Arizona freshman Deandre Ayton was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after leading the Wildcats to wins over Long Beach State and UNLV.
Ayton averaged 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in the two wins. He had 28 points and 10 rebounds in the Wildcats’ 91-88 comeback win in overtime at UNLV, scoring five of Arizona’s 13 points in overtime, while just missing a double-double at home against Long Beach State (13 points, nine rebounds) when he played just 25 minutes.
It was Ayton’s first Pac-12 Player of the Week award and Arizona’s second of the season. Allonzo Trier won the first Pac-12 weekly award on Nov. 13 after averaging 31 points in UA’s wins over NAU and UMBC at McKale Center.
Among other top nominees for the Pac-12 award this week were Washington’s Noah Dickerson, who averaged 20 points and seven rebounds in two Husky wins, and Stanford’s Reid Travis, who averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds between a home win over Montana and a loss at Long Beach State.
Arizona is out of the AP Top 25 poll for a second straight week, though the Wildcats will likely jump back in if they can beat No. 7 Texas A&M and Alabama this week.
The Wildcats actually lost 24 votes despite beating Long Beach State and UNLV last week. They had only 10 this week, the 36th most votes among teams in college basketball.
Alabama received the 32nd most votes.
ASU is the highest-ranked team out of the Pac-12, at No. 16, while USC is No. 25. Purdue, which blew out Arizona in the Battle 4 Atlantis seventh-place game, jumped back in at No. 21.
Fans who stick around after Arizona-Texas A&M for Tuesday's second game in Phoenix will see the Wildcats' would-be-defensive-stopper in Justin Simon, who will be playing for St. John's against Grand Canyon.
Simon is averaging 2.9 steals a game, 10th most in Division I, and also blocked a 7-foot-6 player.
The GCU-St. John's game is scheduled for 9:30 p.m., after Arizona and Texas A&M tip at about 7 p.m.