Tucker 'Big 12 Player Of Year'

Texas junior P.J. Tucker is the 2005-06 Big 12 Player of the Year while teammate LaMarcus Aldridge was tabbed the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, the league office announced Monday.

Tucker and Aldridge both earned a spot on the All-Big 12 First Team, while senior Brad Buckman and sophomore Daniel Gibson were each named to the All-Big 12 Third Team. The announcement comes one day after Texas clinched a share of the conference title as well as the top seed in this weekend's Big 12 Tournament with a 72-48 shellacking of Oklahoma. The Horns will face the Texas Tech/Kansas State winner, 11:30 a.m., Friday, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. If the seeds hold true, Texas will play No. 4 Texas A&M at 1 p.m., Saturday.

The Player of the Year award underscores Tucker's resilient comeback after he was declared academically ineligible for the last 14 games of his sophomore season. He currently leads the Horns with 16.1 points-per-game and 9.0 rebounds-per-game. He is the first Texas player to earn Player of the Year accolades in the 10-year history of the Big 12 Conference. In fact, he is the first Longhorn to garner conference Player of the Year honors since B.J. Tyler claimed Southwest Conference Player of the Year honors in 1993-94.

Aldridge garnered the program's first-ever Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award. The sophomore is Texas' second-leading scorer (15.4 ppg) and is virtually tied with Tucker as the team's chairman of the boards (8.9 rpg). Aldridge also leads the Horns with 59 blocked shots this season. Both Aldridge and Tucker earned a spot on the five-person Big 12 All-Defensive Team.

The All-Big 12 awards are selected by the league's head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players. Coaches also selected All-Defensive and All-Rookie Teams for the first time.

Meanwhile, five Texas players earned a total of seven Big 12 Conference Basketball Specialty Team spots as determined by a panel of sportswriters who regularly cover the league. Texas' A.J. Abrams was named to the six-person All-Freshman team and to the five-person All-Reserve team. Aldridge also garnered mention on the five-person All-Improved team. Gibson joined Aldridge on the All-Defense team. Buckman and Kenton Paulino were each named to the five-person All-Underrated team.

2005-06 All-Big 12 Men's Basketball Awards (determined by league coaches)
Player of the Year: P.J. Tucker (Texas)
Defensive Player of the Year: LaMarcus Aldridge (Texas)
Newcomer of the Year: Michael Neal (Oklahoma)
Freshman of the Year: Brandon Rush (Kansas)
Coach of the Year: Bill Self (Kansas)

All-Big 12 First Team
LaMarcus Aldridge (Texas); P.J. Tucker (Texas); Richard Roby (Colorado); Brandon Rush (Kansas); Jarrius Jackson (Texas Tech)

All-Big 12 Second Team
Curtis Stinson (Iowa State); Cartier Martin (Kansas State); Terrell Everett (Oklahoma); Taj Gray (Oklahoma); Joseph Jones (Texas A&M)

All-Big 12 Third Team
Will Blalock (Iowa State); Thomas Gardner (Missouri); Brad Buckman (Texas); Daniel Gibson (Texas); Acie Law (Texas A&M)

Big 12 All-Defensive Team
LaMarcus Aldridge (Texas); P.J. Tucker (Texas); Mario Chalmers (Kansas); Russell Robinson (Kansas); Taj Gray (Oklahoma)

2005-06 Big 12 Basketball Specialty Team (determined by media)

All-Freshman (tie in voting)
A.J. Abrams (Texas), Mario Chalmers (Kansas), Curtis Jerrells (Baylor), Brandon Rush (Kansas), Jamel White (Nebraska), Julian Wright (Kansas)

All-Newcomer (transfers)
Mario Boggan (Oklahoma State), David Hoskins (Kansas State), Torre Johnson (Oklahoma State), Michael Neal (Oklahoma), Anatanas Kalaliaskas (Texas A&M)

All-Defense (tie in voting)
LaMarcus Aldridge (Texas), Daniel Gibson (Texas), Mario Chalmers (Kansas), Marcus Dove (Oklahoma State), Russell Robinson (Kansas), Curtis Stinson (Iowa State)

A.J. Abrams (Texas), Torre Johnson (Oklahoma State), Martane Freeman; (Colorado), Michael Neal (Oklahoma), Jamel White (Nebraska)

Brad Buckman (Texas), Rahshon Clark (Iowa State), Dominique Kirk (Texas A&M), Kenton Paulino (Texas), Wes Wilkerson (Nebraska)

LaMarcus Aldridge (Texas), Thomas Gardner (Missouri), Aleks Maric (Nebraska), Cartier Martin (Kansas State), David Monds (Oklahoma State)

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