Jared Butler (Baylor) was selected Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year while Marcus Santos-Silva (Texas Tech) picked up Newcomer of the Year and Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State) was named Freshman of the Year. The honors were voted on by head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
Butler was a unanimous selection on the All-Big 12 First Team and received votes for consensus All-America last season as he helped lead Baylor to a second-place Conference finish. His 16.0 points per game were third in the league and he was also third in 3-pt field goals made with a 2.57 average. The junior guard was seventh in both field goal percentage (.421) and steals (1.63). Butler is the third Bear to garner preseason player of the year, joining Pierre Jackson (2012-13) and Perry Jones III (2011-12).
Texas Tech boasts the preseason newcomer of the year in consecutive seasons as Chris Clarke grabbed the honor in 2019-20. Santos-Silva played the last three seasons at VCU where he was named NABC All-District Second Team and led his team in scoring (12.8), rebounding (8.9) and blocks (1.2). The senior forward also registered 10 double-doubles during the shortened season.
Cunningham was the 2020 Naismith High School Player of the Year, a McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American and named the nation’s top recruit, among many other honors. He led Montverde Academy to a unanimous No. 1 ranking and a 25-0 record last season with wins over seven ranked opponents. Despite playing just 22 minutes a game, the point guard averaged 13.9 points, 6.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds. Cunningham is the fourth Cowboy to be selected as preseason freshman of the year.
Butler and Cunningham were both also named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team along with Marcus Garrett (Kansas), Austin Reaves (Oklahoma), Matt Coleman III (Texas) and Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia). A tie created an extra position on the team. Butler and Garrett were unanimous selections. Garrett was the 2019-20 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the All-Big 12 Third Team, along with Coleman III. Tshiebwe was selected to last season’s All-Big 12 Second Team.
The Big 12 Preseason Poll will be announced tomorrow.
Preseason Player of the Year: Jared Butler, Baylor, G, 6-3, 195, Jr., Reserve, La.
Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Marcus Santos-Silva, Texas Tech, F, 6-7, 245, Sr., Taunton, Massachusetts
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State, G, 6-8, 200, Fr., Arlington, Texas
Preseason All-Big 12 Team
Name, School Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)
Jared Butler, Baylor* G 6-3 195 Jr. Reserve, La./Riverside Academy
Marcus Garrett, Kansas* G 6-5 195 Sr. Dallas, Texas/Skyline
Austin Reaves, Oklahoma G 6-5 206 Sr. Newark, Ark./Cedar Ridge/Wichita State
Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State G 6-8 200 Fr. Arlington, Texas/Montverde Academy
Matt Coleman III, Texas G 6-2 180 Sr. Norfolk, Va./Oak Hill Academy
Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia F 6-9 260 So. Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo/
Kennedy Catholic (Pa.)
* Denotes unanimous selection.
A tie resulted in an extra position on the team.
Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school):
MaCio Teague (Baylor), Mark Vital (Baylor), Greg Brown III (Texas), Courtney Ramey (Texas), Jericho Sims (Texas), Kyler Edwards (Texas Tech), Mac McClung (Texas Tech), Derek Culver (West Virginia)
Coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.