Nash is the only player on the list from the Big 12 Conference. The others included were: Florida's Bradley Beal, Louisville's Chane Behanan, Pittsburgh's Khem Birch, Connecticut's Andre Drummond, Duke's Austin Rivers, Memphis' Adonis Thomas, Arizona's Josiah Turner, Indiana's Cody Zeller and the Kentucky trio of Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague.
Other former Big 12 players who have won the award include Texas' T.J. Ford (2002), Kevin Durant of Texas (2007) and Kansas State's Michael Beasley (2008).
Coaches' Poll Released
The preseason Coaches' Poll was released on Thursday with North Carolina coming in as an almost unanimous No.1. The Tar Heels received 30 first place votes with the only other vote going to No. 2 Kentucky. Ohio State, Connecticut and Syracuse round out the Top 5.
Four Big 12 teams landed in the Top 25: No. 12 Baylor, No. 13 Kansas, No. 19 Texas A&M and No. 25 Missouri represent the conference in the initial poll. Texas is ranked 27th after receiving 106 votes and Kansas State received two Top 25 votes to round out the conference recognition.
OSU was picked to finish seventh in the league in the preseason. All six teams projected higher than the Cowboys received votes.
Guerrero Healing Well
Coach Travis Ford confirmed that injured freshman point guard Cezar Guerrero is recovering very well from his frightening neck injury suffered during Monday's practice in Stillwater. Ford said he expects Guerrero to be back on the court as early as next week, which is great news considering how scary his injury was. Speaking of…
Ford Gives Specifics Of Guerrero's Injury
Coach Ford gave a detailed account of Guerrero's injury on Thursday at Big 12 Media Day in Kansas City. Here is what he had to say:
"We had something that's never happened to me in all of my years of coaching. Cezar Guerrero, a freshman, who was playing really, really well, picks up things as quick as any freshman I've ever had and somebody we count on playing some minutes hopefully, was trying to -- was coming off the baseline up through the lane guarding his man and got a screen set on him, and first thing to hit was kind of his neck, his shoulder area. And we watched it on film yesterday, and he just literally collapsed. And we've had that happen before. And I think he was knocked out for maybe five or ten seconds. And then he was screaming and yelling "my neck, my neck," different things like that, and was just flat on his back.
Our trainer, first and foremost, Jason Miller, did an unbelievable job of handling the situation. I mean, I can't say enough of what Jason did, how he handled him. He immediately came out there, immobilized his neck immediately and started asking him questions, doing different things.
We immediately called the local paramedics in Stillwater. They got there very quickly. They did a round of tests and immediately called for a helicopter. And we knew the seriousness of it at that time. And there was concern of paralysis from the tests that they were doing. So obviously everyone was shaken up at that time. Players were really tore up like nothing I've ever seen. It just goes back to the chemistry of this team, the closeness. They were tore up. To the point we had to take them off the court and console them. And we didn't even know what was happening at that point in time.
Helicopter came, took him to Oklahoma City. They wouldn't let me go with him. Nobody could go with him so me and one of my assistants drove immediately to Oklahoma City to the hospital. They did a great job there, immediately doing tests.
Throughout the night — we didn't even know yet — he was starting to feel better in the hospital, a little bit better, was still very groggy and very, very sore; started to get movement in his legs. We started feeling good — this is not as serious as we thought it was.
Still didn't have the answers to the MRIs or the CAT scans, until the following morning, and I was there. We spent the night with him. And the next morning the doctors came in at 7:00 a.m. and told him everything looked absolutely positively normal, perfect. Nothing wrong.
A stinger is what he called it. So he is back going to class. He has a neck brace on. He sees the doctor again on Monday. We are hoping — the doctor even said hopefully at that point in time he may be able to resume playing.
But scary moment, but I think he's going to be OK. We're more probably concerned about him mentally at this point than anything because it was a great scare for him. But it was great to have him at practice. We had an open practice yesterday and it was packed. We didn't know exactly how many would show up. And it was surprising, a great, great crowd and they gave — a lot of people — almost a standing ovation. So it was great to see that.
And even the players were cheering for C.J. We call him C.J. And so hopefully he'll rejoin our team very, very quickly."