In his first season on the bench, Bruce Weber and the K-State Wildcats won the school’s first Big 12 championship in 36 years with a 14-4 mark and a 25-6 overall record. On Sunday night, Weber was named by his peers as the Big 12 coach of the year. He becomes the sixth K-State coach to win conference coach of the year honors, joining Tex Winter (1958, 1959, 1960), Cotton Fitzsimmons (1970), Jack Hartman (1975, 1977), Dana Altman (1993) and Frank Martin (2010).
Senior guard Rodney McGruder is now the third Wildcat in the Big 12 era to earn first team all-Big 12 honors, along with Michael Beasley (2008) and Jacob Pullen (2010, 2011). Sophomore point guard Angel Rodriguez was named second team all-Big 12 and to the all-defensive team. Junior forward Shane Southwell received honorable mention all-Big 12.
Joining McGruder on the all-Big 12 first team was Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State, Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore of Kansas, and Romero Osby of Oklahoma. Smart was named the Big 12 player of the year, and is the first since Beasley to also be named freshman of the year at the same time. Withey is the defensive player of the year, Will Clyburn of Iowa State, a Utah transfer, is the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Tyrus McGee of Iowa is the league’s top sixth man, and the Cyclones’ Melvin Ejim is the scholar-athlete of the year.
K-State is the #2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, and will open play on Thursday night at 6:00pm at the Sprint Center in Kansas City against either Texas or TCU. Pregame begins at 5:00 on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and 101.5 K-Rock from the K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson and Stan Weber.
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