Foster named second-team All-Big 12

By The Mercury

Kansas State freshman Marcus Foster was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team and to All-Newcomer Team on Sunday, while junior Thomas Gipson and senior Will Spradling were selected All-Big 12 honorable mention.

Big 12-champion Kansas earned two of the six major awards, as freshman Joel Embiid was the Defensive Player of the Year and Andrew Wiggins the Freshman of the Year.

Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane were selected as the league’s Player and Newcomer of the Year, while Oklahoma’s Tyler Neal and Oklahoma State’s Phil Forte were chosen for the Sixth Man Award.

Texas’ Rick Barnes was named as the Big 12 Coach of the Year.

K-State had three players collect All-Big 12 honors for the second consecutive season and for just the second time in the last 15 seasons. The three selections tie the 1951 and 2013 squads for the second-most all-league selections in school history and only trail the 1999 team, which had four honorable mention honorees.

Foster’s second-team honors marked the 11th consecutive season that the Wildcats have had at least one player named to one of three teams.

Foster joined Michael Beasley as the only true freshmen in school history to earn recognition to the All-Big 12 First, Second or Third Teams, while he was one of just three Big 12 freshmen, joining Embiid and Wiggins, to garner a spot in 2013-14.

Foster has placed his name among the best freshmen in the country, as he leads the Wildcats in scoring (15.4 ppg.), 20-point games (seven), double-digit scoring games (25), field goals (162), 3-pointers (75), free throws (78), free-throw percentage (72.9) and starts (31). 

Gipson and Spradling were among 12 players chosen honorable mention by the league coaches — marking the first time in their respective careers that each received conference accolades.

One of just two players to start in all 31 games this season, Spradling ranks first on the team in assists (2.9 apg.), steals (1.4 spg.), free-throw percentage (72.9) and minutes (30.1 mpg.), while he is second in 3-pointers (47) and fourth in scoring (8.0 ppg.).

Spradling recently became the 25th player in school history with 1,000 points, while he is one of just four Wildcats with 1,000 points, 300 rebounds, 300 assists and 100 steals in a career, joining Steve Henson, Askia Jones and Jacob Pullen.

In addition, Spradling is one of just six players in school history with 100 career starts and now ranks fourth in school history with 3,639 career minutes played. He ranks among the Top 10 in 10 career categories at K-State.

Gipson ranks is first on the team in rebounds (6.6 rpg.), double-doubles (four) and field-goal percentage (55.9), while he is second in scoring (11.8 ppg.), double-digit scoring games (20) and field goals (132).

After missing the first two games due to injury, Gipson has played in 29 consecutive games, including 26 starts.

The trio has helped K-State (20-11, 10-8 Big 12) post its school-record eighth consecutive 20-win season and its fifth straight season of double-digit conference wins.

K-State finished fifth in the regular season standings, just one place out of third, and will be the No. 5 seed at this week’s Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City.

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