CBS Sports- The award, which is voted on by conference coaches, was named Sunday. Cyclones senior forward Melvin Ejim won out over contenders such as Kansas‘ Andrew Wiggins, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and even his own teammate, DeAndre Kane. Kane is one of two players in the country averaging at least 16 points, six rebounds and five assists per game. It’s the first time in 13 years an ISU player has won the award. Ejim averaged 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds, good for second in the conference in both categories. Kansas’ Joel Embiid took in Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first freshman in Big 12 history to do so. One day removed from his career-best 41 points on the road against West Virginia, Wiggins (16.8 points per game) won Freshman of the Year. And Texas‘ Rick Barnes won Coach of the Year for the fourth time as Longhorns coach. UT tied for third with ISU at an 11-7 mark. Bill Self and Kansas finished 14-4, giving the program a 10th straight regular-season league title under Self. The Jayhawks swept the Cyclones this season. The Big 12 tournament gets underway Wednesday in Kansas City.
I’ve made it known on this blog that I hate Iowa State and that’s true. I hate their sports teams, I hate their mascot, I hate their team colors and most of all I hate their fans. They’re the worst. Growing up in Iowa you choose one or the other, not both. I picked Iowa as a young child and now until I’m dead I have an inherent hatred for the Cyclones. That’s just the way it is. But with all of that said, Melvin Ejim winning the Big 12 Player of the Year is pretty fucking awesome. Whenever a person’s accomplishment shines light on the state of Iowa I’m all for it. Not to mention that Iowa has been in a tail spin recently so it’s nice to see something good happen in terms of Iowa basketball. What makes winning this award even better is the competition Ejim beat out. At the beginning of the season 1,000 out of 1,000 college basketball talking heads would’ve picked Andrew Wiggins to win the award. He was supposed to dominate college basketball and parlay that into being the #1 pick in the draft. Things haven’t quite turned out that way. Couple that with the stellar season Ejim’s had for Fred Hoiberg and the Clones averaging almost 18 and 9 a night and here we are. And who can forget his 48 point game against TCU back in February. He also beat out guys like Marcus Smart and fellow Cyclone Deandre Kane. Like I said before, it wasn’t a down year for good players in the Big 12. So congratulations to Melvin Ejim and the Cyclones on the award. I hope you guys get knocked out in the first round of the tourney.