Kansas Well Represented on 2015-16 All-Big 12 Preseason Honors

IRVING, Texas – Kansas senior forward Perry Ellis, junior guard Frank Mason III, and freshman forward Cheick Diallo each garnered recognition on the 2015-16 All-Big 12 Preseason Team as voted on by the league’s men’s basketball coaches, the conference office announced Thursday.

Ellis is on the five-member All-Big 12 Preseason Team, while Mason is an honorable mention selection as the recipient of at least one vote by the league’s coaches who could not vote for their own student-athlete. Diallo was voted as KU’s third-straight Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year.

Ellis, a unanimous selection, is one of four 2015 All-Big 12 First Team selections named to the all-conference preseason team. He is joined on the preseason team by Buddy Hield of Oklahoma, Rico Gathers of Baylor, Georges Niang of Iowa State and Isaiah Taylor of Texas. Hield, Gathers and Niang, along with Ellis, were all-league first-team honorees last year. Hield, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year, was the coaches’ preseason player of the year selection, while Iowa State junior Deonte Burton is the preseason newcomer of the year.

A two-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree from Wichita, Kansas, Ellis was the only player in the Big 12 last season to rank in the top seven in scoring (seventh at 13.8), field goal percentage (seventh at 45.7) and rebounding (fourth at 6.9).

Ellis is appearing on the preseason all-league team for the second straight season. This marks the 10th-consecutive year at least one Jayhawk has appeared on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Heading into the 20th season of the Big 12 Conference, beginning in 1996-97, KU has had an all-time best 28 preseason all-league honorees.

Mason, from Petersburg, Virginia, ranked ninth in the Big 12 in scoring at 12.6 points per game and he was also among the league leaders in assists (fifth at 3.9), steals (ninth at 1.4), free throw percentage (ninth at 78.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fifth at 1.9).

Diallo, the 2015 McDonald’s All American Game Most Valuable Player, enters his first year at Kansas after being listed on almost every high school All-America squad last spring as a senior at Our Savior New American High School in New York. The Kayes, Mali, Africa, native averaged 17.6 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game during his senior campaign.

Diallo is the third-straight Jayhawk to be named preseason freshman of the year joining Cliff Alexander last season, and Andrew Wiggins in 2013-14. KU has had seven Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year selections starting with Nick Collison in 1999-2000.

Big 12 Preseason Honors
Preseason Player of the Year – Buddy Hield (Oklahoma)
Preseason Newcomer of the Year – Deonte Burton (Iowa State)
Preseason Freshman of the Year – Cheick Diallo (KANSAS)

Preseason All-Big 12 Team
Rico Gathers (Baylor)
Georges Niang* (Iowa State)
Perry Ellis* (KANSAS)
Buddy Hield* (Oklahoma)
Isaiah Taylor (Texas)
Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention
Taurean Prince (Baylor)
Jameel McKay (Iowa State)
Monte Morris (Iowa State)
Frank Mason III (KANSAS)
Phil Forte (Oklahoma State)
Devin Williams (West Virginia)

* – Unanimous Selection
The All-Big 12 Preseason Team is selected by the conference coaches, who could not vote for their own student-athletes.

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