Courtesy of the Big 12 Conference
Udoka Azubuike (Kansas) was named Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year while Chris Clarke (Texas Tech) earned Newcomer of the Year and Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia) was selected as Freshman of the Year. The honors were voted on by head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
Azubuike is the ninth Jayhawk to claim preseason honors as the top player. The senior center played in just nine games in 2018-19 before an injury sidelined him for the season. He averaged 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 70.5 percent from the field. As a sophomore, Azubuike led the nation with a 77.0 field goal percentage, which ranks second-best for a season in NCAA history. He averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds while being named an All-Big 12 Third Team selection.
Clarke joined the Red Raiders as a graduate transfer after playing three seasons at Virginia Tech. He contributed 9.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 79 games. Clarke begins his senior season with career totals of 728 points and 517 rebounds. He is the second Red Raider in Big 12 history to garner preseason newcomer honors.
Tshiebwe is the second McDonald’s All-American to enroll at West Virginia as a freshman. He averaged 23.2 points as a senior while leading Kennedy Catholic High School to a 27-3 record and the 6A state title. Tshiebwe is the first Mountaineer picked as the preseason freshman of the year since West Virginia joined the Big 12 in 2012-13.
Joining Aubuike on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team is his teammate Devon Dotson along with Tristan Clark (Baylor), Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State) and Desmond Bane (TCU). At the conclusion of last season, Bane was an All-Big 12 Second Team selection while Dotson was named to the third team.
The preseason poll will be announced on October 17. The Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tipoff is slated for Wednesday, October 23 at Sprint Center in Kansas City.
Preseason Player of the Year:
Udoka Azubuike, Kansas, C, 7-0, 270, Sr., Delta, Nigeria/Potter’s House Christian Academy (Fla.)
Preseason Newcomer of the Year:
Chris Clarke, Texas Tech, G, 6-6, 200, Sr., Virginia Beach, Va./Virginia Tech
Preseason Freshman of the Year:
Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia, F, 6-9, 258, Lubumbashi, Congo/Kennedy Catholic (Pa.)
Preseason All-Big 12 Team
|Name, School||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Class||Hometown/Previous School(s)|
|Tristan Clark, Baylor||F||6-9||240||Jr.||San Antonio, Texas/Wagner|
|Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State||G||6-5||172||So.||Oshkosh, Wis./North|
|Udoka Azubuike, Kansas||C||7-0||270||Sr.||Delta, Nigeria/Potter’s House Christian Academy (Fla.)|
|Devon Dotson, Kansas||G||6-2||185||So.||Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day School|
|Desmond Bane, TCU||G||6-6||215||Sr.||Richmond, Ind./Seton Catholic|
Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school)
Xavier Sneed (K-State), Kristian Doolittle (Oklahoma), Yor Anei (Oklahoma State), Matt Coleman (Texas), Chris Clarke (Texas Tech), Davide Moretti (Texas Tech), Jahmi’us Ramsey (Texas Tech), Derek Culver (West Virginia)
Coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.