Baylor MBB Trio Earns Preseason All-Big 12 Honors

BU guard/forward Matthew Mayer
BU guard/forward Matthew Mayer(AP)
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 9:35 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Baylor men’s basketball senior Matthew Mayer has been named to the 2021-22 Preseason All-Big 12 Team, while senior James Akinjo is an honorable mention choice and Kendall Brown is the Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year, as announced Wednesday by the conference office.

Preseason All-Big 12 Teams are voted on by the league’s head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own players. The Preseason All-Big 12 Team is typically five players, but a tie in voting created a sixth spot for 2021-22.

Mayer is joined by Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji, Remy Martin and David McCormack, as well as Texas’ Marcus Carr and Texas Tech’s Terrence Shannon to form the six-man Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Honorable mention selections include Akinjo, Oklahoma State’s Avery Anderson and Moussa Cisse, TCU’s Mike Miles, Texas’ Andrew Jones and Tre Mitchell and West Virginia’s Taz Sherman.

Brown is the first player in program history selected as Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year. A five-star guard/forward from Cottage Grove, Minn., he joined the Bears after being ranked No. 12 nationally.

Akinjo is a transfer who has played 66 games and made 65 starts over three collegiate seasons, spending his first two years at Georgetown before playing at Arizona during the 2020-21 season. He started all 26 games for Arizona during the 2020-21 season, earning All-Pac 12 First Team honors after leading the Wildcats to a 17-9 record.

Mayer is the 11th Baylor player since 2007-08 selected to the traditionally five-player Preseason All-Big 12 Team. He joins Jared Butler, Tristan Clark, Johnathan Motley, Rico Gathers, Cory Jefferson, Isaiah Austin, Pierre Jackson, Perry Jones III, LaceDarius Dunn and Curtis Jerrells.

An Austin, Texas, native, Mayer has played off the bench in 93 games over his first three seasons at Baylor, averaging 5.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game. He increased his scoring production by 68 percent from his sophomore to junior year, averaging 8.1 points per game as a junior last season after posting 4.8 points per game as a sophomore in 2019-20.

Mayer has come off the bench to post double-figure scoring 21 times in his career, including 11 times in 30 games while helping the Bears to the 2021 National Championship a season ago. He shot 40 percent from 3-point range (30-of-76) and nearly doubled his rebounding total from the prior season, increasing from 1.9 rebounds per game to 3.7 boards per contest. He added 36 steals for an average of 3.1 steals per 40 minutes.

Baylor opens the 2021-22 season on Friday, Nov. 12, with a home game against Incarnate Word. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+, and there will be a pregame National Championship banner unveiling and ring ceremony at the Ferrell Center.

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