Kansas trio named to preseason Big 12 honors
IRVING, Texas – Kansas guards Devonte’ Graham, Malik Newman and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk each garnered recognition on the 2017-18 Preseason All-Big 12 Team as voted on by the league’s men’s basketball coaches, the conference office announced Thursday.
Graham was named the 2017-18 Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, while Newman was dubbed the league’s preseason newcomer of the year. Graham was also a preseason all-conference first-team selection, while Newman and Mykhailiuk securing spots on the preseason honorable mention honors. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes in the selection process.
“This is a great honor to be recognized by the coaches, especially with all the great players in the Big 12,” said Graham. “It is also good to see Malik and Svi selected by the coaches. This is a team sport and we are working hard on getting ready for the season.”
Joining Graham on the five-member 2017-18 Preseason All-Big 12 Team are: Jeffrey Carroll (Oklahoma State), Vladimir Brodziansky (TCU), Zach Smith (Texas Tech) and Jevon Carter (West Virginia) with Graham, Carroll and Carter earning unanimous selections. Those student-athletes who received votes, including Newman and Mykhailiuk, received honorable mention recognition. Additionally, Texas’ Mohamed Bamba collected the Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year recognition.
Graham is the eighth Jayhawk in the 21-year history of the Big 12 to be named preseason player of the year and the first since Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins shared the honor in 2009-10. The Raleigh, North Carolina, native is a two-time All-Big 12 selection, earning second team honors last season and honorable mention accolades in 2015-16. Graham is KU’s leading returning scorer from 2016-17 at 13.4 points per game, which was 13th in the league. He ranked third in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.3, second in 3-point field goals made per game (2.6) and sixth in assists (4.1). Graham enters the 2017-18 season with 1,075 career points, which is 45th on the KU record list. His 186 3-pointers made are eighth on the KU career chart.
Newman transferred to Kansas from Mississippi State following the 2015-16 season. The Jackson, Mississippi, native averaged 11.3 points and started 22 of 29 games at Mississippi State his freshman season. He scored a career-high 25 points against Ole Miss (Jan. 23, 2016) which included seven 3-point field goals made. Newman is the third Jayhawk to be named Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, joining Tarik Black in 2013-14 and Mario Little in 2008-09.
“I’m looking forward to officially wearing the Kansas jersey for the first time in a few weeks and would like to thank the coaches that voted for me,” said Newman. “Last year was long but I got better working with my teammates. We’re getting better every day.”
A two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, Mykhailiuk started 25 of 36 games for KU last year and averaged 9.8 points per contest. Also in 2016-17, the Cherkasy, Ukraine, native ranked eighth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (39.8) and eighth in 3-point field goals made (1.9). Mykhailiuk enters his senior season with 122 career 3-pointers made, which is 20th on the KU career list. His 38.1 3-point field goal percentage is 20th on the KU career list.
Preseason top-5 in most publications, Kansas returns two starters and six letterwinners from last season’s 31-5 team which won an NCAA-record-tying 13th-straight regular-season conference title, a streak which started in 2004-05. The 2016-17 Jayhawks also won the CBE Hall of Fame Classic and entered the 2017 NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed, advancing to the Elite Eight. KU opens exhibition play by hosting Pittsburg State on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse.
2017-18 Big 12 Preseason Honors
Preseason Player of the Year – DEVONTE’ GRAHAM, KANSAS
Preseason Newcomer of the Year – MALIK NEWMAN, KANSAS
Preseason Freshman of the Year – Mohamed Bamba, Texas
Preseason All-Big 12 Team (^Denotes unanimous selections)
DEVONTE’ GRAHAM, KANSAS^
Jeffrey Carroll, Oklahoma State^
Vladimir Brodziansky, TCU
Zach Smith, Texas Tech
Jevon Carter, West Virginia^
Manu Lecomte (Baylor), Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (Baylor), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Kansas), Malik Newman (Kansas), Kameron McGusty (Oklahoma), Trae Young (Oklahoma), Kenrich Williams (TCU), Mohamed Bamba (Texas), Keenan Evans (Texas Tech)
The All-Big 12 Preseason Team is selected by the conference coaches, who could not vote for their own student-athletes.
Kansas Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Selections
1996-97 – Jacque Vaughn
1997-98 – Raef LaFrentz
2004-05 – Wayne Simien
2006-07 – Brandon Rush and Julian Wright
2009-10 – Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins
2017-18 – Devonte’ Graham
Kansas Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Selections
2008-09 – Mario Little
2013-14 – Tarik Black
2017-18 – Malik Newman
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