Coaches pick Ejim as Big 12’s top player

IRVING, Texas – Iowa State senior forward Melvin Ejim has been selected as the Big?12’s men’s basketball player of the year by the league’s coaches.

Ejim was second in the league with both his 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds a game.

The all-Big 12 awards selected by the 10 coaches were announced Sunday.

A pair of Kansas freshmen earned individual awards, with Andrew Wiggins voted the top freshman and 7-foot Joel Embiid the defensive player of the year. Ejim and Wiggins were the only unanimous selections.

Iowa State guard DeAndre Kane was chosen as the newcomer of the year, and Texas’ Rick Barnes is coach of the year.

Joining Ejim, Kane and Wiggins on the all-Big 12 first team are Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart and West Virginia junior guard Juwan Staten.

The Associated Press releases its awards Monday.

Ejim has scored in double figures in nine of the Cyclones’ 28 games so far this season. He has nine double-doubles and is ISU’s first player to earn the league’s top honor since Jamaal Tinsley in 2001.

Kane, the top newcomer, was picked to the all-Newcomer team, while Cyclone sophomore forward Georges Niang was picked to the coaches’ all-Big 12 third team.