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Cade Cunningham named Big 12 Player of the Year

The outstanding Cowboy also won Big 12 Freshman of the year.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 27 Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Big 12 Player of the Year resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Cade Cunningham became the fourth freshmen in Big 12 conference history to be named Big 12 Player of the Year on Monday after leading the conference in scoring at 19.7 points per game. Cunningham also finished in the top 10 in rebounds (6.3), steals (1.4) and blocks (0.9).

The Big 12 released its season awards on Monday and the Big 12 Player of the Year was well represented. Cunningham was also named as the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and made First Team All-Big 12. Baylor guards Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell, Oklahoma guard Austin Reaves, and West Virginia forward Derek Culver joined Cunningham on the First Team.

The last Oklahoma State freshman to take home Big 12 Player of the Year honors was Marcus Smart in 2012-13. The other two Big 12 freshmen to win Big 12 Player of the year were Texas’ Kevin Durant and Kansas State’s Michael Beasley. Former Cowboys Tony Allen (2003-04) and James Anderson (2009-10) are the other Cowboys to have been named Big 12 Player of the Year. Former Kansas Jayhawk Udoka Azubuike was the last player to win Big 12 Player of the Year. All awards are voted on by Big 12 coaches.

Former Cowboys Jawun Evans (2015-16), Smart (2012-13), and Le’Bryan Nash (2011-12) were all named Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Texas Tech’s Jahmi’us Ramsey won the award last season. Evans was also the last player from Oklahoma State to be named to the All-Big 12 First Team (2016-17).

Baylor guard Jared Butler had been considered a finalist for Player of the Year all season, but the conference’s leading scorer took home the award instead. Baylor only played 14 out of 18 conference games due to COVID-19 complications, and only lost one game in conference play. Oklahoma State played all of its conference games and finished with an 11-7 record.

Cunningham is also a finalist for the James Naismith Award, given to the nation’s top player, and the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard. The dynamic freshman led the Cowboys to a five seed in this week’s Big 12 Tournament. Oklahoma State will tipoff against four-seed West Virginia on Thursday morning.