MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -Michael Beasley of Kansas State was voted The Associated Press Big 12 player of the year Tuesday, the second freshman to receive the honor.
The 6-foot-10 forward drew 17 of 19 first-place votes, with Texas guard D.J. Augustin getting the other two. Beasley's friend Kevin Durrant, the former Texas star now with the Seattle SuperSonics, won as a freshman last year.
A rare blend of brute strength and athleticism, Beasley is averaging 26.5 points and 12.5 rebounds, tops in the nation. He has put an inexperienced Kansas State team on the verge of its first NCAA tournament appearance in a dozen years.
``I couldn't be happier because he's been such a credit to our program, to our league,'' Kansas State coach Frank Martin said. ``For him to have the kind of season he's had individually and to lead us as a kid who just turned 19 recently is a credit to Mike.''
Beasley had 32 points and a Big 12-record 24 rebounds in his first game and never really slowed. His 26 double-doubles were an NCAA freshman record. His 44 points in a game was a Big 12 record. His scoring average is on pace to break the Big 12 record.
``He's a great player,'' Durant said. ``He's putting up 25 (points) and 12 (rebounds) in that league, and that's pretty impressive.''

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