James Anderson carried the Cowboys through much of this season. Now he carries the Big 12 Conference’s top honor: Player of the Year. It’s an honor Anderson vowed to share. "It’s a great compliment,” Anderson said, "just because there are so many great players in the Big 12, NBA prospects and just a lot of talent period. "For the most part, it’s something to share with my teammates, because they get me the ball and look for me at times to score and do things on the court. I’ll share it with them, because they helped me get it.” The junior from Junction City, Ark., also a unanimous First Team All-Big 12 selection in voting by the league’s coaches, becomes just the second Cowboy to earn the award since the inception of the Big 12, joining former OSU guard Tony Allen, who won for the 2003-04 season. That same season, OSU’s John Lucas was named Player of the Year by The Associated Press. Anderson and Texas’ Damion James were the only unanimous selections, joined on the First Team by the Kansas duo of Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich, along with Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen and Texas A&M’s Donald Sloan. Oklahoma’s Tommy Mason-Griffin was named to the Third Team, while OSU’s Obi Muonelo and OU’s Willie Warren nabbed honorable mention status. Anderson leads the league with a 22.9 scoring average, a number inflated by a 24.1 average in conference games. He scored at least 20 points against every Big 12 team and posted 30 points in a game five times — more than any league player — and produced 25 points in 17 games overall. "Nobody is more deserving than James Anderson, because of the type person he is, because of the type of player he is and because of what he’s meant to this very young basketball team,” said OSU coach Travis Ford. "No one in America is more dependent on a basketball player than James Anderson. Period. "He’s just a remarkable young man and a terrific basketball player.”
Udoh, Henry join Mason-Griffin on All-Rookie teamTwo former Oklahoma City-area standouts joined Oklahoma’s Mason-Griffin on the Big 12’s All-Rookie team — Xavier Henry and Ekpe Udoh. Henry starred at Putnam City, while Udoh starred at Edmond Santa Fe with Muonelo. Udoh was also named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and to the All-Big 12 Second Team and the All-Defensive team. Henry also garnered All-Big 12 honorable mention status.