Baylor University Press Release
IRVING, Texas – Baylor men’s basketball senior Matthew Mayer has been named to the 2021-22 Preseason All-Big 12 Team, while senior James Akinjo is an honorable mention choice and Kendall Brown is the Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year, as announced Wednesday by the conference office.
Preseason All-Big 12 Teams are voted on by the league’s head coaches, who are not permitted to vote for their own players. The Preseason All-Big 12 Team is typically five players, but a tie in voting created a sixth spot for 2021-22.
Mayer is joined by Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji, Remy Martin and David McCormack, as well as Texas’ Marcus Carr and Texas Tech’s Terrence Shannon to form the six-man Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Honorable mention selections include Akinjo, Oklahoma State’s Avery Anderson and Moussa Cisse, TCU’s Mike Miles, Texas’ Andrew Jones and Tre Mitchell and West Virginia’s Taz Sherman.
Brown is the first player in program history selected as Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year. A five-star guard/forward from Cottage Grove, Minn., he joined the Bears after being ranked No. 12 nationally in the 247Sports.com composite rankings for the class of 2021. He was named to the 2021 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team and participated in 2021 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup team training camp.
Akinjo is a transfer who has played 66 games and made 65 starts over three collegiate seasons, spending his first two years at Georgetown before playing at Arizona during the 2020-21 season. He started all 26 games for Arizona during the 2020-21 season, earning All-Pac 12 First Team honors after leading the Wildcats to a 17-9 record.
Akinjo ranked second in the Pac-12 in assists per game (5.4), 11th in points per game (15.6), seventh in 3-point percentage (.408), fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.0), fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.35), ninth in free throw percentage (.819), seventh in steals per game (1.4) and third in minutes per game (34.9).
Mayer is the 11th Baylor player since 2007-08 selected to the traditionally five-player Preseason All-Big 12 Team. He joins Jared Butler, Tristan Clark, Johnathan Motley, Rico Gathers, Cory Jefferson, Isaiah Austin, Pierre Jackson, Perry Jones III, LaceDarius Dunn and Curtis Jerrells.
An Austin, Texas, native, Mayer has played off the bench in 93 games over his first three seasons at Baylor, averaging 5.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game. He increased his scoring production by 68 percent from his sophomore to junior year, averaging 8.1 points per game as a junior last season after posting 4.8 points per game as a sophomore in 2019-20.
Mayer has come off the bench to post double-figure scoring 21 times in his career, including 11 times in 30 games while helping the Bears to the 2021 National Championship a season ago. He shot 40 percent from 3-point range (30-of-76) and nearly doubled his rebounding total from the prior season, increasing from 1.9 rebounds per game to 3.7 boards per contest. He added 36 steals for an average of 3.1 steals per 40 minutes.
Baylor opens the 2021-22 season on Friday, Nov. 12, with a home game against Incarnate Word. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT on ESPN+, and there will be a pregame National Championship banner unveiling and ring ceremony at the Ferrell Center.
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2021-22 PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 TEAM
Matthew Mayer, Baylor
Ochai Agbaji, Kansas
Remy Martin, Kansas
David McCormack, Kansas
Marcus Carr, Texas
Terrence Shannon, Texas Tech
Honorable mention: James Akinjo (Baylor), Avery Anderson (Oklahoma State), Moussa Cissa (Oklahoma State), Mike Miles (TCU), Andrew Jones (Texas), Tre Mitchell (Texas), Taz Sherman (West Virginia).
Preseason Player of the Year: Remy Martin, Kansas
Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Marcus Carr, Texas
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Kendall Brown, Baylor
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
2019-20 – Tristan Clark, F
2020-21 – Jared Butler, G
2021-22 – Matthew Mayer, G/F