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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 3, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Pac-12 Midseason Awards: Arizona cleans up

The Pac-12 reached the midpoint of the conference season and if the first half is any indication, the final five weeks of the regular season is going to be filled with surprises.

Arizona has a comfortable lead at the top of the standings, but there’s as many as 10 teams that still have NCAA tournament hopes. The scoring race is also still too close to call and several players are on the verge of setting all-time records.

If the season ended today, here’s how we would dole out the hardware.

 Nick Johnson reacts during the final minutes of Arizona's 71-62 win over Washington at McKale Center. (Photo credit: Casey Sapio - USA TODAY Sports)

Nick Johnson reacts during the final minutes of Arizona’s 71-62 win over Washington at McKale Center. (Photo credit: Casey Sapio – USA TODAY Sports)

PAC-12 MIDSEASON AWARDS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Nick Johnson, Arizona
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Aaron Gordon, Arizona
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jordan Bachynski, Arizona State
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Nick Johnson, Arizona
COACH OF THE YEAR: Sean Miller, Arizona
Comment: Hardly any surprise Arizona nearly swept the awards considering the incredible season the Wildcats have produced so far. Johnson isn’t the best player in the Pac-12, but he wins the top prize because he’s the best player on the best team in the conference. He’s also increased his scoring average by 4.6 points to 16.1, which makes him a candidate for the most improved player of the year award. Bachynski is going to shatter Pac-12 all-time blocks record. Miller is a runaway choice for coach of the year at this point.

Arizona forward Aaron Gordon (11) walks off the court after defeating Michigan 72-70 in an NCAA college basketball game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Arizona forward Aaron Gordon (11) walks off the court after defeating Michigan 72-70 in an NCAA college basketball game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

ALL-PAC-12 MIDSEASON FIRST TEAM

Kyle Anderson, UCLA
Jahii Carson,
Arizona State
Justin Cobbs
, California
Aaron Gordon, Arizona
Nick Johnson,
Arizona
Comment: Gordon’s statistics (11.8 points per game and 8.1 rebounds) are somewhat pedestrian, but he’s a major reason why Arizona leads the Pac-12 race. The top nine scorers in the conference are guards so it makes sense the midseason all-conference first team is loaded with guards. Anderson, Carson and Cobbs are Pac-12 MVP candidates.

Washington guard C.J. Wilcox (right) works to create space against Colorado's Askia Booker.

Washington guard C.J. Wilcox (right) works to create space against Colorado’s Askia Booker.

SECOND TEAM

Jordan Adams, UCLA
Brandon Ashley,
Arizona
Roberto Nelson,
Oregon State
Chasson Randle,
Stanford
C.J. Wilcox,
Washington
Comment: Ashley suffered a season-ending foot injury last Saturday and likely won’t be included on the postseason awards team. However, he had an impressive first half of the conference season.

Utah junior guard Delon Wright picked up the Pac-12 player of the week award on Jan. 20, 2014.  (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune)

Utah junior guard Delon Wright picked up the Pac-12 player of the week award on Jan. 20, 2014. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune)

THIRD TEAM

Richard Solomon, California
Dwight Powell, Stanford
Josh Scott, Colorado
Delon Wright, Utah
Joseph Young, Oregon
Comment: Colorado’s Askia Booker, Washington State’s DaVonte Lacy, Utah’s Jordon Loveridge, Arizona State’s Jermaine Marshall, Arizona’s T.J. McConnell and USC’s Byron Wesley also received consideration.

Washington guard Nigel Williams-Goss scored 32 points to lead the Huskies past Oregon State (Photo credit: Elaine Thompson - Associated Press)

Washington guard Nigel Williams-Goss scored 32 points to lead the Huskies past Oregon State (Photo credit: Elaine Thompson – Associated Press)

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

Aaron Gordon, Arizona
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona
Que Johnson, Washington State
Zach LaVine, UCLA
Nigel Williams-Goss, Washington
Comment: Gordon was a virtual lock to win the freshman of the year award weeks ago, but Williams-Goss is closing fast. He leads conference freshmen in scoring average (12.9), assists (4.1), steals (1.2) and minutes (33.1). He’s also fifth in rebounding (4.4). Cal’s Jordan Matthews and Jabari Bird also drew consideration.

Oregon State's Eric Moreland (AP Photo)

Oregon State’s Eric Moreland (AP Photo)

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

Jordan Bachynski, Arizona State
Nick Johnson, Arizona
Eric Moreland, Oregon State
Tyrone Wallace, California
Delon Wright, Utah
Comment: Arizona is fifth in the nation allowing 56.8 points per game and you could pick every Wildcats starter to this team. McConnell is among the leaders averaging 1.9 steals, but Johnson gets the nod because he normally defends the toughest opposing player. At 6-10, Moreland can defend all five positions. Wallace and Wright are excellent wing defenders and Bachynski has more blocks (91) than five Pac-12 teams.

Comments | More in News, Notes | Topics: Aaron Gordon, C.J. Wilcox, Delon Wright


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