Texas Tech senior Marcus Santos-Silva was named the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year while juniors Kyler Edwards and Mac McClung are Big 12 Preseason Honorable Mention selections in the conference’s preseason awards that were announced on Wednesday.
The Big 12 Preseason Poll will be announced on Thursday.
Jared Butler (Baylor) was selected Big 12 Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year while Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State) was named Freshman of the Year to go along with Santos-Silva’s recognition. The honors were voted on by head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
Santos-Silva played the last three seasons at VCU where he was named NABC All-District Second Team and led his team in scoring (12.8), rebounding (8.9) and blocks (1.2). The senior forward also registered 10 double-doubles during the shortened season. Texas Tech boasts the preseason newcomer of the year in consecutive seasons as Chris Clarke grabbed the honor in 2019-20. Santos-Silva graduated from VCU over the summer and is the lone senior on this year’s Texas Tech roster.
A junior from Arlington, Edwards is coming off a season where he averaged 11.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game for the Red Raiders. He is Tech’s leading returner in scoring and assists where he had 95 last season. Edwards has played in 69 games for the Red Raiders, including playing a reserve role in all 38 games during the historic 2018-19 season as a freshman then starting all 31 games as a sophomore. He has averaged 8.1 points per game during his career and comes into this season with 562 career points, 208 rebounds and 137 assists. McClung is in his first season at Texas Tech after playing two years at Georgetown where he averaged 14.2 points, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game. A junior from Gate City, Virginia, he competed in 50 games for the Hoyas, including dropping 38 points on Little Rock and 33 against Oklahoma State last season. He was a two-time BIG East Player of the Week last season where he averaged 15.7 points.
Butler was a unanimous selection on the All-Big 12 First Team and received votes for consensus All-America last season as he helped lead Baylor to a second-place Conference finish. His 16.0 points per game were third in the league and he was also third in 3-pt field goals made with a 2.57 average. The junior guard was seventh in both field goal percentage (.421) and steals (1.63). Butler is the third Bear to garner preseason player of the year, joining Pierre Jackson (2012-13) and Perry Jones III (2011-12).
Cunningham was the 2020 Naismith High School Player of the Year, a McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American and named the nation’s top recruit, among many other honors. He led Montverde Academy to a unanimous No. 1 ranking and a 25-0 record last season with wins over seven ranked opponents. Despite playing just 22 minutes a game, the point guard averaged 13.9 points, 6.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds. Cunningham is the fourth Cowboy to be selected as preseason freshman of the year.
Butler and Cunningham were both also named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team along with Marcus Garrett (Kansas), Austin Reaves (Oklahoma), Matt Coleman III (Texas) and Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia). A tie created an extra position on the team. Butler and Garrett were unanimous selections. Garrett was the 2019-20 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the All-Big 12 Third Team, along with Coleman III. Tshiebwe was selected to last season’s All-Big 12 Second Team.
Preseason Player of the Year: Jared Butler, Baylor, G, 6-3, 195, Jr., Reserve, La.
Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Marcus Santos-Silva, Texas Tech, F, 6-7, 245, Sr., Taunton, Massachusetts
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State, G, 6-8, 200, Fr., Arlington, Texas
Preseason All-Big 12 Team
Jared Butler, Baylor*, G, 6-3, 195, Jr., Reserve, La./Riverside Academy
Marcus Garrett, Kansas*, G, 6-5, 195, Sr., Dallas, Texas/Skyline
Austin Reaves, Oklahoma, G, 6-5, 206, Sr., Newark, Ark./Cedar Ridge/Wichita State
Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State, G, 6-8, 200, Fr., Arlington, Texas/Montverde Academy
Matt Coleman III, Texas, G, 6-2, 180, Sr., Norfolk, Va./Oak Hill Academy
Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia, F, 6-9, 260, So., Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo/Kennedy Catholic (Pa.)
* Denotes unanimous selection.
A tie resulted in an extra position on the team.
Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school):
MaCio Teague (Baylor), Mark Vital (Baylor), Greg Brown III (Texas), Courtney Ramey (Texas), Jericho Sims (Texas), Kyler Edwards (Texas Tech), Mac McClung (Texas Tech), Derek Culver (West Virginia)
Coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.
Release provided by Texas Tech University