‘Pretty Pissed’- NCAA Analyst Feels Baylor Bears’ Jared Butler Was Snubbed For Big 12 Player of the Year In Favor of Cade Cunningham

Published 03/11/2021, 1:00 PM EST
Feb 27, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) goes to the basket in front of Oklahoma Sooners forward Brady Manek (35) in overtime at Lloyd Noble Center. Oklahoma State won 94-90. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports


The Baylor Bears have had a phenomenal season. They are arguably either the best or second-best team in the nation. They have built such a formidable team by having stars in their lineup. Their biggest star this season is easily Jared Butler, a name that has been on many shortlists for National Player of the Year.

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However, it is hard to win National Player of the Year when you aren’t even considered the best in your conference. Butler lost Big 12 Player of the Year to Cade Cunningham. Cunningham is one of the best freshmen in the country this year and is widely believed to be the top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. NCAA analyst Mark Frazier believes Butler should have won the award.

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“Cade Cunningham was named the Big 12 Player of the Year. Not Jared Butler. Not one of the guys who’s the best defenders in the country, not the guy who’s the leading scorer on the team that is almost undefeated… Jared Butler loses out to the freshman, and granted, Cade Cunningham is awesome. It’s not that he doesn’t deserve it, but if I’m Jared Butler, I’m pretty pissed about that.”

Baylor Bears: Did Jared Butler deserve the trophy?

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The Baylor Bears have the second-best record in the nation, and Jared Butler is key to that. While the Junior guard doesn’t dominate offensively, he has a very well-rounded game. Butler is easily one of the best defenders in the NCAA this season. Along with that, his 17.1 points, 3.2 assists, and 5 rebounds are very impressive.

Mar 4, 2021; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears guard Jared Butler (12) reacts after a made three-point basket against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second half at Ferrell Center. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

However, Cade Cunningham does have better numbers. He is averaging 19.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. While those numbers are better than Butler’s on paper, they do not reflect their values. Cade is easily the only reason the OSU Cowboys are as good as they are this year. However, Butler is leading the best team in the conference.

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Usually, the best player on the best team gets the awards. There is just a two-point scoring difference between them. Butler’s defense is better than Cade’s and his team has had the better results. However, Cade has pulled off some spectacular moments. What’s done is done, and both players can prove themselves in the Big 12 Tournament.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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