Griffin Named All-Big 12

University of Oklahoma freshman forward Blake Griffin was named first-team All-Big 12, becoming the first Sooner freshman to earn the honor since Wayman Tisdale.

NORMAN, Okla. – Rewarded for one of the best regular seasons by a freshman in University of Oklahoma men's basketball history, forward Blake Griffin was named a first-team All-Big 12 selection today in a vote by conference coaches. He was also named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team.

The 6-10, 243-pound Griffin becomes the first OU freshman to earn first-team all-league honors since Wayman Tisdale was crowned Big Eight Player of the Year in 1983. Like Tisdale did, Griffin wears jersey No. 23.

Joining Griffin on the six-man, first-team all-league squad are Baylor's Curtis Jerrells, Kansas' Darrell Arthur and Brandon Rush, Kansas State's Michael Beasley and Texas' D.J. Augustin. Other members of the Big 12 All-Rookie Team include Beasley, Kansas State's Bill Walker, Oklahoma State's James Anderson and Texas A&M's DeAndre Jordan.

Griffin has overcome two knee injuries to average 15.2 points, 9.2 rebounds (both team highs) and 1.9 assists per game while shooting .568 from the field. He ranks eighth in the Big 12 in scoring, fourth in rebounding and third in field goal percentage.

In his 13 full Big 12 games, the Oklahoma City native is averaging 16.9 points, 10.4 boards and 2.2 assists. He has amassed nine double-doubles on the year (six against teams that have been ranked at some point this season) and is averaging 19.1 points and 14.0 rebounds in those contests.

A McDonald's High School American last year at Oklahoma Christian School in Edmond, Griffin holds OU's top four scoring performances this season. He netted 29 points versus Baylor (Feb. 19), 27 against Kansas State (Jan. 12), 26 versus Mount St. Mary's (Jan. 7) and 25 at Colorado (Feb. 9). He also holds nine of the team's top 10 rebounding marks.

Maybe as impressive as his statistics this season has been the speed in which he's recovered from injuries to each knee. After spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee five minutes into the Jan. 14 game at Kansas, Griffin was expected to miss up to four weeks of action. Twelve days later he scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a win at No. 25 Baylor.

Early in OU's March 1 victory against Texas A&M, Griffin sustained a partial tear of the medial meniscus in his right knee. He had arthroscopic surgery the next morning and was expected to be sidelined until the postseason. He returned to the court six days later and delivered 14 crucial points and eight boards in a win over Missouri.

Griffin, who has scored in double figures in 19 of his last 21 games, will lead the Sooners (21-10, overall, 9-7 Big 12) into a Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship quarterfinals contest on Friday at 2 p.m. CDT in Kansas City, Mo. OU will face No. 5 seed Baylor or No. 12 seed Colorado.

If Oklahoma wins on Friday it will play a 1 p.m. semifinals contest on Saturday. Sunday's title game will tip at 2 p.m.

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