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OU Basketball: Hield Voted Preseason Big 12 Player Of The Year

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Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield has been named Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, the conference announced Thursday. The senior was a unanimous selection on the 2015-16 Preseason All-Big 12 first team.

Players were selected by the league's head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for members of their own teams.

“We are very excited and happy for Buddy to be recognized by league coaches with this honor,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “It’s certainly well-deserved, as Buddy is one of the hardest working and motivated individuals I’ve coached. He is an exceptional leader who has high aspirations for our team this season.”

Hield led the Big 12 in scoring a year ago with 17.4 points per game, increasing that to a league-best average of 18.5 points in conference play. His 2.7 3-pointers a game were tops in the conference and paced league guards with his 5.4 rebounds a contest. He earned Associated Press All-America Third Team accolades following the 2014-15 season.

Hield became the first player in the 19-year history of the Big 12 to be named Player of the Year, lead the league in scoring and be named to the Academic All-Big 12 first team.

The Bahamas native has started every game the last two seasons for the Sooners and ranks 15th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,366 career points. Hield becomes OU’s fourth Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, joining Blake Griffin (2008-09), Taj Gray (2005-06) and Hollis Price (2002-03).

Joining Hield on the Preseason All-Big 12 first team are: Rico Gathers (Baylor), Georges Niang (Iowa State), Perry Ellis (Kansas) and Isaiah Taylor (Texas).

Iowa State junior Deonte Burton was named preseason newcomer of the year while Kansas’ Cheick Diallo was named preseason freshman of the year.

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