Oct. 5, 2011
IRVING, Texas -
Baylor's Brittney Griner was named Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, highlighting the Conference's 2011-12 Women's Basketball preseason awards and Lady Bear sophomore point guard Odyssey Sims joined Griner on the league's Preseason All-Big 12 team.
Kelsey Bone (Texas A&M) was selected Preseason Newcomer of the Year, while Cassie Peoples (Texas) and Alexia Standish (Texas A&M) tied for Preseason Freshman of the Year in a vote of the league's head coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Griner was the 2011 Big 12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year as well as unanimous All-America. The two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection was Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship and named the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association's Defensive Player of the Year. Griner led Baylor to both the Big 12 regular season and postseason championships, along with an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight. The 6-8 junior center topped the Big 12 with 23 points and seven blocks last year. She enters her junior season 54 blocks shy of setting the Big 12 career record. Griner was the only collegiate player named to the 2011 USA Basketball Women's National Team European tour roster.
In addition to Griner and Sims, the remainder of the Preseason All-Big 12 team includes Carolyn Davis (Kansas), Toni Young (Oklahoma State), Chassidy Fussell (Texas) and Tyra White (Texas A&M). A tie in the voting created an additional spot on the team. The squad is dominated by underclassmen as White is the only senior. Sims, Davis and White joined Griner as All-Big 12 First Team selections at the conclusion of last season. Young and Fussell were named to the second team.
Sims won a gold medal with Team USA in the Women's World University Games this past summer. The team was coached by Iowa State's Bill Fennelly. She was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.