Babb was overlooked for league honor and, instead, gets high praise (team MVP?) from his coach


Somehow, Chris Babb was left off the Big 12 All-Defensive team. At his Monday news conference, Fred Hoiberg complimented the defensive skills of those who made that team at Babb’s expense and then offered a surprising sentiment.

“You could argue that Chris has been our team MVP,” Hoiberg said. “I know how valuable he has been to this team.”

Babb started Saturday’s game vs. Baylor guarding Quincy Miller, the Bears’ 6-9 forward. After holding him in check, Hoiberg switched Babb’s defensive assignment to Pierre Jackson (18 first-half points). The move changed the game.

“He slowed Jackson down, especially after he got it rolling,” Hoiberg said of the key strategic change. “That is extremely hard to do.”

During the team’s pre-season trip to Italy, Hoiberg spotted how well Babb moved his feet as well as his versatility. He challenged Babb to become a defensive ace.

“His versatility as a defender is as good as I’ve seen,” Hoiberg said.

Babb should have made the league’s defensive honor squad. That was an oversight.

Hoiberg, however, hasn’t missed his contributions and Babb likely appreciates the support from his head coach more than getting a certificate for making the All-Defensive team.

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