Oklahoma State sophomore Le'Bryan Nash has been named a unanimous selection to the 2012-13 Preseason All-Big 12 Team, it was announced Thursday in a vote of the league coaches. Cowboy freshman Marcus Smart was named the preseason Freshman of the Year, and also garnered honorable mention for the preseason All-Big 12 team.
"I'm honored that the Big 12 coaches voted for me, and it makes me proud to be considered one of the better players in the league," Nash said. "But right now, it's all about team and winning championships, and I want to do whatever I can for OSU to be successful and win a lot of games."
Nash is the ninth Cowboy to be named to the preseason All-Big 12 team since the league's formation in 1996-97, and the first since James Anderson was named prior to the 2009-10 season. Nash was an honorable mention on the preseason All-Big 12 squad last year. He is joined on the 2012-13 Preseason All-Big 12 Team by Baylor's Pierre Jackson, also the preseason Player of the Year, Kansas' Jeff Withey, Rodney McGruder of Kansas State, and Texas' Myck Kabongo.
"I'm very humbled by this honor," Smart said. "As I said the other day, it's something that just makes me want to go out to practice every day and work even harder. We're very excited to get the season started."
Smart is just the fifth OSU player to receive a major preseason award in the Big 12 Conference and is the second-straight Cowboy to receive the preseason Freshman of the Year honor. Desmond Mason won the inaugural award as the preseason Freshman of the Year in 1996. Former Cowboy Adrian Peterson was named the preseason Player of the Year prior to his senior year during the 1998-99 season, and Mario Boggan was named the preseason Newcomer of the Year as a junior-college transfer prior to the 2005-06 season. Nash was the preseason Freshman of the Year last season.
"I'm very proud of both these guys, and it's exciting that the other coaches in the Big 12 have shown them this kind of recognition," said head coach Travis Ford. "But ultimately, it's all about team, and helping their teammates get better. They understand. You can't win a basketball game with just one or two guys. Everyone has to contribute. They get that."