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Archive for Sunday, November 7, 2004

Kansas’ Simien, Langford all-league

November 7, 2004

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Wayne Simien, Kansas University's 6-foot-9, 255-pound senior power forward from Leavenworth, was named Big 12 Conference Preseason Player of the Year in a vote of league coaches.

"It's good to be considered one of the top players in the conference. (I've) definitely worked for it," said Simien, the only unanimous choice on the coaches' all-Big 12 team, which included KU senior Keith Langford.

"Everybody knows the preseason stuff doesn't mean much. You make sure you handle your business and continue to give your team the best opportunity to win. W's ... that's more important to me."

The Jayhawk duo shared all-league honors with Oklahoma State's Joey Graham and John Lucas and Iowa State's Curtis Stinson.

KU's J.R. Giddens and Aaron Miles were named honorable mention all-league with Missouri's Jimmy McKinney and Linus Kleiza, Oklahoma's Kevin Bookout, Texas' Jason Klotz and P.J. Tucker and Texas A&M's Antoine Wright.

OU's Taj Gray of Wichita was named Newcomer of the Year and Texas' Daniel Gibson Freshman of the Year.

Simien was pleased to see Langford garner first-team mention.

"I think he definitely deserves it, especially the way he played last year fighting through the injuries and what-not," Simien said of Langford, a 6-4 senior from Fort Worth, Texas, who had offseason knee surgery to repair cartilage damage.

Of the first-team mention, Langford said: "It's cool. It's all preseason. My biggest thing is winning.

"Obviously, coaches have a different perspective that writers don't. Not to knock any writers, but coaches put their whole lives into scouting talent and showing what a player means to a team even though it doesn't show up on the stat sheet a lot."

His surgically repaired right knee is feeling strong.

"I feel good, better than I have in months. It feels good to know I have physical capabilities I had awhile ago," Langford said.

Simien, who had a groin injury last season, also is healthy.

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