Oklahoma Sooners point guard Trae Young leads college basketball in both points and assists, but that alone wasn’t enough to win the Big 12 Player of the Year award. The freshman did, however, take home Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors on Sunday.
Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham took home the Player of the Year award with a unanimous vote, while Kansas’ Bill Self and Texas Tech’s Chris Beard shared Coach of the Year honors. West Virginia point guard Jevon Carter (Defensive Player of the Year), Kansas wing Malik Newman (Newcomer of the Year) and Baylor forward Terry Maston (Sixth Man of the Year) rounded out the individual award winners. The awards and teams are selected by the league’s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.
Young was a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 First Team, but he was the only Sooner to earn recognition on the teams (including honorable mention). Graham, Carter, Kansas State’s Dean Wade and Texas Tech’s Keenan Evans rounded out the First Team, with all but Wade being selected unanimously. Young was also included on the All-Newcomer team. You can check out the full teams here.
Young is still a candidate to win national awards, including the Wooden and Naismith Awards. Once considered the favorite to claim both of these, the team’s drop-off has likely cost him a realistic shot of taking either of them home.
Anyway, this whole thing is kind of tricky. Should the team’s 8-10 record be enough to keep the nation’s leading scorer and assist man from taking home the conference’s POY award? I don’t think so, but I get it. Devonte’ Graham has had a tremendous career and deserves plenty of recognition. But a unanimous selection? That’s a little odd, especially when considering the lengths that all of these coaches went to in order to contain Young throughout the season.