Kansas F was only unanimous selection to all-conference team
DALLAS -- Kansas forward Wayne Simien was named the Big 12's preseason player of the year on Tuesday in voting by the conference's coaches.
The 6-8 Simien, the conference's top returning scorer, averaged 17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds a year ago for the Jayhawks and was an All-Big 12 first-team selection.
He had 11 double-doubles as a junior -- 22 for his career -- and was the only unanimous selection this year to the preseason all-conference team. Coaches could not vote for their own players.
Simien is joined on the first team by Kansas teammate Keith Langford, Iowa State's Curtis Stinson and Oklahoma State senior guards Joey Graham and John Lucas.
Langford, a 6-4 senior swingman, averaged 15 points and five rebounds last year for the Jayhawks.
Stinson, a 6-3 sophomore guard, was the Big 12's freshman of the year after he averaged 16.2 points and six rebounds for the Cyclones.
The 5-11 Lucas was named to the All-Big 12 first team last year after averaging 15.1 points for Oklahoma State. Graham averaged 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Cowboys, who advanced to the Final Four.
Junior college transfer Taj Gray of Oklahoma was a unanimous pick as the conference's top newcomer. The 6-8 junior forward averaged 18.1 points and 8.1 rebounds last year at Redlands Community College in Oklahoma.
Texas guard Daniel Gibson was selected as the top freshman. He averaged 25.5 points as a senior at Jones High School in Houston, leading his team to the Class 4A state title.
Named to the honorable mention All-Big 12 team were Kansas' J.R. Giddens and Aaron Miles, Missouri's Linas Kleiza and Jimmy McKinney, Oklahoma's Kevin Bookout, Texas' Jason Klotz and P.J. Tucker and Texas A&M's Antoine Wright.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press