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March 8, 2009

Tigers balance reflected by Big 12 honors

The Big 12 Conference handed out its basketball awards today and Missouri's 25-and-6 season most certainly did not go unnoticed.

Senior forward DeMarre Carroll was named to the league's first-team after 17.1 points and 7.3 rebounds this year. Both totals led the team. Carroll also averaged 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He was joined on the first-team by Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins of Kansas, Craig Brackins of Iowa State and the league's player of the year, Blake Griffin from Oklahoma.

Senior Leo Lyons got third-team honors after averaging 14.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

The honors did not stop there for the Tigers. Defensive stopper J.T. Tiller shared the league's Defensive Player of the Year award with Aldrich. Tiller led Missouri with 1.8 steals per game and shut down many of the league's top guards throughout Missouri's 12-and-4 conference campaign.

Senior forward Matt Lawrence was named co-Sixth Man of the Year with Baylor's LaceDarius Dunn. Lawrence averaged 8.6 points and 2.1 rebounds while shooting a team-best 41.7% from three-point range.

Junior guard Zaire Taylor was a part of the Big 12's all-rookie team after averaging six points, 3.5 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals per night. Taylor's inclusion on that team meant that all five Tiger starters received honors of some sort from the league. Missouri is the only team that can make that claim. In addition, the Tigers were the only team to place at least one player on the all-conference team, the all-rookie team and the all-defensive team.

Last week, Carroll and Lawrence were also named Academic-All Big 12.

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