NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma sophomore center Courtney Paris was named the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year in a vote by the league’s coaches.
Paris ended her rookie campaign as a consensus All-American and USBWA National Freshman of the Year. She was also an All-Big 12 First Team selection, Big 12 Freshman of the Year, MVP of the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team and the conference’s co-Defensive Player of the Year. The 6-4 sophomore center became the first player in NCAA history to collect 700 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks in a season. She also broke the 23-year old NCAA single season rebounding record with 539 boards last year. Paris averaged 21.9 points, 15 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and shot .614 from the field in 2005-06.
Other honorees for the 2006-07 season were Bernice Mosby (Baylor), who was chosen Preseason Newcomer of the Year and Brittainey Raven (Texas), who was selected Preseason Freshman of the Year. Joining Paris on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team are Lyndsey Medders (Iowa State), Kiera Hardy (Nebraska), Tiffany Jackson (Texas) and Morenike Atunrase (Texas A&M). All five were members of the 2005-06 All-Big 12 First Team.
In other preseason news, ESPN.com columnist Nancy Lieberman ranked the Sooners No. 2 in her preseason poll. OU only trails defending national champion Maryland in the poll. The No. 2 ranking is the highest of the preseason for OU, which has been ranked No. 6 or higher in all six polls announced to date.
The first chance to catch the 2006-07 team will be at the Baseline Bash on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. The preseason event is part of the homecoming festivities leading up to the Colorado football game on Oct. 21. Admission is free and the doors will open at 6 p.m.
OU opens its season by hosting the State Farm Tip-Off Classic at the Lloyd Noble Center on Nov. 12. OU will play DePaul at 2:30 p.m., while Rutgers (No. 20 in ESPN.com poll) and Georgia (No. 8) will meet in the early game at Noon Central. All four teams reached the Sweet 16 last season.
General admission season tickets still remain for the 2006-07 season, although reserved level tickets have sold out. Fans interested in season tickets can call the OU Ticket Office at (405) 325-GoOU or buy them online by clicking on the link below.
2006-07 Big 12 Conference Preseason All-Big 12 Team
(coaches not allowed to vote for own players)
Preseason Player of the Year
Courtney Paris (Oklahoma)
Preseason Newcomer of the Year
Bernice Mosby (Baylor)
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Brittainey Raven (Texas)
Preseason All-Big 12 Team
G - Lyndsey Medders (Iowa State)
G - Kiera Hardy (Nebraska)
C - Courtney Paris (Oklahoma)
F - Tiffany Jackson (Texas)
F- Morenike Atunrase (Texas A&M)