Thursday October 2nd, 2014

The Big 12 announced its preseason awards Thursday, and West Virginia redshirt senior guard Juwan Staten was named the conference's Preseason Player of the Year. 

Staten is the first West Virginia player earn the award since the Mountaineers joined the conference in 2012. He averaged 18.1 points per game last season, the most of any returning Big 12 player. The Mountaineers were 17-16 and lost to Georgetown in the opening round of the NIT. 

Iowa State guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was named the conference's Preseason Newcomer of the Year. Dejean-Jones will play his first season in Ames this year after transferring from UNLV. He is eligible to play immediately because he graduated from UNLV in the spring. This will be Dejean-Jones' third college team. He played for USC as a freshman. 

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Kansas forward Cliff Alexander and Texas forward Myles Turner shared Preseason Freshman of the Year honors. Both players were ranked among the top ten recruits in the nation by Rivals.

Staten was also named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Oklahoma's Buddy Hield and Kansas State's Marcus Foster were the other guards on the team. Perry Ellis of Kansas and Georges Niang of Iowa State were the forwards. Staten and Ellis were unanimous selections. 

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Kansas won the Big 12 regular season championship, but lost to Iowa State in the conference tournament. The Cyclones won the tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. Of the seven Big 12 teams which earned NCAA bids, only Iowa State and Baylor advanced to the Sweet 16.

Several notable Big 12 players left school early for the NBA after last season, including Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid of Kansas and Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart.

- Dan Gartland

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