IRVING, Texas — Bob Huggins mused this week that Marcus Smart could have been the No. 1 overall pick in last June’s NBA draft, so it’s no surprise that Big 12 coaches named the Oklahoma State point guard as their preseason player of the year.

Smart was positioned as a one-and-done player after averaging 15.4 points and setting a freshman conference-record with 99 steals. His decision to return to school instantly made Oklahoma State a contender for the Big 12 title after falling a game short of co-champs Kansas and Kansas State last season. Smart also might have been motivated to stay after his five-turnover performance in the Cowboys’ 68-55 loss to Oregon in the NCAA tournament opener.

“I think Marcus Smart is one of the best guards I’ve ever coached against since Jason Kidd,” said Huggins.

Though West Virginia did not place a player on the preseason all-league team—which grew to six members because of a voting tie–sophomore guard Eron Harris was among the six honorable mentions.

Preseason Player of the Year
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, sophomore
Newcomer of the Year
Tarik Black, Kansas, senior
Preseason All-Big 12
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, sophomore
Isaiah Austin, Baylor, sophomore
Cory Jefferson, Baylor, senior
Melvin Ejim, Iowa State, senior
Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, freshman
Markel Brown, Oklahoma State, senior
Honorable mentions
Eron Harris, West Virginia
Perry Ellis, Kansas
Joel Embiid, Kansas
Shane Southwell, Kansas State
Michael Cobbins, Oklahoma State
Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State
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Comments

  • Dougie

    Huggs was voted coach most likely to kick someone off the team before the season starts...

  • hailey

    Anyone deeming Huggs pre season coach of the year???

    • MojoJojo

      Thuggs has been named preseason recruiter of the year at the California Prison League.

  • Bryan

    Newcomer of the Year is bestowed on a player transferring into the conference. This article fails to mention that Wiggins won Pre-season Freshman of the Year.

    Also, just because Black is deemed the best transfer player coming in doesn't mean he's one of the top five or six players in the conference -- coaches were right not to vote him onto the All Big 12 team IMO.

    I think the coaches got this pretty much right, although I bet Iowa State fans don't like that Georges Niang didn't get an honorable mention.

  • DH

    Hmm... Tarik Black is the newcomer of the year and not mentioned on an all-preseason team

    Andrew Wiggens is 1st team preseason all Big 12 and not newcomer of the year???

    Interesting that 4 Kansas and 4 Ok State players named with preseson honors. The rich keep getting richer