IRVING, Texas – Kansas senior Udoka Azubuike has been named the 2019-20 Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year as voted on by the league coaches, the conference announced Wednesday. Joining Azubuike on the five-member preseason all-league team is KU sophomore guard Devon Dotson. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
Azubuike is the ninth Jayhawk to claim preseason honors as the top player and the seventh in the Bill Self era at Kansas. He played in nine games in 2018-19 before an injury sidelined him for the season. The 7-foot-0, 270-pound center from Delta, Nigeria, averaged 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 70.5 percent from the field last season. As a sophomore in leading Kansas to the 2018 Final Four, Azubuike led the nation with a 77.0 field goal percentage, which ranks second-best for a season in NCAA history. He averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds while being named an All-Big 12 Third Team selection. Azubuike is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection.
As a freshman, Dotson (6-foot-2, 185) started every game for Kansas in 2018-19 and ranked 12th in the Big 12 in scoring at 12.3 points per game. A native of Charlotte, N.C., Dotson was a member of the 2019 All-Big 12 Third Team and the league’s all-freshman team. Named one of 20 candidates for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award on Oct. 14, Dotson also ranked sixth in the conference in assists (3.5), 11th in field goal percentage (48.2), tied for ninth in steals (1.4) and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6). He averaged 15.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in leading KU to the Big 12 Tournament title game and was named to the event’s all-tournament team.
Joining Azubuike and Dotson on the five-member Preseason All-Big 12 Team were Tristan Clark (Baylor), Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State) and Desmond Bane (TCU).
2019-20 BIG 12 PRESEASON HONORS
Preseason Player of the Year – UDOKA AZUBUIKE (KANSAS, C, 7-0, 270, Sr.)
Preseason Newcomer of the Year - Chris Clarke (Texas Tech, G, 6-6, 200, Sr.)
Preseason Freshman of the Year - Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia, F, 6-9, 258)
Preseason All-Big 12 Team (listed alphabetically by school)
Tristan Clark (Baylor, F, 6-9, 240, Jr.)
Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State, G, 6-5, 172, So.)
UDOKA AZUBUIKE (KANSAS, C, 7-0, 270, Sr.)
DEVON DOTSON (KANSAS, G, 6-2, 185, So.)
Desmond Bane (TCU, G, 6-6, 215, Sr.)
Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school): Xavier Sneed (K-State), Kristian Doolittle (Oklahoma), Yor Anei (Oklahoma State), Matt Coleman (Texas), Chris Clarke (Texas Tech), Davide Moretti (Texas Tech), Jahmi’us Ramsey (Texas Tech), Derek Culver (West Virginia)
Kansas Preseason Big 12 Players of the Year
2019-20 – Udoka Azubuike
2017-18 – Devonte’ Graham
2009-10 – Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins
2006-07 – Brandon Rush and Julian Wright
2004-05 – Wayne Simien
1997-98 – Raef LaFrentz
1996-97 – Jacque Vaughn
The Jayhawks will tip-off the 2019-20 season with a pair of exhibition contests. The first, a Thursday, Oct. 24 game against the Fort Hays State Tigers at Allen Fieldhouse. Start time is slated for 7 p.m., on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.