WVU’s Konate Named To 2018-19 Preseason All-Big 12 Team
West Virginia junior forward Sagaba Konate has been named to the 2018-19 Big 12 men’s basketball preseason first team.
Konate is the third Mountaineer to earn a preseason first-team honor from the Big 12 since WVU joined the league in 2012. Jevon Cater was a first-team selection the last year’s preseason, while Juwan Staten was named to the squad prior to the 2014-15 season. At the same time, West Virginia has had eight men’s basketball players earn postseason spots on the Big 12’s first, second or third team, or honorable mention. The first-team picks have been Carter in 2018 and Staten in 2015 and 2014.
Konate was a third-team all-Big 12 pick at the end of last season and was also named to the league’s all-defensive team.
WVU’s Konate was one of five players selected for this year’s all-Big 12 preseason team, along with Kansas State senior forward Dean Wade, who was the only unanimous selection for the squad, which was chosen by the league’s 10 head coaches. Joining Konate and Wade on the first team are Iowa State sophomore guard Lindell Wigginton, Kansas junior forward Dedric Lawson and Kansas State senior guard Barry Brown.
Wade was also named the preseason player of the year for the Big 12. It’s just the second time in conference history that a Wildcat has earned such an honor, joining Jacob Pullen in 2010.
Lawson was picked newcomer of the year, while Kansas teammate Quentin Grimes was selected freshman of the year.
Wade has played in 101 career games at K-State and started 98 of them. He had played in every game in his career until missing most of the last five games due to injury in 2017-18. The 6-foot-10 forward was selected to the All-Big 12 First Team at the conclusion of last season after averaging 16.2 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 55 percent (198-of-360) from the field.
Having previously spent two seasons at Memphis, Lawson transferred to Kansas last summer and will now be eligible for the Jayhawks after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. As a sophomore in 2016-17 at Memphis, the 6-foot-9 forward averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds.
Grimes was the Texas state player of the year as a senior at College Park High School and picked up numerous All-America honors. The 6-foot-5 guard earned Most Valuable Player and All-Tournament honors at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 World Championships in leading the USA to the gold medal under the direction of KU coach Bill Self.
Wade is the only 2017-18 All-Big 12 first-team selection returning to the conference this season. Brown was an All-Big 12 second-team pick last year while Konate was selected to the third team and Wigginton was honorable mention. This year’s preseason team consists of two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore after being comprised of all seniors in 2017-18.
The Big 12 preseason poll will be announced on Oct. 19.
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Preseason Player of the Year
Dean Wade, K-State, F, 6-10, 228, Sr., St. John, Kan./St. John
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Dedric Lawson, Kansas, F, 6-9, 235, Jr., Memphis, Tenn. /Hamilton/Memphis
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Quentin Grimes, Kansas, G, 6-5, 210, Fr., The Woodlands, Texas/College Park
Preseason All-Big 12 Team
Name, School Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/Previous School(s)
Lindell Wigginton, Iowa State G 6-2 188 So. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia/Oak Hill Academy
Dedric Lawson, Kansas F 6-9 235 Jr. Memphis, Tenn./Hamilton/Memphis
Barry Brown, Jr., K-State G 6-3 195 Sr. St. Petersburg, Fla./Gibbs
Dean Wade, K-State* F 6-10 228 Sr. St. John, Kan./St. John
Sagaba Konate, West Virginia F 6-8 250 Jr. Bamako, Mali/Kennedy Catholic
Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school):
Cameron Lard (Iowa State), Udoka Azubuike (Kansas), Quentin Grimes (Kansas), Alex Robinson (TCU), Kerwin Roach (Texas), Jericho Sims (Texas), Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech)