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T-Rob Takes It All: Handing Out End of the Year Awards in the Big 12

Thomas Robinson was the Big 12’s best player this season.

FIRST TEAM

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.

SECOND TEAM

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.

THIRD TEAM

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

AWARDS

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.

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College Hoops Outlook: Best Remaining Regular Season Games

Thomas Robinson got the best of Perry Jones when they matched up in January.

Wednesday, Feb. 8:

Kansas at Baylor, 6 p.m.

Future lottery picks Perry Jones and Thomas Robinson battle again. Robinson and the Jayhawks beat the Bears last month.

Georgetown at Syracuse, 6 p.m.

Will Syracuse lose another regular season game?

Duke at North Carolina, 8 p.m.

This might be the best night of college hoops of the regular season. Three match-ups of top 15 teams.

Thursday, Feb. 9:

St. Mary’s at Gonzaga, 10 p.m.

The Gaels bring an unbeaten conference record 12 game winning streak into Spokane. St. Mary’s won the first game between these two.

Mizzou’s Marcus Denmon came up clutch against Kansas on Feb. 4.

Saturday, Feb. 11:

Baylor at Mizzou, 12:45 p.m.

Mizzou went into Waco and beat the Bears last month. Can Baylor return the favor in Columbia? Will the winner of this game get a one-seed in the tourney?

Wichita State at Creighton, 4 p.m.

The two best teams in the Missouri Valley Conference face off in Omaha. The Blue Jays bested the Shockers in Wichita on New Year’s Eve.

Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 8 p.m.

The No. 1 Wildcats put their unblemished conference record on the line against a talented Commodore team.

Monday, Feb. 13:

Syracuse at Louisville, 6 p.m.

This is will probably be the Orange’s toughest remaining road test.

Wednesday, Feb. 15:

New Mexico at San Diego State, 9 p.m.

Two of the best teams in the Mountain go toe-to-toe in San Diego. The Lobos beat the Aztecs in Albuquerque last month.

Thursday, Feb. 16:

Wisconsin at Michigan State, 6 p.m.

The Spartans beat the Badgers in Madison last month in OT. Can Bo return the favor and beat Izzo in East Lansing?

Mike Moser has been a beast this season for the Rebels.

Saturday, Feb. 18:

UNLV at New Mexico, 12 p.m.

Mike Moser and the Rebels will try to knock off the Lobos in The Pit.

St. Mary’s at Murray State, 5 p.m.

Perhaps the top two mid-major teams face off in a BracketBusters game. Can the Gaels ruin the Racers’ quest for perfection?

Ohio State at Michigan, 8 p.m.

Michigan played the Buckeyes tough in Columbus but lost. Can the Wolverines contain Jared Sullinger?

Long Beach State at Creighton, 9 p.m.

Casper Ware faces off with Doug McDermott. Which team will strengthen their at-large profile?

Thursday, Feb. 23:

Duke at Florida State, 6 p.m.

Michael Snaer’s buzzer beater gave the Seminoles an upset win at Cameron Indoor last month.

Virginia’s Mike Scott is one of the most underrated players in the country.

Saturday, Feb. 25:

North Carolina at Virginia, 3 p.m.

The Tar Heels face a tough conference foe on the road.

Mizzou at Kansas, 3 p.m.

The last regular season Border War for the foreseeable future.

Wisconsin at Ohio State, 5 p.m.

Deal with it. The Badgers try to avenge their home loss to the Buckeyes.

Tuesday, Feb. 28:

Michigan State at Indiana, 6 p.m.

The Hoosiers knocked off Kentucky and Ohio State at home, can they add the Spartans to the list?

Florida at Vanderbilt, 8 p.m.

Two solid SEC teams battle in Nashville.

Thursday, Mar. 1:

Florida St at Virginia, 6 p.m.

The first match-up was great, can the Wahoos get back at the Noles with a win at home?

Saturday, Mar. 3:

Georgetown at Marquette, 12 p.m.

Two of the best teams in the Big East face off in Milwaukee.

North Carolina at Duke, 6 p.m.

The best rivalry in college hoops.

Anthony Davis slams it home.

Sunday, Mar. 4:

Ohio State at Michigan State, 11 a.m.

Draymond Green and Jared Sullinger face-off in East Lansing. Could this game determine who wins the Big Ten regular season title and Big Ten player of the year?

Kentucky at Florida, 11 a.m.

The Wildcats face another road test in Gainesville. Patric Young tries to contain Anthony Davis and his unibrow.

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