Baylor sweeps Big 12 preseason awards

Baylor became the first team in Big 12 women’s or men’s basketball history to claim all three of the Big 12 preseason individual awards. Conference head coaches named Brittney Griner as the Preseason Player of the Year, Brooklyn Pope as Preseason Newcomer of the Year and Odyssey Sims as Preseason Freshman. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.

Griner was an All-Big 12 First Team selection last year and named both Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year. She was picked the USBWA Freshman of the Year and was an Associated Press second team All-America. In addition Griner was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Memphis Regional during Baylor’s run to the Women’s Final Four. The 6-8 sophomore post averaged 18.4 points and 8.5 rebounds during her rookie season. Her 223 blocks rank sixth on the Big 12 career list and set the NCAA Division I record for blocks in a season.

Pope enters her sophomore season at Baylor after spending her freshman year at Rutgers. She saw action in 29 of the team’s 34 games in 2008-09 with averages of 2.1 points and 2.0 rebounds. The Fort Worth, Texas, native was a 2008 McDonald’s, WBCA and Parade magazine High School All-American. She averaged 25 points and 13 rebounds as a senior at Dunbar High School.

Sims averaged 22.5 points, 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds as a senior at Irving’s (Texas) MacArthur High School. She was rated the No. 1 point guard in the class of 2010 and No. 3 player overall. The 5-8 guard earned the WBCA/State Farm National High School Player of the Year award and was named a WBCA, Parade magazine and McDonalds All-American.

Joining Griner on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team: Melissa Jones (Baylor), Kelsey Bolte (Iowa State), Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma) and Danielle Adams (Texas A&M).

Honorable Mention

Brittany Spears (Colorado), Carolyn Davis (Kansas), Dominique Kelley (Nebraska), Whitney Hand (Oklahoma), Ashleigh Fontenette and Kathleen Nash (Texas), Sydney Colson and Tyra White (Texas A&M).

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