Arizona Wildcats dominate major Pac-12 awards

2014-03-10T10:33:00Z 2014-03-10T18:31:26Z Arizona Wildcats dominate major Pac-12 awardsBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star

The Arizona Wildcats picked up three major Pac-12 postseason awards today: Junior guard Nick Johnson was named the Pac-12’s Player of the Year, freshman forward Aaron Gordon was named Freshman of the Year while coach Sean Miller was named the Coach of the Year.

The awards, based on voting by the conference’s 12 coaches, were announced this morning.

It was Miller’s second coach of the year award in his five seasons with the Wildcats, who have had six previous Players of the Year in the Pac-10/12: Sean Elliott (1987-88 and 1988-89), Chris Mills (1992-93), Damon Stoudamire (1994-95), Mike Bibby (1997-98), Jason Terry (1998-99) and Derrick Williams (2010-11).

Johnson and Gordon were both named to the 10-player all-Pac-12 team, while guard T.J. McConnell was named to the five-man second team. Gordon and forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson were named to the five-man all-freshman team while Johnson and McConnell were place on the five-man all-defensive team. 

ASU's Jordan Bachynski was named Defensive Player of the Year, while Stanford's Anthony Brown earned the Most Improved award.

On the first team along with Johnson and Gordon were UCLA's Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson, ASU's Jahii Carson, Cal's Justin Cobbs, Stanford's Dwight Powell and Chasson Randle, Colorado's Josh Scott and Utah's Delon Wright.

On the second team with McConnell were Bachynski, Oregon State's Roberto Nelson, Washington's C.J. Wilcox and Oregon's Joseph Young.

UCLA's Bryce Alford and Zach LaVine, plus Washington's Nigel Williams-Goss, joined Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson on the Pac-12's freshman team.

Bachynski, Wright and Stanford's Josh Huestis joined McConnell and Johnson on the all-defensive team.

While Johnson finished 10th among Pac-12 players in scoring (16.2) during conference games, he often defended the opposing team's top perimeter threat and finished among the leaders in several other categories: Assists (14th, 3.0), steals (7th, 1.5), three-pointers made (15th, 1.44) and assist-turnover ratio (fifth, 1.8).

Gordon was the Pac-12's eighth leading rebounder in conference games (7.9) while also finishing among the leaders in scoring (23rd, 12.2), field-goal percentage (14th, 47.6), offensive rebounds (fifth, 2.67) and defensive rebounds (10th, 5.22).

McConnell recorded the best assist-turnover ratio of all Pac-12 players in conference games (2.75-1) and was third in assists (4.89) and third in steals (1.94).

The fourth-ranked Wildcats won the Pac-12 regular-season title with a record of 15-3. 


Earlier today, Johnson was named a first-team all-American by the Sporting News while Gordon was placed on the third team. Sporting News placed only five players on each team.


Arizona fell to No. 4 in the AP Top 25 but kept its top spot in the NCAA's official RPI, the Sagarin ratings and ESPN's BPI.


The official Pac-12 Tournament bracket is here.

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