Thomas Robinson was the Big 12’s best player this season.
F Thomas Robinson, Kansas: 17.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg
T-Rob is a definite first team All-American and one of the two main contenders (along with Kentucky’s Anthony Davis) for national Player of the Year. More on Robinson later.
F Ricardo Ratliffe, Missouri: 13.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Ratliffe has been one of the best offensive players in the country this year. He has the 12th best offensive rating (127.9) in the country, and is the national leader in effective field goal percentage (70.8) and true shot percentage (71.1). As Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated noted this week, Ratliffe has done the vast majority of his offensive damage right at the rim. Through 17 Big 12 games, the senior forward hadn’t even attempted a shot outside the paint. Ratliffe has been one of the best offensive rebounders in the nation as well, ranking first in the Big 12 and 23rd in the country in offensive rebounding percentage (15.1). His defensive work has also been above average. He ranks fifth in the Big 12 in defensive rebounding percentage (19.7) and 11th in block percentage (3.9).
G J’Covan Brown, Texas: 19.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.9 apg
Brown is a scorer first – he leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.6 points per game – but the junior guard has also done a good job distributing the ball to his teammates without turning the ball over much. His assist rate of 25.5 ranks 10th in the Big 12 and his turnover rate of 15.6 ranks 15th. Brown is a vital part of the Longhorn offense. He uses 27.8 percent of their possessions and takes 31.6 percent of the shots when he’s on the court. His offensive rating of 114.1 ranks second among Big 12 players who have used at least 28 percent of their teams’ possessions.
G Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas: 17.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 4.9 apg
Taylor’s career at Kansas has been an interesting journey full of twists and turns. But the senior guard turned in his best and most consistent season this year. Taylor’s role increased and he responded to the greater responsibility by improving his effective field goal percentage (51.9 to 55.9), increasing his assist rate (27.4 to 30.3) and lowering his turnover rate (26.7 to 22.1). Taylor has taken more than twice as many three-pointers this season (50 in 2011, 123 in 2012) and his three-point percentage has improved from .380 to .431.
G Marcus Denmon, Missouri: 18.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.2 apg
Denmon led Mizzou in scoring and was the best guard in the Tigers’ four-man backcourt this season. The senior was one of the Big 12’s elite offensive players in 2012, ranking second in offensive rating (128.0), fifth in effective field goal percentage (58.5), fourth in true shooting percentage (62.8) and second in turnover rate (9.1). The 6-3 Denmon was also the best defensive rebounding guard in the Big 12, collecting 13.8 percent of available boards on defense. He also ranked tenth in steal rate (2.7).
Royce White led the Cyclones in points, rebounds and assists this season.
C Jeff Withey, Kansas: 9.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.2 bpg
F Royce White, Iowa State: 13.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 5.2 apg
F Perry Jones, Baylor: 13.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.3 apg
G Rodney McGruder, Kansas State: 15.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.3 apg
G Michael Dixon, Missouri: 13.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.2 apg
Steven Pledger might have been the best under-the-radar player in the conference.
F Quincy Acy, Baylor: 12.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.0 bpg
G Keiton Page, Oklahoma State: 16.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.1 apg
G Pierre Jackson, Baylor: 12.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.7 apg
G Phil Pressey, Missouri: 9.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.1 apg
G Steven Pledger, Oklahoma: 16.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.5 apg
Player of the Year: Thomas Robinson, Kansas
Robinson showed flashes of greatness last year coming off the bench in relief of the Marcus and Markieff Morris. With the Morris twins in the NBA, Robinson has been the main man for the Jayhawks this season – and he’s been outstanding. Robinson led the Jayhawks in scoring and was the best rebounder in the Big 12. He might have been the best rebounder anywhere, as his defensive rebounding percentage (32.0) was No. 1 in the nation. The junior forward ranked second in offensive rating (108.1) among Big 12 players who used at least 28 percent of their teams’ possessions. He also ranked 14th in both effective field goal percentage (53.7) and true shooting percentage (57.2). While he’s not the elite shot-blocker teammate Jeff Withey is, Robinson still protects the rim well, ranking 11th in the Big 12 in block percentage (3.8).
Quincy Miller edged out Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash for Big 12 freshman of the year.
Freshman of the Year: Quincy Miller, Baylor
The Bears’ prized recruit has been a efficient offensive weapon this season. Miller ranks third in offensive rating (109.4) among Big 12 players who have used at least 24 percent of their teams’ possessions. That’s a higher mark than Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor or Royce White.
Jeff Withey don’t give a shit.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jeff Withey, Kansas
The junior blocked exactly 100 shots for the Jayhawks this season. Withey’s block percentage of 14.8 ranked first in the Big 12 and second in the nation. He also ranked seventh in the conference in defensive rebounding percentage (19.1).
Robinson and Self both took home some individual hardware this season.
Coach of the Year: Bill Self, Kansas
This was the year someone other than Kansas was supposed to win the Big 12 for the first time since 2004. Kansas lost four starters plus talented reserve Jose Selby from their 2011 Elite Eight team – but there wasn’t a drop-off. The Jayhawks went 16-2 in conference play this year and took home their eighth straight regular season Big 12 crown. Self deserves a ton of credit, this might have been his greatest coaching job to date.