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Butler did it: Baylor guard named AP Big 12 player of year

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Baylor

Mar 4, 2021; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears guard Jared Butler (12) drives the lane on Oklahoma State Cowboys forward Kalib Boone (22) and guard Avery Anderson III (0) during the first half at Ferrell Center. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Spo

Baylor guard Jared Butler is The Associated Press Big 12 player of the year after helping the Bears win their first conference title, averaging 17.1 points while leading the league in 3-point shooting and steals.

Butler finished third in the Big 12 in scoring during the regular season, behind two players who joined the 6-foot-3 junior as first-team AP All-Big 12 picks: Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham (19.7 ppg) and Oklahoma senior Austin Reaves (17.5 ppg).

The only unanimous picks on the AP team announced Tuesday were Butler and Cunningham, the 6-8 freshman who was named Big 12 newcomer of the year.

Baylor’s Scott Drew is the top coach for the second season in a row.

West Virginia junior forward Derek Culver and Texas Tech junior guard Mac McClung complete the five-player first team. The 6-10 Culver leads the league with 9.8 rebounds a game while averaging 14.8 points. McClung, a transfer from Georgetown, has 16.1 points per game in his first Big 12 season.

Butler, with 2.7 made 3-pointers a game while shooting 44.4% from long range, got 11 of 16 votes for player of the year from a panel of journalists who regularly cover the Big 12. Butler has 2.1 steals a game and is second in the league at 4.95 assists.

The Bears (21-1) won their first 18 games for the best start in school history, and the Big 12 title is their first in any league since winning the Southwest Conference in 1948.

Cunningham got the other five votes for top player. He got 13 votes for newcomer of the year, and McClung the remaining three.

Baylor guards Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague were second-team picks, along with West Virginia sophomore Miles McBride, Kansas junior post David McCormack, and Texas junior Andrew Jones.


The 2021 AP All-Big 12 team, with players listed with school, classification, height, weight, class and hometown (“u-" denotes unanimous selections):


u-Jared Butler, Baylor, Jr., 6-3, 195, Reserve, Louisiana.

u-Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State, Fr., 6-8, 220, Arlington, Texas.

Derek Culver, West Virginia, Jr., 6-10, 255, Youngstown, Ohio.

Mac McClung, Texas Tech, Jt., 6-2, 185, Gate City, Virginia.

Austin Reaves, Oklahoma, 6-5, 206, Newark, Arkansas.


Andrew Jones, Texas, Jr., 6-4, 192, Irvin, Texas.

Miles McBride, West Virginia., So., 6-2, 200, Cincinnati.

David McCormack, Kansas, 6-10, 250, Norfolk, Virginia.

Davion Mitchell, Baylor, Jr., 6-2, 205, Hinesville, Georgia.

MaCio Teague, Baylor, Sr. 6-4, 195, Cincinnati.


Coach of the year - Scott Drew, Baylor.

Player of the year - Jared Butler, Baylor.

Newcomer of the year - Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State.


AP All-Big 12 Voting Panel: Eric Bailey, Tulsa World; Frank Bonner, Tulsa World; Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News; Brian Davis, Austin American-Statesman; Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Matt Galloway, Topeka Capital-Journal; Justin Jackson, The Dominion Post; Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register; Soren Petro, Sports Radio 810, Kansas City; Ryan Pritt, Charleston Gazette-Mail; Matt Roberts, KWKT-TV, Waco, Texas; Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle; Carlos Silva Jr., Lubbock Avalanche-Journal; Matt Tait, Lawrence Journal-World; Jacob Unruh, The Oklahoman; John Werner, Waco Tribune-Herald.