Melvin Ejim beats out Andrew Wiggins for Big 12 Player of the Year

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

C (USATSI)
Melvin Ejim is your 2014 Big 12 Player of the Year. (USATSI)

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Despite a third-place finish in the Big 12, Iowa State boasts the league's Player of the Year.

The award, which is voted on by conference coaches, was named Sunday. Cyclones senior forward Melvin Ejim won out over contenders such as Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart and even his own teammate, DeAndre Kane. Kane is one of two players in the country averaging at least 16 points, six rebounds and five assists per game.

It's the first time in 13 years an ISU player has won the award. Ejim averaged 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds, good for second in the conference in both categories. He also had one of the biggest shooting showings of the season, back when he put up a conference-record 48 points on TCU on Feb. 8.

Kansas' Joel Embiid took in Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first freshman in Big 12 history to do so. One day removed from his career-best 41 points on the road against West Virginia, Wiggins (16.8 points per game) won Freshman of the Year. And Texas' Rick Barnes won Coach of the Year for the fourth time as Longhorns coach. UT tied for third with ISU at an 11-7 mark.

Bill Self and Kansas finished 14-4, giving the program a 10th straight regular-season league title under Self. The Jayhawks swept the Cyclones this season.

The Big 12 tournament gets underway Wednesday in Kansas City.

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