Oklahoma men's basketball players Tyler Neal and D.J. Bennett were each named to the 2014 Academic All-Big 12 Team on Wednesday, the conference office announced.
The Academic All-Big 12 honor is the third for Neal, who was named to the 16-player first team (includes student-athletes who have recorded a 3.20 or better GPA). He was one of three league players who were nominated with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Bennett was one of 13 players named to the second team (3.00 to 3.19 GPA).
Neal, a communication major from Oklahoma City, has come off the bench to average career highs of 6.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game this season. The senior forward is also shooting career highs of .457 from the field and .424 (28-for-66) from 3-point range. He has scored in double figures eight times this year after doing it four times his first three seasons combined.
Bennett, a junior forward, is an arts and sciences planned program major who hails from Chicago, Ill. He has played in all but one game this season and averages 2.8 points and 2.0 points in 8.7 minutes a contest while shooting .638 from the field. He ranks second on the team with 24 blocked shots. This is the first Academic All-Big 12 honor for Bennett, who is coming off a six-point game at Kansas on Monday (his highest output in Big 12 play).
To qualify for the all-academic team, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher (either cumulative or over the two previous semesters) and have participated in 60 percent of his team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.
The Sooners, who are 20-8 overall and 9-6 in Big 12 play, host No. 24/23 Texas on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT in a game that will be televised by the Big 12 Network. Neal and Cameron Clark will be recognized during a pre-game, on-court Senior Day ceremony.
/// SoonerSports PR
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