IRVING, Texas – Kansas was represented on the 2022-23 All-Big 12 Women’s Basketball Team by the senior trio of Taiyanna Jackson, Zakiyah Franklin and Holly Kersgieter, the conference announced Monday.
The honors featured Jackson and Franklin as All-Big 12 First Team selections, Kersgieter as honorable mention, and Jackson as a member of the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Jackson was a unanimous selection for both honors.
The All-Big 12 honors were chosen by head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
“We are grateful for the recognition our players have received from the Big 12 coaches,” Kansas Coach Brandon Schneider said. “This is a historical accomplishment for Taiyanna and Zakiyah, as our program has never had two players selected to the All-Big 12 First Team in the same season. It is a testament to their hard work and dedication to improvement, and hopefully more evidence of our program’s growth and progress.”
Jackson (East Chicago, Ind.) receives All-Big 12 recognition for the second-straight season, repeating as a member of the Big 12 All-Defensive Team while earning unanimous first team honors for the first time after being honorable mention in 2022. She has expanded her game offensively and is one of the most improved players in the country this year, and she’s on pace to become the first Jayhawk player since 1982 to average a double-double. Jackson enters postseason play averaging 15.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. She leads the Big 12 in blocked shots (89), rebounding (12.3), field goal percentage (68.0) and double-doubles (18). Her blocked shot total is the second-highest in school history, trailing only the school-record 95 blocks she had last season, and her field goal percentage is on pace to be the second-best in school history for a single season.
This season, Jackson has scored in double figures 24 times in 29 games, with a career-high 24 on two occasions. She has also grabbed 10 or more rebounds 21 times, with six games of 15 or more boards, and a career-high of 21 at Nebraska (Dec. 21) and vs. Oklahoma State (Feb. 26). Jackson has blocked multiple shots in 24 games and is averaging 3.1 blocks per game for the year. With 60 blocks in Big 12 play, she is averaging 3.3 per game and has twice as many blocks as any other player in the conference. Jackson is a two-time Big 12 Player of the Week this season, a semifinalist for the 2023 Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year award and a candidate for the 2023 Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award.
Franklin (Lakeland, Fla.) picks up the third All-Big 12 honor of her career after earning honorable mention in 2022 and being named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team in 2020. She has become one of the most consistent offensive performers in the conference and leads the Jayhawks in scoring with 15.9 points per game. Franklin has scored in double figures in each of the past 14 games, including four games of 20-plus points and two with more than 30 points scored. She set a new career-high with 31 points on March 1 against No. 23 Iowa State as the Jayhawks defeated ISU for the first time since 2015. Franklin leads the Jayhawks with 94 assists and is KU’s leader in three-point percentage (48.7) and free throw percentage (86.2), while ranking fourth in the Big 12 in scoring.
In addition to being one of Kansas’ most consistent performers, Franklin has been the most durable as well. She leads the Jayhawks and ranks second in the Big 12, averaging 35.8 minutes per game for the year and she played at least 31 minutes in all 18 Big 12 contests. Franklin went all 40 minutes in six league contests, including four straight from Feb. 19 to March 1. Franklin was a Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection, and she was named the Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 19, becoming the first KU player since 2019 to claim a Player of the Week honor. She enters the postseason at No. 14 on Kansas’ all-time scoring list with 1,433 points and fifth in career assists with 412.
Kersgieter (Sand Springs, Okla.) is an All-Big 12 selection for the third-straight season after earning honorable mention honors in 2021 and a first team selection in 2022. She is third on the team in scoring, averaging 13.9 points per game for the year, and second in rebounding with 6.3 rebounds per game. Kersgieter has scored in double figures in 20 games this season, with six games of 20-plus points, including a season-high 26 against Texas Tech on Jan. 4. She’s also second on the team with three double-doubles. Kersgieter is No. 13 on KU’s all-time scoring list with 1,465 career points and fourth in career three-pointers with 194.
The postseason honors are unprecedented for Kansas as the Jayhawks place multiple players on the All-Big 12 First Team for the first time in league history. This is also the sixth time that KU has had three or more players selected to the All-Big 12 team and the second-straight season after all three players also earned league honors in 2022. Now a two-time selection, Jackson remains the only Kansas player to be named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, which was first awarded in 2006.
Kansas (19-10, 9-9 Big 12) is the No. 7 seed in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship and will face No. 10 seed TCU in the first round at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. That game will be played on Thursday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. CT and be broadcast on Big 12 NOW.