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March 5, 2014 at 11:48 AM

And the Pac-12 award goes to …

DaVonte Lacy was a role player last year and this season he's the star for Washington State. (Photo credit: USA Today Sports)

DaVonte Lacy was a role player last year and this season he’s the star for Washington State. (Photo credit: USA Today Sports)

We’re counting down the end of the Pac-12 season with a daily look at each of the postseason awards. Today: Most Improved Player of the Year

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR

DaVonte Lacy, Jr., Washington State: The junior guard increased his scoring output by 46 percent. It’s the biggest increase in by a Pac-12 player. Last year he was the fourth-leading scorer behind Brock Motum, Royce Woolridge and Mike Ladd while amassing 263 points (10.5 scoring average) in 25 games and 22 starts.

With Motum and Ladd gone due to graduation, Lacy stepped up and took over the scoring responsibilities.

He averages 19.6 points, which would rank second in the Pac-12 if he were eligible. He’s played in fewer than 75 percent of WSU’s games and isn’t officially in the conference statistics yet.

Lacy missed two games due to an appendicitis. He also missed six games because of a rib injury. In Pac-12 games that Lacy did not play the entirety, WSU averaged 49.1 points per game, while the Cougars are averaging 13.8 more points per game with Lacy at 62.9. The opponent’s margin of victory was 20.9 points per game without Lacy and is now just 8.6 points per game as the Cougars have lost just one game with Lacy by more than 15 points.

Lacy is a dynamic scorer who shoots 45.2 percent from the field, 81.5 on free throws and 41.7 on three-pointers.

His 39-point performance in an 80-76 overtime loss to California on Feb. 12 was the most in a conference regular-season game since California’s Jerome Randle had 39 against Washington on Jan. 2010. It was the second most points this season by a Pac-12 player. Arizona State’s Jahii Carson had 40.

Lacy also tallied 34 points at Colorado in a 68-63 defeat. He’s scored at least 20 points in 10 of the 19 games he’s played.

Others considered: Arizona’s Nick Johnson, Colorado’s Josh Scott, Stanford’s Chasson Randle and UCLA’s Kyle Anderson.

Previous awards:

All-Freshmen team
All-Defensive team

Comments | More in Notes, Pac-12 news | Topics: DaVonte Lacy, Most Improved Player, Washington State


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