Oklahoma basketball: Sooner women earn several Big 12 postseason awards


The Big 12 champion Oklahoma Sooners women capped off their seventh and final Big 12 regular-season title by capturing several major All-Big 12 postseason awards.

On Thursday, the No. 1-seeded Sooners will begin quest of their fifth Big 12 Tournament championship in Kansas City, Missouri.

Head coach Jennie Baranczyk was named Big 12 Coach of the Year, OU senior Skylar Vann was named Co-Player of the Year along with Madison Booker of Texas, and junior Payton Verhulst is the Newcomer of the Year in the conference. The voting was conducted by the league coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own players.

Barancyzk led Oklahoma to a 21-8 overall record and 15-3 in the Big 12 and the Sooners first regular-season crown since the 2008-09 season. This is her third season at OU, over which time she has compiled a 72-24 record and 41-13 in league play.

Vann is the first Oklahoma player to be named Player of the Year since Courtney Paris won the award in 2009. She was the Big 12 Sixth Player honoree two year's running in 2022 and 2023. She has averaged 15.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists this season in her fourth season in a Sooner uniform.

Verhulst is in her first season at OU, having transferred from Louisville after last season. She is averaging 12,7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. She is the only player in the country, according to the OU athletic department, to average at least 12.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists in under 30 minutes per game.

Vann and Verhulst also made the All-Big 12 First Team. The two OU players tied Kansas State and Kansas for the most first-team selections from any school. Two other Sooners, senior Nevaeh Tot and true freshman Sahara Williams were All Big 12 Honorable Mention.