All-Big 12 teams honor several Kansas women's basketball players ahead of tournament

Kansas' guard S'Mya Nichols (12) dribbles while Texas Tech's guard Loghan Johnson (23) guards
Kansas' guard S'Mya Nichols (12) dribbles while Texas Tech's guard Loghan Johnson (23) guards / Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY

After a disappointing start to the season, the Kansas women's basketball team won eight of its last nine contests to revive its season and put them in position to reach their second NCAA Tournament in 11 years. None of KU's success would have been possible without the players who fought back from adversity.

Shortly after the regular season came to a close over the weekend, the conference unveiled its awards for the 2023-24 season. The voting was done by coaches who could not vote for their players, and a few Jayhawks received high recognition around the league.

Star center Taiyanna Jackson and freshman phenom S'Mya Nichols were named to the All-Big 12 First Team, while seniors Zakiyah Franklin and Holly Kersgieter were honorable mentions. Additionally, Jackson was one of five players listed on the All-Big 12 Defensive Team, and Nichols made the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.

Jackson has been a dominant force on both ends of the court for coach Brandon Schneider, averaging 13 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks across 28 games. She has seven games with 5+ blocks and 13 double-doubles. In just three years in Lawrence, she set the program's all-time block record, and that number is still counting.

Meanwhile, Nichols was a 5-star high school recruit and has not disappointed the Jayhawks thus far. She averaged 15.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in the regular season with an impressive 47.1%/39.7%/81.3% shooting line. Nichols could be the face of KU's program for years to come.

Franklin and Kersgieter entered Lawrence in the same high school class and have enjoyed five memorable years together. They have both averaged double figures in each season they've played and are both one of the best guards in the conference.

It was a very impressive season for the Lady 'Hawks, who finished 18-11 with an 11-7 conference record. Next up is BYU in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. CT.