Flowers: Free safety embraces downhill play
used to tell me,” he said. “We went back and forth learning each other's spots, and we did it just in case anyone went down. It's just about trusting your instincts more at free safety.”
That work has allowed Flowers to not only be one of the top tacklers in the Big 12, but still be effective in coverage, as evidenced by his two interceptions and five pass breakups, which lead the secondary.
Flowers, explains defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, is able to be a versatile commodity based on how the gameplan is tailored for that week's opponent.
“It kind of depends on the situation they're playing to what he's going to be demanded to do that week,” said Spencer. “At certain looks, he might roll up and be an edge defender. Sometimes he might be a C gap (lined up against a tight end or offensive tackle) defender. Sometimes he might not have those opportunities in the game.
“Every week you get a different flavor that will determine how many tackle opportunities he has. He's definitely played well.”
Constantly being around the football hasn't taken physical toll on Flowers, who has embraced the reality he will beaten up after most games.
“I'm doing great,” said Flowers, who fine tunes his body with yoga, cold tank treatments and stretching exercises to stay fresh. “I've woken up sore since middle school. I'm probably sore right now and don't even know it. You have to be violent. Football is a collision game. You're either going to be the hammer or the nail. I'm not trying to be the nail.” along
Jeffrey Carroll was one of three unanimous preseason first-team All-Big 12 basketball selections, the league announced Thursday.
Carroll, Kansas' Devonte Graham and West Virginia's Jevon Carter were unanimous choices. TCU's Vladimir Brodziansky and Texas Tech's Zach Smith rounded out the first team.
Preseason awards were voted on by the league's head coaches.
Graham was the preseason player of the year. KU's Malik Newman, a Mississippi State transfer, was named newcomer of the year, and Texas forward Mohamed Bamba was preseason freshman of the year.
Carroll averaged 17.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season, shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range. He and Mitchell Solomon are the lone starters back on a team that reached the NCAA Tournament last season.
Malik Newman, Kansas
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Mohamed Bamba, Texas
Oklahoma State's Tre Flowers (left) closes in on Texas Tech's Justin Stockton during the Cowboys' 41-34 win over the Red Raiders in Lubbock, Texas, on Sept. 30.