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College basketball notebook

<@Bold>OSU, OU players honored by Big 12<@$p>

Oklahoma State and Oklahoma personnel were on the Big 12 women's basketball awards list Wednesday, including the Cowgirls' Jim Littell, who was selected Coach of the Year.

OSU was picked in the preseason to finish eighth in the league, but Littell guided his club to a second-place tie and a 17-7 regular-season record.

OSU senior Natasha Mack was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year. The first-team all-conference selection led the Big 12 in rebounding (12.3 per game) and blocks (4.0). Mack also averaged 19.8 points per game.

Ja'Mee Asberry was a second-team pick. She led the Big 12 in 3-point shooting at 45% and averaged 17.1 points per game..

Taylen Collins and Lexy Keys were selected to the All-Freshman Team.

For Oklahoma, junior Madi Williams was a first-team all-conference pick, and Taylor Robertson was a second-team selection. Williams helped a short-handed OU squad by averaging 19.9 points per game, including a school single-game record of 45 points on Jan. 3.

She is the first OU player to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors since Vionise Pierre-Louise in 2018.

Robertson was a second-team pick. She averaged a Big 12-best 38.0 minutes per game and averaged 15.7 points.

Guard Nevaeh Tot was selected to the All-Freshman Team. She started 19 games and averaged 31.4 minutes. Tot averaged 6.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per contest.

<@Bold>Five players all a teams needs for NCAAs<@$p>

All a team needs to play in this year's NCAA Tournament is five healthy players. How about a coach? The NCAA will get back to you on that.

The fluid nature of a March Madness played amid the coronavirus pandemic was spelled out Wednesday, hours before the NCAA selection committee began meeting to hash out a 68-team bracket that could remain in flux up until the games tip off next week.

In explaining a number of contingencies that could come into play if teams are exposed to COVID-19, NCAA senior VP of basketball Dan Gavitt said that as long as a team has five healthy players, it's good to go. And if that team's coaching staff gets decimated by the coronavirus?

“Honestly, it's probably something we should talk about as a committee,” he said.

<@Bold>Iowa AD apologized to Marble's family<@$p>

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta apologized to the family of Hawkeyes basketball great Roy Marble for any hard feelings they have over the retirement of star player Luka Garza's number.

Garza last month broke the 32-year-old career scoring record held by Marble, is the two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and is among the front-runners for National Player of the Year. Iowa announced after Sunday's home win against Wisconsin that no one in the basketball program would wear No. 55 after this season.

Marble led Iowa to its only 30-win season and an NCAA regional final in 1987 and to the Sweet 16 the next year, and many consider him the program's best player ever. His No. 23 has not been retired.

“We have learned since Sunday that Roy Marble’s family was hurt and feeling disrespected since that day,” Barta said. “I just want to take a moment and share that absolutely that disrespect was unintentional and to publicly apologize for that.”

Marble died of cancer in 2015 at age 48. He and Garza are the only Iowa men's players to score more than 2,000 points.

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