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IRVING, Texas - Teammates Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich (Kansas) have been named as the Big 12 Preseason Co-Players of the Year, it was announced. Senior forward Marquis Gilstrap (Iowa State) is the Preseason Newcomer of the Year, while guard Avery Bradley (Texas) earned Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year recognition. Players honored in preseason voting were selected by the league head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.
Collins was a consensus choice for the All-America Second Team a year ago after leading the Jayhawks with 18.9 points per game. He led KU in scoring 27 times and also totaled 77 points in three NCAA outings. Aldrich joined Collins as a member of the All-Big 12 First Team in 2008-09. He was first in the Big 12 and 12th nationally with 2.7 blocks per game. The selection of Collins and Aldrich marks the second time in Big 12 history (Brandon Rush & Julian Wright, KU, 2006-07) that the preseason player accolade has been shared by two players.
Gilstrap arrives in Ames after averaging 22.6 points and 10.1 rebounds in his one season at Gulf Coast CC. The senior forward earned honorable mention All-America honors and was Panhandle Conference Player of the Year after finishing 10th in the nation in scoring and 20th in rebounding. He shot 48.3 percent from the field, including 40.9 percent from 3-point range, en route to a 24-9 overall team record.
Bradley comes to Texas with a reputation as an outstanding defender. The guard was rated as the No. 1 prospect in the nation by ESPNU following his senior campaign and was also named to the Parade All-America Team. He led his team to a 33-0 overall record last season, finishing with 19.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.6 steals per game.
The KU duo are the fifth and sixth Jayhawks to be tabbed with preseason player honors. Gilstrap is the first Iowa State athlete to earn preseason newcomer accolades, while Bradley is the fourth Longhorn to be recognized as the top incoming freshman.
The Preseason All-Big 12 team was also announced, with three players who earned All-Big 12 First Team honors included. In addition to Collins and Aldrich, Craig Brackins (Iowa State) was also a first team pick last season. All six of the members of this year's preseason squad were ranked among the Big 12's top 13 in scoring, including three of the top four.
Preseason Co-Players of the Year
Cole Aldrich, Kansas, C, 6-11, 245, Jr., Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson
Sherron Collins, Kansas, G, 5-11, 205, Sr., Chicago, Ill./Crane
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Marquis Gilstrap, Iowa State, F, 6-7, 215, Sr., Covington, Ga./East Side/Gulf Coast CC [Fla.]
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Avery Bradley, Texas, G, 6-2, 180, Fr., Tacoma, Wash./Findlay Prep [Nev.]
2009-10 Preseason All-Big 12 Team
Craig Brackins, Iowa State** F 6-10 230 Jr. Palmdale, Calif./Brewster Academy [N.H.]
Cole Aldrich, Kansas C 6-11 245 Jr. Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson
Sherron Collins, Kansas** G 5-11 205 Sr. Chicago, Ill./Crane
Willie Warren, Oklahoma G 6-4 199 So. Fort Worth, Texas/North Crowley
James Anderson, Oklahoma State
G/F 6-6 205 Jr. Junction City, Ark./Junction City
Damion James, Texas G/F 6-7 225 Sr. Nacogdoches, Texas/Nacogdoches
** - Unanimous Selection.
A tie in the voting created six spots on the preseason squad