Beard, Evans and Smith Honored in Big 12 End of Year Awards
The Texas Tech Red Raiders finished in 2nd place in the Big 12 after the dust settled on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning the Big 12 announced the end of year awards and their were some questionable decisions as always.
The major awards weren't in question as Kansas Senior Devante Graham won Big 12 Player of the Year and Kansas Sophomore Malik Newman won Newcomer of the year as a transfer. Oklahoma Freshman Trae Young won Freshman of the year after a blazing hot start and West Virginia Senior Jevon Carter took home Defensive Player of the Year again. Baylor Terry Matson clinched 6th Man of the Year.
The Big 12 also released 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Newcomer and defensive teams along with an honorable mention list.
For Texas Tech, Keenan Evans was a unanimous All-Big 12 1st team selection after missing some time at the end of the season. Zhaire Smith was the star of the awards getting recognized on the Defensive team, the Newcomer team and the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
Jarrett Culver was the noticeable name left off of the list with not even a mention on the honorable mention team.
The biggest surprise, to me anyways, was Chris Beard sharing the Coach of the Year title with Kansas head coach Bill Self.
I understand that Bill Self and the Jayhawks won the Big 12 and historically that is who wins this particular award, but Chris Beard took a projected 7th place team and had them an injury away from a Big 12 title.
With "less" talent Chris Beard did more than Bill Self did this season and he deserves the solo recognition. It will become even more painfully obvious if Chris Beard is recognized nationally as coach of the year which could happen, and would be deserved.
The Big 12 has set the precedent in the "One True Champion" round robin Era of refusing to choose one winner and naming Co-Champions and Co-Award winners. I would rather Bill Self win the award solo because he led his team to a championship, the 14th in a row, than have Chris Beard share the title because of the Big 12 loving ties.