A day after beating Texas Tech to grab the eight seed in the upcoming Big 12 tournament, the conference honored two Buffs after their superb 2009 - 2010 regular seasons. Freshman G Alec Burks was named Big 12 Rookie of the Year and junior G Cory Higgins was named All - Big 12 Third Team.
Burks was fantastic in his first year at Colorado, leading all freshmen in scoring with 16.8 per game and was seventh overall in the conference. He also led the conference in field goal shooting percentage, shooting 53.6% from the field. His scoring and field goal percentage numbers are fourth nationally among all freshmen according to Big12sports.com. One of the more amazing accomplishments this year was certainly Burks' efficiency. Rarely did Burks force and take bad shots, clearly shown by his top ranked field goal percentage. He is wise beyond his years.
Burks scored in double digits every game this year except one, a game against Iowa State where he left injured in the opening minutes of the game. He also led the team in rebounds per game as a guard. Saturday against Texas Tech, the freshman capped off a great regular season with 24 points on 8 of 12 from the field, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Burks also was named to the All Rookie Team and Honorable Mention All Big 12, a little surprising as fellow freshman guard Tommy Mason-Griffin was named Third Team All Big 12 even though Burks was named top freshman. The Big 12 was loaded with freshmen talent which makes Burks' accomplishments even more impressive.
For the second year in a row, Cory Higgins was named Third Team All Big 12. Higgins, who finally received some help this year from Burks and Marcus Relphorde, led the Buffs in scoring with 19.0 per game which ranks him third in the conference overall. He was also exceptional from the free throw line shooting 83.2%. In one of the deepest conferences in the nation, being named third team on a squad that finished eight in the league is a great accomplishment.
Higgins, knowing that the Buffs needed to win their last three games to have a shot at postseason play, rose to the occasion to lead Colorado in scoring averaging 27.3 per game to put the team in position for a potential CBI or NIT bid.
Congratulations to Higgins, Burks and the rest of the team for a year that showed improvement. If the Buffs can win against Texas Tech Wednesday in the first round of the Big 12 tournament, they have a chance to make it into a postseason tournament.