KU's Black, Wiggins Highlight Preseason All-Big 12 Honors

By: KU Sports Information (Posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)
By: KU Sports Information (Posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)

KU’s Black and Wiggins Highlight Preseason All-Big 12 Honors

IRVING, Texas – Kansas senior Tarik Black and freshman Andrew Wiggins were two of four Jayhawks recognized on the Preseason All-Big 12 Men’s Basketball honors released Thursday. The accolades were voted on by the conference coaches who were not for their own team.

Black, a forward transfer from Memphis, was named the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year, while Wiggins, a guard from Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, was selected the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year as well as a member of the six-member 2013-14 Preseason All-Big 12 Team – a first in conference history that a freshman has appeared on the list. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis and freshman center Joel Embiid were listed Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention by the league’s coaches.

“That is a pretty solid first team and it’s great to see a freshman get named to the first team in Andrew,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “It’s also good to see Tarik, Perry and Joel recognized but, like all preseason stuff, we won’t take anything from this because it’s based on potential. Now you have to go prove it.”

In three seasons at Memphis, Black started 60 of 102 games played and averaged 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds. He scored in double digits 41 times, recording 129 blocked shots and 71 steals. The Memphis native has 949 career points and ranked fourth on his previous school’s career field goal percentage list at 60.5 percent.

A five-star player already adorned with a long list of preseason accolades, Wiggins came to Kansas rated 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 last season. The 6-8 guard was voted the national high school player of the year by numerous organizations, including the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. After arriving in Lawrence, Wiggins has been touted as a consensus preseason choice for All-America First Team accolades by various national media outlets this season.

“I’m honored that the Big 12 coaches recognize my potential,” Wiggins said. “I’m glad to see Tarik (Black), Perry (Ellis) and Joel (Embiid) also in there. There are a lot of great freshmen in the league - and especially here at Kansas. Any one of my fellow freshmen teammates could have also been on this list.”

Ellis is Kansas’ leading returner in points (5.8 ppg) and rebounds (3.9 rpg) from last season. The Wichita, Kan., forward came on strong toward the end of 2012-13, including being named to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team. Embiid is a five-star player who was ranked No. 6 on the ESPN 100 and classified as the nation’s best incoming center. Last year at The Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., Embiid, from Yaoundé, Cameroon, averaged 13 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game.

Joining Wiggins on the 2013-14 preseason all-conference team were: Isaiah Austin (Baylor), Cory Jefferson (Baylor), Melvin Ejim (Iowa State), Markel Brown (Oklahoma State) and Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State). Smart was voted the 2013-14 Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year.

Kansas went 31-6 in 2012-13 and won its unprecedented ninth-straight Big 12 and NCAA-leading 56th regular-season conference championship. Head coach Bill Self brings back nine letterwinners, but no starters, from the team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 last season.

Reloading in a hurry, Self and his staff welcome eight newcomers to the 2013-14 roster. KU's class of 2013 comprises the second-ranked recruiting class in the country. KU is ranked as high as fifth in the 2013-14 national preseason polls.

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Big 12 Release:

Smart Leads Preseason All-Big 12 Men’s Basketball Honors
Courtesy: Big12Sports.com
Release: 10/03/2013

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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


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