March 11, 2003
NORMAN, Okla. - One of the best players -- and certainly one of the best people -- to ever wear a University of Oklahoma men's basketball uniform, Hollis Price was named the Big 12 Player of the Year today by the Associated Press. The senior guard earned 11 votes and beat out Kansas' Nick Collison (eight votes) and Texas' T.J. Ford (four votes).
Price ranks second in the conference with his 19.4 points per game and leads the league with his .450 three-point percentage and .929 free throw mark. He ranks second in three-pointers per game (3.0). In league play, the New Orleans, La., native ranked second in scoring (20.1 ppg), first in free throw percentage (.935) and three-pointers per game (3.5), and second in three-point percentage (.509). In addition to his 19.4 points per outing, Price is averaging 2.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
The 6-1, 170-pounder has scored in double digits in 26 of 27 games this year and has scored at least 20 points 12 times. He has led the Sooners in scoring 16 times this season, including the last six games. Price scored a career-high 33 in a victory over then-No. 3 Connecticut and went for 31 in a win at Iowa State with the help of 9-for-16 three-point shooting.
Named to the Big 12's All-Defense Team yesterday, Price will go down as one of the best offensive players in school history. He ranks seventh all-time in scoring at OU (1,734 points), first in career free throw percentage (.859), second in three-point field goals (228), third in minutes played (4,065), fourth in steals (212), seventh in assists and eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.394).
Price, who set a school record with 36 straight free throw makes earlier this year and also made 27 in a row this season, is on pace to obliterate the OU single-season free throw percentage record (.867 in 1993-94 by John Ontjes). Price has made 77 of his last 81 free throw attempts.
Oklahoma, ranked sixth in the latest AP and ESPN/USA Today polls, is the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The Sooners earned a first-round bye and will play Friday at 8:20 p.m. against the winner of Thursday's Colorado (No. 6 seed) versus Kansas State (No. 11 seed) contest. The Sooners are 21-6 overall and finished 12-4 in conference play.