Baylor men’s basketball junior forward Johnathan Motley has been named to the 2016-17 Preseason All-Big 12 team, and junior guard Manu Lecomte has been voted as the league’s Preseason Newcomer of the Year, the league office announced Thursday.
Lecomte is the second player in program history named Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year, joining Terry Black (1999-00).
Baylor now has seven preseason All-Big 12 selections in the last seven seasons, and there has been at least one BU player on the five-member Preseason All-Big 12 team in six of the last seven years. Rico Gathers was recognized prior to last season, Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson were honored in 2013-14, Pierre Jackson was chosen in 2012-13, Perry Jones III in 2011-12 and LaceDarius Dunn prior to the 2010-11 season. Prior to that stretch, Curtis Jerrells was the only Baylor player named to a Preseason All-Big 12 team when he was chosen in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Motley is a fourth-year junior who has played in all 68 games, including 43 starts, over his first two seasons of action. The Houston native averaged 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 20.9 minutes per game as a sophomore. He led the Big 12 Conference with a .614 field goal percentage last season, recording the seventh-best single-season shooting percentage in program history.
Lecomte is a junior from Brussels, Belgium, who sat out last season and practiced with the team after transferring from University of Miami (Fla.). He is expected to take over as the Bears’ starting point guard in his first season playing at Baylor. Lecomte averaged 7.9 points, 1.8 assists and 1.4 rebounds during his 2014-15 sophomore season at Miami. He played in 71 games, making 40 starts, over two years with the Hurricanes, and he finished his Miami career ranked second in school history with a .434 3-point percentage.
Baylor returns six letterwinners from last season’s squad that finished 22-12 and advanced to a third consecutive NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Bears have four players with 35-plus games of starting experience on the Division I level, including Al Freeman (35 starts), Lecomte (40 starts), Motley (43 starts) and Wainright (41 starts). BU also returns junior forward Terry Maston and sophomore guards Jake Lindsey and King McClure.
Players expected to make their Baylor debuts after redshirting last season include Lecomte, Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. and Wendell Mitchell. BU also welcomes freshmen Mark Vital and Tyson Jolly, along with junior college transfer Nuni Omot and sophomore walk-on Jonathan Davis.
Baylor opens the 2016-17 season at home against Oral Roberts on Nov. 11. For season tickets, call the Baylor Athletics Ticket Office at 254-710-1000, or visit www.BaylorBears.com/tickets for more information. Single-game and flex plan tickets go on sale Oct. 28.
2016-17 PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 TEAM
Johnathan Motley, Baylor
Monte Morris, Iowa State
Devonte’ Graham, Kansas
Frank Mason III, Kansas
Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State
Honorable mention: Josh Jackson, Kansas; Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma; Jarrett Allen, Texas; Daxter Miles Jr., West Virginia.
Preseason Player of the Year: Monte Morris, Iowa State
Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Manu Lecomte, Baylor
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Josh Jackson, Kansas
BAYLOR’S PRESASON ALL-BIG 12 SELECTIONS (since 2002-03)
2007-08 – Curtis Jerrells, G
2008-09 – Curtis Jerrells, G
2010-11 – LaceDarius Dunn, G
2011-12 – Perry Jones III, F
2012-13 – Pierre Jackson, G
2013-14 – Isaiah Austin, C
2013-14 – Cory Jefferson, F
2015-16 – Rico Gathers, F
2016-17 – Johnathan Motley, F