MU second in media poll

For the first time in seven years, the Big 12 coaches and media disagreed on a No. 1 preseason team. But the media didn't drop the Tigers far, only to second behind Kansas. Several other Missouri players received recognition for personal awards, too.

Missouri's high expectations kept on coming Tuesday when the Big 12 released its media preseason poll.

The Tigers finished second in the poll behind Kansas and received eight of the 29 first-place votes. In the coaches' poll released two weeks ago, Missouri finished first ahead of Texas and Kansas.

The bigger honor, though, went to Missouri center Arthur Johnson. The media named Johnson the preseason Player of the Year. Johnson, a senior, has already set the Missouri record for blocks with 197 and needs only 194 rebounds to become the school's all-time rebound. Johnson had a league-record 19 double-doubles last season.

The media also named Johnson to the All-Big 12 first team along with teammate Rickey Paulding. Paulding also received votes for Player of the Year.

As in the coaches' poll, Jason Conley received the honor of preseason Newcomer of the Year. Conley led the nation in scoring two seasons ago at Virginia Military Institute with 29.5 points per game. Conley will not be able to play for the Tigers until Dec. 21, when Missouri plays UNC-Greensboro.

Randy Pulley, a transfer point guard, received votes for Newcomer of the Year, and forward Linus Kleiza received votes for preseason Freshman of the Year.

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories