MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSU) – Senior forward Dean Wade became just the second Wildcat to ever be selected the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year by the league coaches, while Wade and fellow senior Barry Brown, Jr., were both named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, as the league office announced its annual preseason awards today (October 17).
Wade and Brown were joined on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team by Kansas’ Dedric Lawson, Iowa State’s Lindell Wigginton and West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate. Wade was the only player to be a unanimous selection. Lawson was the league’s Preseason Newcomer of the Year, while Kansas’ Quentin Grimes was the Freshman of the Year.
Wade’s selection marked just the second time in school history that a K-State player has been named the league’s
preseason Player of the Year and the first since Jacob Pullen in 2010-11. It also was just the second time that two Wildcats appeared on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, following Pullen and Curtis Kelly in 2010-11.
Wade and Brown are just the sixth and seventh players in school history to earn recognition to the Preseason All-Big 12 (since 1996-97), following Manny Dies in 1998-99, Kelly and Pullen in 2010-11, Rodney McGruder in 2012-13 and Marcus Foster in 2014-15.
A 6-foot-10, 228-pound three-year lettermen from St. John, Kansas, Wade is coming off a transformative junior season in 2017-18, in which, he became just the 15th player in the Big 12 era to average at least 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in a single season, joining the likes of Iowa State’s Curtis Stinson, Oklahoma State’s Tony Allen, Texas’ P.J. Tucker and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart. He was one of only three Big 12 players to accomplish the feat since 2012-13, joining Smart (2012-13 and 2013-14) and Kansas’ Josh Jackson (2016-17).
Wade enters his senior season, ranking 17th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,187 points having seen action in 101 career games at K-State with 98 starts. His 16.2 points per game average in 2017-18 was the highest by a Wildcat since Jacob Pullen averaged 20.2 points as a senior in 2010-11. He led the Wildcats in seven categories, including double-doubles (4), 20-point games (11), 3-point field goal percentage, rebounding (6.2 rpg.), offensive rebounds (43), defensive rebounds (160), total rebounds (203).
Wade became just the fourth Wildcat to be named to the Coaches’ All-Big 12 First Team, joining Michael Beasley (2008) and Pullen (2010, 2011) as the only players to do it as undergraduates.
A 6-foot-3, 195-pound three-year lettermen from St. Petersburg, Florida, Brown enjoyed a career-best season as a junior in 2017-18, averaging 15.9 points on 44.8 percent shooting (203-of-453), including 31.8 percent (42-of-132) from 3-point range, to go with 3.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 34.7 minutes per game. The team leader in double-digit scoring games (29), 20-point games (11), assists (120) and steals (67), he became the first Wildcat to post 500 points, 100 rebounds, 100 assists and 50 steals in a single season.
An All-Big 12 Second Team selection and a member of the Big 12’s All-Defensive Team, Brown became the fifth Wildcat to be named to one of the Big 12’s First, Second or Third Teams as well as the All-Defensive Team in the same season, joining Jacob Pullen (2010, 2011), Rodney McGruder (2012), Angel Rodriguez (2013) and Wesley Iwundu (2016). Overall, he is first All-Defensive Team member since Iwundu in 2016.
Brown enters his senior season in 2018-19, ranking 12th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,283 points having seen action in all 105 career games at K-State with 83 consecutive starts. He also ranks third all-time in steals with 189, just 22 shy of breaking Jacob Pullen’s career mark of 210 set from 2007-11, as well as in the career Top 10 for field goals attempted (1,094), 3-point field goals attempted (401) and minutes played (3,283).
Wade and Brown are among 10 returning lettermen for a K-State team that has earned numerous Preseason Top 25 rankings, including No. 11 by Yahoo! Sports, Street & Smith’s, Lindy’s and Athlon and No. 12 by ESPN.com and CBSSports.com. The duo helped the Wildcats win 25 games for just the sixth time in school history and advance to the Elite Eight in 2017-18. They are among six players who started all 37 games a year ago, including fellow senior Kamau Stokes (9.0 ppg.), juniors Xavier Sneed (11.1 ppg.) and Makol Mawien (6.8 ppg.) and sophomore Cartier Diarra (7.1 ppg.).