I'm not even sure if those who reside in Oklahoma, Iowa, or any other Big 12 state, were taken back by the announcement of the conference Player of the Year in womens basketball. Despite some strong performances outside of the Big Red state, few would(or could) argue that Kelsey Griffin isn't deserving of every major award handed out this year in the womens game. Whether she collects them all or not, remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, she will be included on every ballot.
Griffin was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year on Monday, adding a little more glitter to what has already been a magical season in Lincoln. In addition to Griffin being named the leagues best player, she was also named to the All Big 12 first team, and is the first Husker to ever win the Big 12 POY award.
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The Big 12 also named it's conference Coach of the Year, which goes to...you guessed it, Nebraska's Connie Yori. By leading the Huskers to an unprecendented perfect 29-0 regular season, Yori earned her first COY award in her 8 seasons with Nebraska. Just a few more wins this season, and we will surely see more Husker "firsts". How about a few more trophies for that mantle there Coach?
In all, 3 Nebraska players were selected to the All Big 12 first team, which I think is fair considering there are ten slots. The Huskers dominated the Big 12 this year, and should represent the majority of the conference best teams. Yep, the Big Red kicked some serious butt, and not only because of Griffin's play. Cory Montgomery and Yvonne Turner also received first team honors. All three of these ladies made a huge impact on the success of this team, and at times each one was solely responsible for pulling out a victory for the Cornhuskers.
On the defensive side of the game, Nebraska's Yvonne Turner was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. (Sharing that honor with Baylors Brittney Griner) Both Kelsey Griffin and Yvonne Turner were named to the All Big 12 Defensive team, which awards just five spots to represent the league.
Naturally, with such a senior-heavy team...the Huskers did not have a player named to the All-Freshman team, nor did they have a player named to the All Big 12 second team. Dominique Kelly did grab a spot on the All Big 12 honorable mention list.
So, with 30% of the All Big 12 first team, 40% of the All Big 12 Defensive Team, Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach of the year being Nebraska Cornhuskers, I'd say that the women have made their mark on league history this season. Like I said, let's just hope that we aren't finished yet...