WACO, TX — Baylor men’s basketball student-athletes Jake Lindsey and Freddie Gillespie were named to the 2019 Academic All-Big 12 First Team, as announced Thursday by the conference office.
Lindsey, a senior from Houston, is one of four Big 12 players to earn first-team recognition for a third consecutive season, joining West Virginia’s James Bolden and Oklahoma’s Matt Freeman and Jamuni McNeace.
Gillespie, a redshirt junior from St. Paul, Minn., joins Lindsey to give the Bears multiple first-team selections for a second consecutive season and the fifth time in the league’s 23-year history. Josh Lomers and Mark Shepherd were recognized in 2008, Brady Heslip and Jacob Neubert in 2013, Heslip and Logan Lowery in 2014 and Lindsey and Jonathan Davis in 2018.
All told, Baylor has now had 19 first-team honors by 13 different players and 12 second team selections by nine different players in the Big 12 Conference’s 23 seasons.
Lindsey graduated with a Finance degree in the summer of 2018 and is currently studying Theology at Truett Seminary. He joins Lomers (2008, 2009, 2010) as the only players in program history to earn three first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors.
Lindsey has missed the entire season following offseason hip surgery. He played in all 103 games during his first three years at Baylor, including 18 starts. He has a career 2.8 assist-to-turnover ratio with 293 assists and 105 turnovers, and he led the Bears in assist-to-turnover ratio in each of the last two seasons with marks of 3.1 in 2016-17 and 3.4 in 2017-18.
Gillespie is a political science major who originally joined the program as a walk-on prior to the 2017-18 season and was awarded a scholarship last summer. A transfer from Division III Carleton College, Gillespie has stepped into a starting role in Big 12 play. Since Tristan Clark’s season-ending injury, Gillespie has played in 14 games and made six starts, averaging 6.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks, while shooting .667 from the field (38-of-57) and playing 19.4 minutes per game.
Gillespie played a then career-high 31 minutes and posted his career-first double-double with career-highs of 14 points and 10 rebounds in a win at No. 19 Iowa State on Feb. 19, and in Wednesday’s overtime victory against Texas he posted career-highs of 11 rebounds, four blocks and 36 minutes, while adding eight points and two steals.
A total of 34 student-athletes were recognized by the conference, with 20 first-team honorees and 14 second-team selections. First team members have maintained 3.20 or better GPAs, and second team honorees hold 3.00 to 3.19 GPAs. To qualify, student-athletes must have participated in 20 percent of their team’s scheduled contests, while freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Seniors who meet all other criteria are not subject to the participation requirement.
Redshirt senior Makai Mason picked up CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 recognition last week, making him eligible for the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team ballot and giving the Bears three academic honorees this season. As a graduate transfer, Mason was not eligible for the men’s basketball Academic All-Big 12 teams, but he can be named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team announced at the end of the spring semester.
Baylor is tied for third place and one game back of first place in the Big 12 with a 10-5 conference record. BU has clinched a top-6 seed and first-round bye at the Big 12 Championship and can finish anywhere from first through sixth place in the league standings. The Bears were picked ninth out of 10 teams in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll.
Baylor has three regular season games remaining, beginning with Saturday’s 7 p.m. CT game at Kansas State on ESPN2. BU then returns home for senior day against Oklahoma State at 8 p.m. CT Wednesday on ESPN2, before heading back on the road to play at Kansas on Saturday, March 9. Tipoff in the regular-season finale at Kansas is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT and will air on either ESPN or ESPN2.