More preseason awards roll in for the Shockers

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Fred VanVleet will represent Wichita State this year after being selected for the preseason AP All-American first team. VanVleet received 37 votes — the fourth most overall.

Sports Editor

Less than a week after Wichita State men’s basketball team earned a Top-25 ranking in the Associated Press Preseason Poll, more awards keep coming in for the Shockers.

Junior point guard Fred VanVleet was selected to the AP’s 2014-2015 preseason All-American first team Monday.

The Rockford, Ill., native received 37 votes, which earned him the fourth most votes.

North Carolina’s Marcus Paige, Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell, Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor joined VanVleet on the team.

VanVleet is also one of 36 players on the Bob Cousy Award Watch List. The list was released Tuesday and will be narrowed down to 20 names in February and to five in March.

Last year, VanVleet was one of six finalists, despite missing the initial pre-season list.

Senior swingman Tekele Cotton also received a first team nod from CBSSports’s Sam Vecenie. Vecenie placed Cotton on his All-Defensive team, which came out this week.

“Cotton is a defensive bulldog that utilizes his strength and length to push offensive players off of their position,” Vecenie stated.

 “He epitomizes Wichita coach Gregg Marshall’s ‘play angry’ philosophy …”

VCU’s Briante Weber, Louisville’s Chris Jones, St. John’s Chris Obekpa and Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein joined Cotton on the All-Defensive first team.

The Marietta, Ga., native is the Missouri Valley Conference’s reigning defensive player of the year and the MVC tournament’s most valuable player.