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March 5, 2008

Beasley & Walker honored for play

Freshmen Michael Beasley and Bill Walker were named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division I All-District 12 first and second teams on Wednesday in voting by its members. Both are eligible for the association's All-America Team.

Beasley and Walker were two of 150 players from 15 districts across the country to be honored. Beasley was joined on the first team by Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, Kansas' Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush and Nebraska's Aleks Maric, while Walker was joined by the second team by Colorado's Richard Roby, Kansas' Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson and Drake's Josh Young.

The former No. 1 high school recruit continues to make his case for National Player of the Year honors, as Beasley is averaging 26.9 points on 54 percent shooting (277-of-513), including 39.8 percent from 3-point range, with 12.6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.2 assists in 31.4 minutes per game this season. As of Monday, he ranks among the top-5 in the nation in both scoring (third) and rebounding (first). He has recorded a double-double in 26 of 29 games and has totaled 23 games of 20 or more points. He leads the nation in double-doubles (26), 40-point games (three), 30-point games (13), 20-point, 10-rebound games (21) and 30-point, 10-rebound games (13).

Beasley already holds 26 Kansas State career, single-season and freshman records as well as 13 Big 12 single-game and single-season marks. With his 33-point, 14-rebound effort against Colorado on Tuesday night, he eclipsed Mitch Richmond's (768; 1987-88) school single-season points record, while he broke the Big 12 record for double-doubles in a season with his 26th on the year. He is just the 27th player in NCAA Division I history to post 26 or more double-doubles in a season and the first since Utah's Andrew Bogut (26) did it in 2004-05.

In addition, Beasley was named as one of 10 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, which is given to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Player of the Year. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA's first player of the year in 1959. The USBWA renamed its player of the year award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998. Beasley was joined on the finalist list by Texas' D.J. Augustin, Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts, Vanderbilt's Shan Foster, North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough, Notre Dame's Luke Harangody, Purdue's Robbie Hummel, UCLA's Kevin Love, Connecticut's A.J. Price and Indiana's D.J. White.

Walker ranks second to Beasley in numerous categories on the team, including scoring (16.3 ppg.), 30-point games (twice), 20-point games (eight), rebounding (6.5 rpg.), double-doubles (four), blocks (0.6 bpg.) and free throws (92), while he is third in 3-point field goals made (31) and steals (0.9 spg.). He has scored in double figures in 26 of his 33 career games, including 22 of 27 games this season. He posted a career-best 31 points against Xavier on Dec. 31, 2007 and against Baylor on Feb. 23, 2008. He is averaging 17.1 points in Big 12 play on 48.3 percent shooting with 6.2 rebounds.

Kansas State (19-10, 9-6 Big 12), which has already clinched a first-round bye in next week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., concludes the regular season on Saturday when they face Iowa State (14-15, 4-10 Big 12) at Hilton Coliseum beginning at 3 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on participating ESPN regional stations.


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