Sunday, March 9, 2014

MBB: Four Sooners Earn Big 12 Basketball Honors

University of Oklahoma men's basketball players Buddy Hield, Cameron Clark, Ryan Spangler and Tyler Neal earned All-Big 12 awards for their efforts during the 2013-14 season, the conference announced Sunday.

Hield was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team, Clark was a third-team pick and Spangler earned honorable mention all-league acclaim. Neal was named co-sixth man of the year. The official All-Big 12 awards are selected by the league's head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

Hield, a sophomore guard from Freeport, Bahamas, ranks ninth in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.8 points per game, second in steals (1.5 spg), third in 3-pointers per game (2.8) and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (.402). In Big 12 play, he averaged 17.5 points (ranked eighth) and 1.6 steals (second) while shooting .429 from behind the arc (fourth). He tied Baylor's Brady Heslip for the league lead by averaging 3.5 treys per conference game.

Hield has scored in double figures in 29 of 31 games. He made at least three 3-pointers in 14 of 18 Big 12 games, including in nine of the last 10 outings. With 86 3-pointers on the year, Hield now ranks 10th on OU's single-season records list.

Clark ranks 12th in the Big 12 with his 15.2 season scoring average and ranks second on the OU squad by averaging 5.6 rebounds a game. The senior forward from Sherman, Texas, is shooting .437 from 3-point range with 31 makes. As a junior, Clark attempted only one 3-pointer. He owns OU's three highest scoring totals this season, going for a career-high 32 against then-No. 1 Michigan State and then-No. 18 Kansas, and 31 against UT Arlington.

Spangler, playing in his first season as a Sooner after transferring from Gonzaga, is the Big 12's leading rebounder at 9.4 per game and also averages 9.9 points an outing. The sophomore forward from Tuttle, Okla., ranks second in the Big 12 with 10 double-doubles and has recorded 15 double-digit rebounding games. Spangler is shooting a team-best .600 from the field on the season and has shot at least 50 percent in 27 of 31 contests.

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Neal, a senior forward, is enjoying his best season as a Sooner. The Oklahoma City product is averaging career highs of 6.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 15.7 minutes a game while shooting .449 from the field and .419 from 3-point range, also career bests. Neal has scored in double figures eight times this year after doing it a combined four times his first three seasons.

Oklahoma finished alone in second place in the Big 12 at 12-6 and enters this week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with a 23-8 overall record. The 23 regular season wins are tied for OU's fourth most in the 18-year era of the Big 12.

The Sooners will play a Big 12 quarterfinals game against No. 7 seed Baylor or No. 10 seed TCU on Thursday at 6 p.m. CT at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. If OU wins it will play Friday at 8:30 in the semifinals. Saturday's championship game will start at 8 p.m.

/// SoonerSports PR 
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