February 27, 2007

Durant closing in on historical Big 12 season

When Kevin Durant connected on a three-pointer from the right baseline with 8:19 to play Saturday in Norman, the Texas freshman tied the Big 12 record for most points scored in conference play in a single season with 396. At the time, Durant had tied the record set in the 1999-2000 season by Marcus Fizer of Iowa State. Two minutes later, Durant swished a free throw to break the conference all-time scoring record.

For Durant, who has 400 points in 14 Big 12 games, breaking the conference scoring record was expected after the scoring explosion the first half of conference play, but getting the record with two games to play is quite the accomplishment.

Not a bad record to hold in a conference that has seen 12 NBA lottery picks and 26 first-round draft choices come and go in the last 10 years.

While breaking the scoring record is an accomplishment that receives the most attention, Durant is also in line to break the conference rebounding record this week. Through 14 games, he is averaging an all-time Big 12 best 12.5 rebounds per game in conference play. The 14 game total of 175 leaves Durant 15 behind the conference record of 190, recorded in 1996-1997 by Texas Tech's Tony Battie.

With the scoring and rebounding title wrapped up, Durant becomes just the second player in league history to lead the conference in both categories. Former Kansas power forward Wayne Simien was the first to do such in the 2004-05 season averaging 20.6 points and 10.9 rebounds.

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