Houston debuts in Big 12 with a title, player of year Jamal Shead and top coach Kelvin Sampson

Houston had no problem adjusting to the Big 12, going right to the top in its new conference.

Cougars senior point guard Jamal Shead was named The Associated Press Big 12 player of the year Tuesday and Kelvin Sampson the league's top coach. The nation's No. 1 team wrapped up its first regular season in the Big 12 by winning the outright conference championship; Houston (28-3) won the American Athletic title the last two years.

Kansas senior center Hunter Dickinson, the 7-foot-2 transfer from Michigan who was voted the Big 12's top newcomer, and Shead were unanimous AP first-team picks as determined by a panel of 17 journalists who cover the league. Three graduates rounded out the first team, Kansas guard Kevin McCullar Jr., and Texas teammates Dylan Disu and Max Abmas.

Shead is averaging 13.2 points, 6.2 assists and 2.3 steals a game for the Cougars and is the only player ranked in the top 20 nationally for assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.14 to 1). He got 16 votes for AP top player, and Dickinson got one.

“A point guard’s greatest statistic is did his team win, and Jamal cares more about winning than any individual statistic," Sampson said. "In my 35 years, he is the greatest leader I have ever coached.”

Dickinson is the only Big 12 player averaging a double-double, at 18.0 points and 10.8 rebounds a game and leads the league making 55% of his field goals. He got 15 first-place votes for top newcomer; Oral Roberts transfer Abmas (16.8 ppg) got the other two.

Sampson got nine votes for coach of the year, and T.J. Otzelberger from Big 12 runner-up and seventh-ranked Iowa State got six. The remaining votes were split by Texas Tech's Grant McCasland and BYU's Mark Pope.


u-Center — Hunter Dickinson, Kansas, 7-2, 260, Sr., Alexandria, Virginia.

u-Guard — Jamal Shead, Houston, 6-1, 200, Sr., Manor, Texas.

Guard — Max Abmas, Texas, 6-0, 175, Gr., Rockwall, Texas.

Guard — Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas, 6-7, 212, Gr., San Antonio, Texas.

Forward — Dylan Disu, Texas, 6-9, 225, Gr., Pflugerville, Texas.

—“u-” denotes unanimous selection.


Guard — L.J. Cryer, Houston, 6-1, 200, Sr., Katy, Texas.

Guard — RayJ Dennis, Baylor, 6-2, 180, Sr., Plainview, Illinois.

Guard — Pop Isaacs, Texas Tech, 6-2, 180, So., Las Vegas.

Guard — Tamin Lipsey, Iowa State, 6-1, 200, So., Ames, Iowa.

Forward — Emanuel Miller, TCU, 6-7, 215, Sr., Scarborough, Ontario.


Coach of the year — Kelvin Sampson, Houston.

Player of the year — Jamal Shead, Houston.

Newcomer of the year — Hunter Dickinson, Kansas.


AP All-Big 12 Voting Panel: Eric Bailey, Tulsa World; Brice Cherry, Waco Tribune-Herald; Darnell Dickson, (Provo) Daily Herald; Nathan Giese, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal; Arne Green, Topeka Capital-Journal; Henry Greenstein, Lawrence Journal-World; Jordan Guskey, Topeka Capital-Journal; Justin Jackson, The Dominion Post; Steven Johnson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Thomas Jones, Austin American-Statesman; Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel; Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register; Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle; Scott Springer, Cincinnati Enquirer; Colton Sulley, The Oklahoman; Scott Wright, The Oklahoman; Mason Young, Tulsa World.


More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25