We're halfway through the conference season, which means it's time to do some speculative award mania. Lots can change between now and then, but let's take a look at Who's Who among the Big 12 this year.
I'll note before I go on that the Big 12, I really think, tends to be overrated in football and underrated in basketball. It's been one of the top two or three conferences in hoops for a nice long run now, while being very Texas-OU heavy in football. Just a thought.
Player of the Year: Kevin Durant, Texas How could it be anyone else? Acie Law's been the MVP of what's been a great A&M team, but he can't touch Durant in production. Mario Boggan deserves a nod for his big numbers, but there's simply no one who's doing what Durant is doing. Not in the Big 12 or anywhere else.
As of today, Durant leads the Big 12 in (conference games only) points, rebounds, and field goal percentage, is second in the three point field goal percentage, and fourth in blocks. There's Durant and there's everyone else.
Coach of the Year: Billy Gillespie, Texas A&M I think he may have won the last two of these puppies, and as of now, he's gonna win a third. The Aggies are going to be a player in the conference as long as he's around. Bank it.
Freshman of the Year, Non-Durant Division: DJ Augustin, Texas Tough call here for second place, but I give the slightest edge to Augustin over Kansas' Sherron Collins, who's been outstanding, too. DJ's averaging 8 assists per game in Big 12 play though, and is more critical to his team than Collins.
Most Surprising Team: Kansas State Wildcats With their win in Austin on Saturday, the Wildcats sit at 6-2 in the conference and 17-6 overall. They're not likely to contend for the conference championship, but they're decidedly in the conversation right now. Kudos to Bob Huggins for a strong start so far.
Most Disappointing team: Kansas Jayhawks The Jayhawks are having quite a good season, so this may raise some eyebrows, but Kansas has dropped two games at Allen Fieldhouse so far this year - something I thought impossible when the season began. Letting the Aggies finish on a 17-4 run to conclude Saturday night's game was, to put it mildly, disappointing for KU fans. They're better than this.
All Conference First Team
F Kevin Durant (FR) Texas Longhorns
F Mario Boggan (SR) Oklahoma State Cowboys
F Julian Wright (SO) Kansas Jayhawks
G Acie Law (SR) Texas A&M Aggies
G Jarrius Jackson (SR) Texas Tech
All Conference Second Team
G Brandon Rush (SO) Kansas Jayhawks
G JamesOn Curry (SR) Oklahoma State
F Nate Carter (SR) Oklahoma Sooners
F Aleks Maric (JR) Nebraska Cornhuskers
F Joseph Jones (JR) Texas A&M Aggies
Update [2007-2-5 14:45:31 by HornsFan]: Great minds think alike, it seems. DMN's Chip Brown posted a mid-season review this morning as well. Brown slips David Hoskins onto the All Big 12 first team, which I think is generous, as Hoskins doesn't play great defense. Still, I probably should have given Hoskins (17 points and 7 rebounds in Big 12 play) greater consideration for my Second Team. He's probably more deserving than Aleks Maric, for example.