Prince Ibeh, Isaiah Taylor lead Longhorns in Big 12 honors

Jacob Martella

After lifting the Longhorns from a bubble team to a solid No. 5 or 6 seed in the NCAA, senior center Prince Ibeh and junior point guard Isaiah Taylor received recognition for their efforts from the Big 12.

Ibeh was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, while Taylor was named to the first team All-Big 12, the Big 12 announced Sunday.

Ibeh, a six-foot 11-inch center, stepped up after fellow senior center Cameron Ridley went down with a broken foot in practice in December. He settled in to the starting role, averaging four points, 5.2 rebounds and two blocks in 30 games.

Ibeh broke out in the last week of January, averaging 15 points and 10.5 rebounds against TCU and Vanderbilt. He’s the third player in Texas history to win the award, joining LaMarcus Aldridge and Doğuş Balbay, and also made the conference’s All-Defensive Team.

Taylor was the only Longhorn to make any of the three All-Big 12 teams with his first team selection. Taylor averaged 15 points and 4.8 assists per game this season, but was slowed last week by a nagging foot injury.

Freshmen guards Kerwin Roach Jr. and Eric Davis Jr. rounded out Texas’ haul in the Big 12 awards by being named to the Big 12’s All-Newcomer team. Roach led the Longhorns to a win Friday night against Oklahoma State, scoring nine of the team’s last 14 points. Davis, like the rest of the freshmen, struggled to find consistency, but posted double digits in points in four–straight games in late February.

Texas opens the Big 12 tournament against Baylor on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.