We’re counting down the end of the Pac-12 season with a daily look at each of the postseason awards. Today: All-Freshmen team
Aaron Gordon, Fr., Arizona: Heralded as one of the top freshmen in the country, the former McDonald’s All-American lived up to the hype. The 6-9 forward is first in the conference among freshmen in rebounding average (8.0), second in scoring (12.2), second in field percentage (49.5), third in blocks (0.9), sixth in assists (1.6) and tied for seventh in steals (0.7). His eight double doubles lead all Pac-12 freshmen. He’s one of two Arizona players who have started all 29 games.
Nigel Williams-Goss, Fr., Washington: Before the season, it was uncertain if the former McDonald’s All-American would start, but the 6-3 point guard quickly seized command of the team. He set a couple of school records for a freshman including the most points in a game (32) and assists (10). He leads Pac-12 freshmen in scoring average (13.4), assists (4.1), steals (1.1) and minutes (33.2). He’s fourth in rebounding (4.4). Williams-Goss is one of three UW players who has started all 29 games.
Zach LaVine, Fr., UCLA: Despite being a reserve, the former Bothell High star is fourth on the team in scoring averaging 10.7 points per game. He also 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists. The 6-5 guard has a diverse skill set that makes him very attractive to NBA scouts. Some talent evaluators believe he’ll be taken in the first round – and perhaps the lottery – if he chooses to enter the NBA draft.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Fr., Arizona: Another former McDonald’s All-American, who is a key reserve for the Wildcats. He started just five games, but has appeared in all 29 contests. He’s played at least 20 minutes in 25 games. Hollis-Jefferson averages 8.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He ranks in the top seven among Pac-12 freshmen in seven categories and is second to teammate Gordon with 111 free throw attempts.
Jordan Matthews, Fr., California: His 32-point performance ties Williams-Goss for the most points this season by a Pac-12 freshman. However, the 6-3 guard hasn’t been as consistent, which is largely because he’s been yanked in and out of the lineup. Matthews has started 12 of 28 games. He’s averaging 9.0 points and 2.2 rebounds. On the road, he’s averaging 12.8 points.
Others considered: Washington State’s Que Johnson, UCLA’s Bryce Alford, Cal’s Jabari Bird and Oregon State’s Hallice Cooke.