Archive for Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Wright earns another first-team nod

Kansas University forward selected for Associated Press All-Big 12 honors

March 6, 2007


Kansas University sophomore Julian Wright, who was named to the coaches' all-Big 12 team Sunday, made it a clean sweep Monday when he was tapped first-team all-league by the Associated Press.

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Chicagoan was the only first-team Jayhawk AP honoree. Sophomore Brandon Rush, who was named first-team by the coaches, was selected second team by the AP writers' panel.

"I like the honor," Wright, who averages 12.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, said before practice Monday at Allen Fieldhouse, "but we're just trying to build toward other team goals right now. It's not like I just have been blowing anybody away with any stats. I just feel I can be a major contributor hopefully in any stretch of the game and any statistical category.

"At the beginning of the year, coach stressed individual honors come when the team does well, so I'm just happy the team has done well," Wright added.

Wright was joined on the first team by unanimous picks Kevin Durant (Texas) and Acie Law IV (Texas A&M;), plus Jarrius Jackson (Texas Tech) and Mario Boggan (Oklahoma State).

Rush was the top vote-getter on the second team. He was joined by Aleks Maric (Nebraska), D.J. Augustin (Texas), Cartier Martin (Kansas State) and Joseph Jones (A&M;).

KU's Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins were honorable-mention selections.

"I think it's a great accomplishment to be on that team with Julian," Rush said of the coaches' squad. "I feel pretty good. It doesn't matter what team you are on. As long as we win, that's all that matters to me."

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2006-07 March 5 KU weekly presser

The AP's third team consists of Stefhon Hannah (Missouri), Nate Carter (Oklahoma), David Hoskins (K-State), JamesOn Curry (Oklahoma State) and Martin Zeno (Texas Tech).

KU coach Bill Self was happy for Wright.

"If you look at our team from a most valuable standpoint, not from point production, the defensive efforts and some assignments he's drawn, he's done a good job there," Self said. "His value to me is so different. He affects how teams have to play us. He is so good against the zone and such a good interior passer. Without question he's our best rebounder. He has really developed.

"He does so many things to impact the game. When he had the game against Florida (21 points, 10 rebounds) it spoiled us saying he should do this on a consistent basis. That's like saying Durant should score 20 every 12 minutes, too."

Kansas Jayhawk Julian Wright honored today

KU sophomore Julian Wright has earned First Team All-Big 12 honors in both major polls, today. Julian is the only Jayhawk to do so. Enlarge video

Of Rush being second team, Self said: "If I was voting I'd put Julian and Brandon both first team. There are some good players in our league. It'd be tough to decide who goes on what team. I'm sure my opinion would be different from a lot of writers and coaches.

"I thought he'd average more points (than his 13.7 average). I didn't think we would average more points. You average 81 in the league, that's pretty good for a team whose leading scorer is averaging 13.7. It means we've got balance."

The Associated Press' Doug Tucker, who organizes and compiles the results of the balloting, contributed to this report.


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