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Burks, Knutson, Higgins Earn All-Big 12 Accolades

Mar 6, 2011

IRVING, Texas - University of Colorado men's basketball senior Levi Knutson, sophomore Alec Burks and senior Cory Higgins were named to three different conference award lists, announced Sunday afternoon by the league office. The official All-Big 12 awards are selected by the league's head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

Knutson was named the co-Sixth Man Award; Burks was named unanimous first team selection; and Higgins was named to third team all-conference.

Knutson, from Littleton, Colo., is the first Buffalo player to earn the Sixth Man Award and just the third CU player in league history to win a major award. He ranked third on CU with 12.1 points per game, while shooting 52.6 percent from the field. He also shot 90 percent from the free throw line, a total that would have ranked second in the league had he met the statistical minimums.

Burks, who was named an honorable mention last year, picked up his first all-first team conference honor.  Last season, the Grandview, Mo. standout earned the Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year award and was named to the All-Rookie Team.

Burks and Jacob Pullen (Kansas State) were the only two unanimous first team selections on this year's team. Pullen (21.4 ppg.) and Burks (20.0) were one-two in conference scoring, while Burks finished tied for third in rebounding (7.6). Burks is the first CU player named to the first team since 2005-06.

Higgins was named to his third-straight third team honor. The senior from Danville, Calif. finished 10th in conference scoring (14.9 ppg.), in addition to third overall in free throw percentage (87.7).

Kansas junior Marcus Morris has been named Big 12 Player of the Year, Dogus Balbay (Texas) earned Defensive Player of the Year recognition, while Ricardo Ratliffe (Missouri) is the top newcomer. Tristan Thompson (Texas) is the Freshman of the Year, while Knutson and Quincy Acy (Baylor) share the Sixth Man Award. Bill Self of Kansas was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year.

Colorado (19-12) seeded No. 5 at the Big 12 Conference Basketball Championships, begins its second season this week taking on No. 12 seed Iowa State, Wednesday, March 9 at 1 p.m. (MST) at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.