STILLWATER – Oklahoma State star guard Cade Cunningham became just the fourth player in Big 12 history to sweep the Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards, the league announced on Monday.
Cunningham joins Cowboy legend Marcus Smart (2012-13), Kansas State’s Michael Beasley (2007-08) and Texas’ Kevin Durant (2006-07) as the only players in league history to win Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year in the same season.
The Arlington, Texas native joins a list with six other Oklahoma State greats to win conference player of the year honors; Smart (2013), James Anderson (2010), John Lucas III (2004), Tony Allen (2004), Bryant Reeves (1993, 1995) and Byron Houston (1991). He is OSU’s fourth Big 12 Freshman of the Year recipient along with Jawun Evans (2016), Smart (2013) and Le’Bryan Nash (2012).
Cunningham, a nine-time Big 12 weekly award winner, finished the regular season as the league’s top scorer in both overall (19.7) and conference (20.1) games and is on the national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award. He is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award, a Naismith Trophy semifinalist and was the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week after his 40-point, 11-rebound performance in an overtime win at then-No. 7 Oklahoma.
According to Stats Perform, only four other power conference players over the last 20 seasons can match Cunningham’s all-around stat line of 19.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.
On top of the superlative honors, Cunningham was also a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 First Team, the All-Freshman team and the All-Newcomer Team.
Cowboy junior Isaac Likekele also earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors for a second straight year. The OSU captain ranks fifth in Big 12 in minutes, fourth in rebounds and 10th in assists per game. He leads the squad with a plus/minus of +100, and his 324 career assists are the 13th most in program history.
Oklahoma State begins postseason play on Thursday at the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Missouri. Tipoff from the T-Mobile Center is slated for 10:30 a.m. on ESPN or ESPN2.