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Morgantown, West Virginia – Jared Butler, a junior guard for the 18-1, #3 ranked Baylor Bears, is the presumptive favorite to win the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year this season.

Butler is averaging 16.4 points, 4.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 48.3% from the field and 43.4% from three point range.  On a team filled with talented, accomplished players, Butler has been the real leader and go-to player for the Bears.

If the vote for the conference player were to happen right now, Butler would almost certainly win the award.

Bob Huggins, however, says he believes Derek Culver should be given some real consideration as the player of the year.

“First of all, I’m not ready to give him player of the year.  I think the guy we have that’s averaging a double-double and has dominated the league, has got a pretty good shot as well.  But Butler is better than before and he’s more mature, but I think Derek (Culver) has had a pretty incredible season too,” Huggins said on his conference call with media today.

Huggins has a point.  Culver is averaging 15.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, and it’s hard to argue that he isn’t the most important player on his team this season.  Baylor without Jared Butler would still be Baylor, but where would West Virginia be without Derek Culver this season?

The Mountaineers without Derek Culver would certainly not be the 2nd ranked team in the Big 12 Conference and they absolutely would not be the #6 team in the nation.

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