Kansas takes home major hardware in 2017 All-Big 12 Awards
BIG 12 AWARDS
Frank Mason III
Player of the Year
Freshman of the Year
Coach of the Year
ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM
Frank Mason III
ALL-BIG 12 SECOND TEAM
ALL-BIG 12 HONORABLE MENTION
BIG 12 ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM
IRVING, Texas – Kansas men’s basketball took home three top accolades included in the Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Awards Sunday as the conference released its coaches’ All-Big 12 honors for the 2016-17 season.
KU senior Frank Mason III was named the Big 12 Player of the Year, while guard Josh Jackson is the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and Bill Self the Big 12 Coach of the Year. Mason and Jackson were unanimous selections for the honor and are two of Kansas’ four student-athletes named to the All-Big 12 teams. The duo were named All-Big 12 First Team, while junior guard Devonte’ Graham is a second-team honoree and senior center Landen Lucas is an honorable mention selection. Additionally, Jackson was also named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team by the conference coaches who were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
“It was a great year for our league,” Self said. “It was thought to be one of the two toughest conferences in the country and to place two players on the first team, one on the second team and an honorable mention bodes well for how our guys played throughout the entire season. Anybody who is recognized as a top-20 player in a competitive league like ours should feel very good about being selected.”
A native of Petersburg, Virginia, Mason is the eighth Jayhawk to be named Big 12 Player of the Year with the last being consensus All-America Thomas Robinson in 2012. Historically for Kansas, Mason marks the 15th time in school history to be named his conference’s player of the year. Mason is appearing on the All-Big 12 team for the third-consecutive season having been a second-team selection each of the last two years.
“This is a great honor from the Big 12 coaches but it could not have happened without my teammates and coaches,” Mason said. “We’ve worked hard to get here but have more things to accomplish in the next month.”
A leading candidate for national player of the year, Mason is averaging 20.5 points and is the first Kansas player to lead the Big 12 in scoring since 2004-05 (Wayne Simien at 20.3). He is also first in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.493) while ranking fourth in assists (5.1 apg). Mason is vying to become the first player in Big 12 and Kansas history to average 20.0 points and 5.0 assists per game for a season.
“Frank being a unanimous selection goes back to our very first game in Hawaii,” Self about his fourth-year point guard. “He has been one of the most consistent performers in America since the opening tip of the season. Probably no player in America, let alone our league, has been more valuable in crucial game situations to what Frank has for us.”
Jackson is the fourth Big 12 Freshman of the Year from Kansas as he joins Jeff Boschee (1999), Brandon Rush (2006) and Andrew Wiggins (2014). The Detroit native also links with an elite KU group of freshmen being named All-Big 12 First Team with Rush (2006), Ben McLemore (2013) and Wiggins (2014). Jackson is the 13th Jayhawk to be named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team which began in 2006.
“These honors reflect playing with great teammates and having a great season, which we are not done yet,” Jackson said. “We have great leadership in our coaches and teammates and they too should also get credit for these awards.”
Jackson is the top-scoring freshman in the Big 12 with 16.4 points per game. Along with Mason, he is a candidate for both the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award after earning a combined nine weekly league awards (two player, seven newcomer) during the 2016-17 campaign.
“Josh has accepted coaching, his role and has improved at a consistent clip since the start of the season,” Self said. “The last two months in conference play he performed to an All-American level.”
Graham and Lucas are appearing on the All-Big 12 Team for the second-straight season as both were honorable mention selections in 2015-16. From Raleigh, North Carolina, Graham is 13th in the Big 12 in scoring (13.2), fifth in assists (4.3), ninth in steals (1.5), fourth in 3-point field goals made (2.3) and second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4). Lucas averages 7.7 points per game and is fourth in the Big 12 in rebounds at 8.2. The Portland, Oregon, native’s 10.0 boards per game in conference play were second.
Self guided the Jayhawks to their 13th-straight Big 12 regular-season title in 2017, matching UCLA (1967-79) for the most consecutive conference crowns in college basketball history. He captured the 2017 regular-season championship by four games en route to earning his seventh Big 12 and eighth overall conference coach of the year honor: 2000 (WAC), 2006 (Big 12), 2009 (Big 12), 2011 (Big 12), 2012 (co-Big 12), 2015 (Big 12 by AP), 2016 (Big 12 by AP) and 2017 (Big 12).
In the 21-year history of the conference, Kansas lays claim to a league-best 111 All-Big 12 selections which includes first-, second-, third-, honorable mention, all-defensive and all-newcomer team honorees. Texas is second with 82. Mason and Jackson gives Kansas a first-team selection for the 17th-consecutive season and the 19th time in the 21-year history of the league. Kansas has 20 KU All-Big 12 First Team choice in the 14 seasons under Self.
KU’s Conference Players of the Year
Dave Robisch (1970, 1971)
Bud Stallworth (1972)
Danny Manning (1986, 1987, 1988)
Jacque Vaughn (1996)
Raef LaFrentz (1996, 1997)
Drew Gooden (2002)
Nick Collison (2003)
Wayne Simien (2005)
Marcus Morris (2011)
Thomas Robinson (2012)
FRANK MASON III (2017)
KU’s Big 12 Freshmen of the Year
Jeff Boschee (1999)
Brandon Rush (2006)
Andrew Wiggins (2014)
JOSH JACKSON (2017)
KU’s Conference Coaches of the Year (incudes wire services and ties)
Dick Harp (1960)
Ted Owens (1967, 1971, 1974, 1978)
Larry Brown (1986)
Roy Williams (1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003)
BILL SELF (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017)
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