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January 28, 2008

Beasley named rookie of the week

IRVING, Texas - Curtis Jerrells (Baylor) and Blake Griffin (Oklahoma) have been chosen the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Players of the Week, while Michael Beasley (Kansas State) has been selected for rookie honors for games of Jan. 21-28 in voting by a panel of media covering the conference. It is the second weekly accolade for Jerrells, third for Griffin and fifth for Beasley this season.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Curtis Jerrells, Baylor, G, Jr., 6-1, 205, Austin, Texas/Del Valle
Jerrells averaged 26.5 points as Baylor split two games last week. The junior guard scored a career-high 36 points in the Bears' 116-110 five-overtime win at Texas A&M. He had 11 points in the last overtime period to clinch the win in the longest game in Big 12 history. He was also 20-of-24 from the charity stripe versus the Aggies, setting a conference record for free throws made. He followed that effort with 17 points as BU dropped a 77-71 decision to Oklahoma. In two games, Jerrells was 14-of-31 (.452) from the floor, including 5-of-12 (.417) from 3-point range. He had a 10-to-2 assist-to-turnover ratio, with six rebounds and three steals.

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma, F, Fr., 6-10, 243, Oklahoma City, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School
Griffin returned from a left knee injury two weeks earlier than expected to lead the Sooners to the win at Baylor in OU's only game of the week. The freshman forward scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in just 22 minutes of play off the bench against the Bears. He was 8-of-17 (.471) from the field with three assists and no turnovers. He netted 15 of his points after halftime, including four straight points with less than two minutes remaining after BU had erased a 16-point deficit. Griffin is averaging a double-double in Big 12 games (14.7 points, 10.0 rebounds) this season.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Michael Beasley, Kansas State, F, Fr., 6-10, 235, Washington, D.C./Notre Dame Prep [Mass.]
Beasley makes it two straight weeks for a Kansas State player to earn rookie honors after he helped the Wildcats move to 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 1987-88. The freshman forward earned Rookie of the Week honors for the third time this season on Monday after averaging 31.0 points and 14.0 rebounds in wins over Colorado and Iowa State last week.

Beasley becomes the first Kansas State player earn Big 12 Rookie of the Week three times in a season, surpassing Tony Kitt (1998-99), Larry Reid (2000-01), Pervis Pasco (2001-02), Jeremiah Massey (2003-04) and David Hoskins (2005-06) who have done it twice. The player of the week award is also Beasley's fifth this season after he earned Rookie of the Week honors on Nov. 19 and Dec. 26, 2007 and Player of the Week accolades on Nov. 12, 2007 and Jan. 14, 2008.

Beasley averaged 31.0 points on 55.3 percent shooting (21-of-38), including 50 percent (2-of-4) from 3-point line, for the week with 14.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.5 assists and 1.0 blocks in 25.0 minutes per game. He also connected on 90 percent (18-of-20) from the free throw line. He began the week with a 29-point effort in a 72-56 road win over Colorado on Jan. 23 on 9-of-17 field goals with 13 rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block in 28 minutes. Saddled with early foul trouble, he scored 26 points in the second half against the Buffaloes on 9-of-15 shooting.

Beasley capped the week off with another stellar performance in an 82-57 win over Iowa State on Saturday, as he posted 33 points on 12-of-21 field goals with 15 rebounds in just 22 minutes of action. It marked his seventh 30-point game of the season, which tied the school single-season record held by Bob Boozer (7, 1958-59) and Norris Coleman (7, 1985-86). He also collected his 16th double-double of the season, which is just two shy of tying the school mark of 18 set by Larry Comley (1960-61).

The former No. 1 high school recruit continues to impress this season, as he is averaging 25.3 points on 56.6 percent shooting (167-of-295), including 38.1 percent from 3-point range, with 12.7 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.2 assists in 29.6 minutes per game this season. As of Friday, he ranked among the top-5 in the nation in both scoring (fourth) and rebounding (first). He has recorded a double-double in 16 of 18 games and has totaled 13 games of 20 or more points.

Kansas State (14-4, 4-0 Big 12), which is off to its best conference start since the 1987-88 season, concludes its brief two-game homestand on Wednesday, Jan. 30 when the Wildcats play host to No. 2 Kansas (20-0, 5-0 Big 12) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 7 p.m. CT.


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