Yes, the days of the Big Eight basketball season are dwindling to a precious few, so let's look back and hand out some awards. Here are a few you may have expected and a few others you probably won't see anywhere else:
Newcomer of the Year OSU's Brooks Thompson. Texas A&M transfer came to Stillwater with reputation as a shooter, but proved he's also the best quarterback on campus. Runnerup: KSU's Anthony Beane. Darrin Hancock, the preseason pick, was hurt by KU's democratic scoring philosophy and inconsistent shooting from non-dunk range.
All-Southpaw Team KU's Rex Walters, ISU's Julius Michalik, OSU's Thompson, CU's Randy Robinson and KSU's Deryl Cunningham. Walters and Thompson will probably make all-Big Eight. Robinson and Michalik can score, but not much else. Cunningham is a 100 percenter any coach would love to have. Sixth Man: KSU's Aaron Collier.
Gee, If Only He Could Score Kansas State's Cunningham. He's the best rebounder for his size (6-7) in the league, plays defense all the time and obviously listens to his coach. Cunningham would be all-Big Eight if he possessed any offensive skills.
All Freshman Team Nebraska's Terrance Badgett, Eric Strickland, Andre Woolridge and Jaron Boone, and either KU's Sean Pearson, who has faded during the conference race, or KSU's Jerrell Roberson who looks good in a suit. It was hardly a bumper freshman crop.
Penetrating Analysis Award To Owen Canfield of the Oklahoma City AP bureau who penned: "Big Country is what they call Bryant Reeves, and the nickname is perfect since Reeves is both big and country."
All-Br. . .team OSU's Bryant Reeves and Brooks Thompson, OU's Bryatt Vann and Bryan Sallier and K-State's Brian Henson.
Little Girl With the Curl Award Oklahoma guard Terry Evans. When Evans is good as he was in Allen Fieldhouse he is very very good, but when he is bad as he was against K-State in Norman he is horrid.
Future Guest on Wayne's World Iowa State guard Hurl Beechum. Beechum hurled in a three-pointer late against Kansas that probably made Roy Williams want to hurl.
Button Your Lip Award To Oklahoma's Billy Tubbs for announcing the Sooners would "beat the hell" out of K-State in Norman. Final score: KSU 67, OU 63.
Tongue Hanging Out Award To Missouri's Melvin Booker who leads the league in average number of minutes played at 35.6. No other Big Eight player is averaging as many as 34 minutes a game.
Best Ball-Handler Kansas' Adonis Jordan. The senior guard has 117 assists and just 45 turnovers going into tonight's Nebraska game.
Worst Ball-Handler Colorado's Robinson. He's already into triple digits in turnovers with 102. Robinson also leads the Big Eight in total fouls (90) and fouled outs (8).
Best Big Man Okie State's Reeves. Who says you have to look good in a suit to play basketball?
Worst Big Man Missouri's Chris Heller. Remember when Kansas fans were crushed because this Kansas City Rockhurst product whose folks live in Leawood choose MU over the Jayhawks? He's shooting 40.3 percent from the floor, 51.1 percent from the free throw line, and Norm Stewart has more or less given up on him.
Worst Idea That backcourt rating system devised by the Iowa State sports information office. Obviously intended to focus attention on guards Justus Thigpen and Ron Bayless, it could not hide the fact Thigpen and Bayless weren't good enough to produce a road victory.
Neither One of 'Em Is Bobby Hurley Okie State's Fred Burley and Kansas' Greg Gurley.
No Pain, No Grain Award To Iowa State's Morgan Wheat. By failing to foul out in Allen Fieldhouse, Wheat prevented Kansas fans from waving the wheat at a player named Wheat for the first time in history.