Wecker named Player of Year
DALLAS -- Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson, fresh from leading the Bears to their first conference title in school history, was named Big 12 coach of the year on Friday.
It's the first time the award has been given to Mulkey-Robertson, whose Lady Bears (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today; No. 7 AP) went 14-2 in the Big 12 and is 24-3 overall. Two Baylor players, forward Sophia Young and center Steffanie Blackmon, were chosen as first-team All-Big 12 selections by the conference coaches.
Oklahoma senior guard Dionnah Jackson made the first team, Oklahoma State sophomore forward Leah Rush made the second team and OU's Nina Stone received honorable mention.
Kansas State's Kendra Wecker earned player of the year, following a regular season in which the senior averaged 21 points and 10.1 rebounds. Wecker needs just 13 points to become the Big 12's all-time leading scorer and surpass former Kansas State star Nicole Ohlde, who ended her career with 2,241 points.
Ohlde was the conference player of the year the previous two seasons, making this the third straight year the Wildcats have picked up the superlative.
Nebraska's Jelena Spiric, averaging 7.5 points, was named newcomer of the year.
Texas A&M's Morenike Atunrase took home freshman of the year honors. She is on pace to become just the second freshman in school history to lead the team in scoring, averaging 10.5 points per game.
First team: Kendra Wecker, sr., f, Kansas State; Sophia Young, jr., f, Baylor; Tiffany Jackson, soph., f, Texas; Dionnah Jackson, sr., g, Oklahoma; Anne O'Neal, sr., g, Iowa State; Steffanie Blackmon, sr., c, Baylor; Erin Grant, jr., g, Texas Tech; Jamie Carey, sr., g, Texas; Cisti Greenwalt, sr., c, Texas Tech; Kiera Hardy, soph., g, Nebraska.
Second team: Leah Rush, f, soph., Oklahoma; Katie Robinette, sr., f, Iowa State; Laurie Koehn, sr., g, Kansas State; Chesley Dabbs, jr., g, Texas Tech; Heather Schreiber, sr., f, Texas.
Honorable mention: Veronica Johns-Richardson, Colorado; Crystal Kemp, Kansas; Erica Hallman, Kansas; Megan Mahoney, Kansas State; Tiffany Brooks, Missouri; Christelle N'Garsanet, Missouri; Jina Johansen, Nebraska; Nina Stone, Oklahoma; Morenike Atunrase, Texas A&M; Alesha Robertson, Texas Tech; LaToya Davis, Texas Tech.
Coach of the year: Kim Mulkey-Robertson, Baylor
Player of the year: Kendra Wecker, Kansas State
Newcomer of the year: Jelena Spiric, Nebraska
Freshman of the year: Morenike Atunrase, Texas A&M
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press