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March 31, 2008

Beasley named AP All-American

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Freshman forward Michael Beasley became just the second player in school history to earn first team All-America honors from The Associated Press on Monday, as he joined North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough as the only unanimous selections by the organization.

Beasley and Hansbrough were joined on The Associated Press All-America first team by Texas' D.J. Augustin, Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts and UCLA's Kevin Love. Beasley and Hansbrough joined St. Joseph's Jameer Nelson and Connecticut's Emeka Okafor in 2004 and Duke's J.J. Redick and Gonzaga's Adam Morrison in 2006 as unanimous tandems. It also marked the first time that no senior was chosen to the first team since the AP starting choosing All-America teams after the 1947-48 season.

"It is great that Michael is receiving the recognition that he deserves for his outstanding season," said Frank Martin. "He put together arguably one of the great seasons ever by a college freshman, while setting all sorts of records at the school, conference and national level. Despite all of his honors, I think he is most proud of leading our program back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 12 years."

The Washington, D.C., native joins Bob Boozer as the only players in Kansas State history to earn first team All-America honors from The Associated Press. Boozer, the school's only consensus first team All-American, was named to the first team after his outstanding 1959 season. Overall, Beasley is just the fifth player in school history to earn recognition to any of organization's three All-America teams, joining Rolando Blackman (third team -- 1980); Bob Boozer (second team -- 1958; first team -- 1959), Mike Evans (third team -- 1978) and Dick Knostman (third team -- 1952; second team -- 1953).

The honor was one of many that continue to roll in for the freshman who is already the first player in Kansas State history to earn a National Player of the Year award. In addition to earning Player of the Year accolades from both CBS Sports.com and Rivals.com, Beasley was recently named one of four finalists for the 2008 Naismith Player of the Year Award presented by AT&T and the Atlanta Tipoff Club. He, along with fellow finalists Chris Douglas-Roberts, Tyler Hansbrough and Kevin Love, will travel to the Final Four, where the trophy will be presented on Sunday, April 6 at the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Guardians of the Game awards program. He also is already one of 10 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year award and one of 25 for the John R. Wooden Award.

In addition to his National Player of the Year awards, Beasley has been named National Freshman of the Year by five organizations, including CBS Sports.com, Rivals.com, CollegeHoops.net, The Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). He has also been selected a first team All-American by numerous outlets, including CBS Sports.com, Dick Vitale, ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers Association. In addition, he was chosen as a first team Freshman All-American by CBS Sports.com and Rivals.com, while teammate Bill Walker was announced to CBS Sports.com's Freshman All-America third team.

The former No. 1 high school recruit posted one of the greatest seasons by freshman in NCAA history, as Beasley averaged 26.2 points on 53.2 percent shooting (307-of-577), including 37.9 percent from 3-point range, with 12.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.2 assists in 31.5 minutes per game this season. He posted the second-most rebounds (408) by a freshman in NCAA history, trailing just the record of 462 set by Nevada's Pete Padgett in 1972-73, while he collected the third-most points (866) by a freshman behind LSU's Chris Jackson (965; 1988-89) and Texas' Kevin Durant (903; 2006-07). As of the last NCAA ranking, he still was rated among the top-5 in the nation in both scoring (third) and rebounding (first). He leads the nation in five categories, including double-doubles (28), 40-point games (three), 30-point games (13), 20-point, 10-rebound games (23) and 30-point, 10-rebound games (13). He is just the 11th player in NCAA Division I history to post 28 or more double-doubles in a season and the first since Wake Forest's Tim Duncan collected 29 during the 1996-97 season.

Beasley already holds 30 Kansas State career, single-season and freshman records as well as 17 Big 12 single-game and single-season marks. He is both the school's and conference's all-time single-season leader in scoring average (26.2 ppg.) and double-doubles (28), while he owns school single-season marks for points (866), rebounds (408), most 30-point games (13), most 20-point games (26), field goals made (307), free throws made (216) and free throws attempted (279).

Beasley and company helped Kansas State post a 21-12 overall record in 2007-08, including a third-place finish in the Big 12 with a 10-6 mark. The Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nearly 12 years and captured its first NCAA Tournament win since 1988 with their 80-67 victory over USC in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Omaha, Neb., on March 20. The team has now posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years, while the 10 conference wins tie the 2006-07 squad for the best league record in the Big 12 era. The third-place finish is the best since the inception of the Big 12 and the highest since the 1988-89 team finished third in the Big Eight.


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