by Mark Janssen
BIG 12 COACHES AWARDS: The Big 12 coaches have voted on their yearly awards with K-State's William Powell being the lone all-league first-teamer. Powell ranked first in the nation for the majority of the season in kickoff returns.
Second team recognition went to Zach Kendall at offensive guard, Daniel Thomas at running back and Ty Zimmerman as a defensive back.
Coach of the Year: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Offensive Lineman: Nate Solder, Colorado, OT
Defensive Lineman: Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma, DE
Offensive Freshman: Taylor Martinez, Nebraska, QB
Co-Defensive Freshmen: Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma, DB; Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State, LB
Special Teams Player of the Year: Dan Bailey, Okkaloma State, P/K
Newcomer of the Year: Lavonte David, Nebraska, LB
Defensive Player: Prince Amukamara, Nebraska, CB
Offensive Player: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State, WR
K-STATE LEADERS IN THE BIG 12:
• Kansas State's Daniel Thomas ended his regular season as the third all-time rusher for a single season in K-State history. Thomas' average of 124.6 yards per game ranks second only to Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter (126.3) in the Big 12, and the Wildcat senior ranks ninth in the nation.
• Injured late in the year, William Powell slipped to second in the nation in kickoff returns with his average of 34.57 yards per return.
• Also ranking among the Big 12's best was cornerback Stephen Harrison with his 12 passes defended.
• Team-wise, K-State's 206-yard rushing average was second in the Big 12 and 20th in the nation.
• K-State converted 47 percent of its third-down plays to rank second in the league and 21st nationally.
• KSU's 33.58 scoring average was fourth high in the league and ranked 26th in the country.
• The Wildcats' net putting average of 39.8 yards ranked eighth in the country.
• K-State scored 258 points in Big 12 games, which was high among teams in the North Division.
BIG 12 NOTES:
• The Big 12 went 13-33 against Top 25 teams.
• Oklahoma and Missouri were the only teams to go undefeated (6-0) on their home turf.
• Texas averaged 100,654 fans per home game, which was 15,000 more that Nebraska. K-State's home average of 49,816 ranked eighth in the league.
• The Big 12 is the only league in the nation to have all bowl games against opponents from BCS conferences.
PELGER HONORED: K-State freshman middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger has been named to the Big 12's All-Freshman team.
Pelger averaged 2.90 kills per set on the year and 3.07 in conference play to lead the Wildcats. She also led the team in hitting percentage at .254 and was the team's top server with 33 aces on the year.
Last week Pelger earned the league's Rookie of the Week award as she had a career-high 20 kills against Kansas to go with six digs and three blocks. She backed that up with 18 kills on a .469 hitting clip and a rare double-double by a middle blocker with 11 digs against Colorado in the season finale. She also posted five blocks in the win over Colorado.
Pelger posted the 21st triple-triple season in school history as she reached triple digits in three different statistical categories with 328 kills, 134 digs and 100 blocks. She is the first freshman to accomplish that feat at K-State.
She is joined on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team by Lisa Henning (Missouri), Molly Kreklow (Missouri); Morgan Broekhuis (Nebraska); Sallie McLaurin (Oklahoma) and Allie Sawatzky (Texas A&M).
The Big 12 also announced the All-Big 12 Team and individual player and coach awards with Texas outside hitter Juliann Faucette winning Player of the Year honors. Nebraska setter Lauren Cook was named Newcomer of the Year after transferring from UCLA. McLaurin received Freshman of the Year, while Hannah Werth from Nebraska was named Defensive Player of the Year, and Iowa State's Ashley Mass claimed Libero of the Year. Nebraska's John Cook and Texas' Jerritt Elliott shared Co-Coaches of the Year.
CHISHOLM NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA: Senior outside hitter JuliAnne Chisholm added another academic honor to her shelf yesterday as she was named to the ESPN Academic All-America Second Team. This marks her second Academic All-America certificate as she was named to the third team last season recognizing her athletic and academic achievements.
Chisholm holds a cumulative 3.97 GPA double-majoring in athletic training/pre-med and life sciences with a secondary major in gerontology. She was eligible for the Academic All-America Team by being voted to the ESPN Academic All-District VII First Team. Chisholm is one of just two Big 12 Conference student-athletes to make the list this season again joined by Oklahoma's Suzy Boulavsky on the third team.
WILDCATS IN THE NBA: Michael Beasley is taking advantage of an off-season trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves as he's now the No. 1 option for the first time in his three-year NBA career.
Beasley is averaging a team-high 21.6 points per game to go along with 6.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Single-game highs for Beasley included a 42-point effort against Sacramento, plus games of 35 points against the New York Knicks and 33 against the LA Clippers. While Beasley has shined, the Timberwolves were just 4-13 entering the week.
Former Wildcat teammate Bill Walker is averaging 4.6 points with the 9-9 New York Knicks. Walker is playing 15 minutes per game and recently had a 10-point game against Charlotte.
A third Wildcat, Cartier Martin, is averaging 3.9 points and 1.2 rebounds with the 5-10 Washington Wizards. Martin is playing an average of 10 minutes per game.