Arizona’s Deandre Ayton wins Pac-12 Player of the Year
Arizona Wildcats freshman Deandre Ayton has been named the Pac-12 Player of the Year, the conference announced Monday night.
Among Pac-12 players, Ayton led the conference in rebounding with 11.4 per game and his 19.9 points per game were only second to the 20.1 of UCLA’s Aaron Holiday. Ayton was also third in blocks per game (1.9) and fourth in field goal percentage (61.6 percent).
The 19-year-old was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year and made the All-Pac-12 First Team, all-freshman team and all-defensive team. He also made Sporting News’ All-American First Team, joining Villanova’s Jalen Brunson, Duke’s Marvin Bagley, Oklahoma’s Trae Young and Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham.
Ayton becomes the eighth overall winner of the Pac-12 Player of the Year award to come from Arizona, the most in conference history. He breaks what was a three-year streak of a Wildcat not winning the award. After Nick Johnson won it in the 2013-14 season, Oregon’s Joe Young would follow, then Utah’s Jakob Poeltl and the Ducks’ Dillon Brooks.
Ayton is a potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. His head coach Sean Miller revealed Saturday that Ayton, Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins will not be back with the team next season.
ESPN recently moved Ayton to the top spot on its big board.