was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team by both Athlon’s and The Sporting News College Basketball Yearbook.
Beasley averaged 28.0 points, 16.0 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals as a senior in helping Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, Mass.) capture the inaugural Prep School National Championship with a 35-3 overall record. The Washington, D.C., native was named the most valuable player of the championship, where he posted 30 points and 20 rebounds in the final. In addition to earning numerous high school All-America awards, he was named the most valuable player of the McDonald’s All-American Game after scoring 23 points for the East in a 114-112 victory.
Walker saw action in just six games last season before going down with a season-ending rupture of the anterior crucial ligament (ACL) in his left knee in the Big 12 opener against Texas A&M on Jan. 6. The former high school All-American averaged 11.3 points on 40 percent shooting (26-of-65) in those six games with five starts to go with 4.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.7 steals in 23.2 minutes per game.
Kansas State kicks off the official start of practice on Friday, Oct. 12, with its annual “Madness in Manhattan” event at Bramlage Coliseum. Doors to the arena will open at 10:30 p.m. with events beginning as soon as most fans are in the arena. The Wildcats host Fort Hays State in their lone exhibition of the season at Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday, Nov. 3, at a time to be determined.