As much as the last several weeks of the season were disappointing for Texas basketball fans hoping for a first-ever outright Big 12 title and a top seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament, the team still received some well-deserved honors when the postseason awards were announced on Sunday by the league.
Senior guard Dogus Balbay led the way with his recognition as Defensive Player of the Year in the conference. Known as one of the best on-ball defenders in the entire country, Balbay was a linchpin all season for the outstanding Texas defense.
Meanwhile, freshman forward Tristan Thompson was tabbed as the top freshman in the Big 12, edging out Baylor forward Perry Jones III. Thompson led the Big 12 in blocked shots and was second in the league in rebounds. The athletic Canadian was also second on the team in points per game.
Fellow freshman Cory Joseph, a guard who also hails from Canada, joined Thompson on the Big !2 All-Rookie team.
The Longhorns placed one player on the All-Big 12 First Team -- sophomore forward Jordan Hamilton, who may have been in consideration for player of year before his late-season slump. That award went to Kansas forward Marcus Morris. Thompson received All-Big 12 Second Team honors, while senior forward Gary Johnson landed on the third team and Joseph earned an Honorable Mention.