Gonzaga, Baylor dominate AP All-America teams

Gonzaga
FILE - Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert prepares to pass the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Loyola Marymount in Spokane, Wash., in this Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, file photo. Kispert has made The Associated Press All-America first team, announced Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Young Kwak, File)

Gonzaga and Baylor spent almost the entire season holding down the top two spots in the Top 25. Makes sense they’d hold down a bunch of spots on The Associated Press All-America teams.

The Bulldogs’ Corey Kispert and the Bears’ Jared Butler led the way with first-team nods Tuesday from the national panel of 63 media members that vote each week in the AP Top 25 poll. They were joined by unanimous pick Luka Garza of Iowa, a two-time selection, along with Ayo Dosunmu of Illinois and Cade Cunningham of Oklahoma State.

Kispert and Butler had plenty of company, though. The Bulldogs also landed big man Drew Timme and freshman sensation Jalen Suggs on the second team while Joel Ayayi was an honorable mention pick. The Bears had Davion Mitchell on the third team and MaCio Teague as an honorable mention.

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“Thinking about me as a freshman coming to Baylor and not knowing what I’m getting myself into, having no expectations for how well I’m going to be or how good I’m going to be — it means a lot to come full circle,” said Butler, the Big 12 player of the year and a third-team All-American last season.

It is the first time Baylor, which earned a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament, has had a first-team All-American.

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“These awards are just team awards,” said Butler, who withdrew from the NBA draft to return for his junior year. “I wouldn’t be here without my teammates just playing with me and giving me confidence. It’s been nice.”

Kispert also withdrew from the draft and also led his team to a No. 1 overall seed, along with helping the Bulldogs finish a perfect regular season. He joined Dan Dickau, Adam Morrison and Kelly Olynyk as first-team All-Americans from Gonzaga.

“He’s the epitome of a college athlete. He’s a poster child for the term student-athlete, great student, great ambassador for the program, our school and college athletics in general,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “It’s all been because of the work, the time he’s put in, and his growth physically and mentally. He’s just an unbelievable guy.”

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