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Yes, the Pac-12 did play this season: Handing Out Awards in the Pac-12

Aussie Brock Motum was one of the Pac-12’s best players this season.

First off, let me admit that I watched a small amount of Pac-12 basketball this season. There are a couple reasons for this. One, not many Pac-12 games are on TV in the Midwest. And two, I haven’t been very motivated to seek out Pac-12 basketball, it’s been pretty mediocre this season. So, for good or bad, my picks are based mostly on tempo-free stats.

Having not watched Pac-12 basketball this season, I was surprised to see that Cal’s Jorge Gutierrez was named the conference’s Player of the Year. I put Gutierrez on my second team. I know those type of awards usually go to a player on the best or second-best team in the conference, but I thought Cal teammate Allen Crabbe, and maybe even Justin Cobbs, was better statistically than Gutierrez. On to the awards:

FIRST TEAM

F Brock Motum, Washington State: 18.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.7 apg

The junior forward was highly featured in the Cougars offense. He ranked eighth in the Pac-12 in minutes played (80.6), fourth in possession percentage (28.8) and second in shot percentage (29.0). Of the four Pac-12 players who used at least 28 percent of their team’s possessions, Motum had the highest offensive rating (108.2). The native Australian was an efficient shooter, ranking fifth in effective field goal percentage (58.6) and third in true shooting percentage (61.8).

F Andre Roberson, Colorado: 11.1 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg

Roberson was one of the best rebounders in the nation this season. His 11.2 rebounds per game ranked first in the Pac-12 and fourth in the nation. The sophomore grabbed 30.4 percent of available boards on defense, the best mark in the Pac-12 and second best in the entire country. His offensive rebounding percentage of 13.4 was good for third in the Pac-12. Roberson also ranked first in the conference in blocks per game (1.9) and fourth in block percentage (7.1).

G Terrence Ross, Washington: 15.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.3 spg

The talented Ross was the best player on the Pac-12’s best team. More on him later.

G Jared Cunningham, Oregon State: 18.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.6 apg

Cunningham was the Pac-12’s leading scorer in 2012, edging out Motum by .1 points. The junior guard also led the Pac-12 in steals per game (2.6) and steal percentage (4.2). His steal percentage was the 27th best in the nation. Cunningham was effective getting to the free throw line, ranking third in the Pac-12 in free throw rate (64.9) and fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.6). He shot .755 percent from the charity stripe.

G Devoe Joseph, Oregon: 16.8 ppg, 3.7 apg, 2.9 apg

The former Golden Gopher had a solid senior season for the bubblicious Oregon Ducks. The 6-4 guard was highly efficient, ranking third in offensive rating (118.1) among Pac-12 players who used at least 20 percent of their team’s possessions. Joseph was third in the Pac-12 in points per game (16.8), sixth in effective field goal percentage (58.1) and fourth in true shooting percentage (61.4). His turnover rate of 15.4 ranked third among Pac-12 point guards.

Jorge Gutierrez is one of two Cal guards on the second team.

SECOND TEAM

F Solomon Hill, Arizona: 12.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.7 apg

F E.J. Singler, Oregon: 13.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.2 apg

G Jorge Gutierrez, Cal: 12.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.0 apg

G Allen Crabbe, Cal: 15.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.1 apg

G Kyle Fogg, Arizona: 13.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.3 apg

Sophomore Devon Collier was highly efficient for the Beavers.

THIRD TEAM

F Devon Collier, Oregon State: 12.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg

F Josh Owens, Stanford: 12.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.0 spg

G Justin Cobbs, Cal: 12.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.1 apg

G Tony Wroten, Washington: 16.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.7 apg

G C.J. Wilcox, Washington: 13.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg

AWARDS

Sophomore Terrence Ross won an uninspiring race for Pac-12 Player of the Year.

Player of the Year: Terrence Ross, Washington

Honestly, I had no idea who to pick for this award.  There were more than a few Pac-12 players who had very solid seasons, but nobody had an all-around, eye-popping campaign. In a situation like this, I feel the safest pick is the best player on the best team. So, I went with Washington’s Terrence Ross.  The sophomore didn’t even lead the Huskies in points, rebounds or assists, but I felt he was their best and most talented player. Ross ranked sixth in the Pac-12 in points per game (15.3) and fifth in rebounds (6.6). He also ranked among the Pac-12’s top 25 players in offensive rating (108.8), effective field goal percentage (52.6), defensive rebounding percentage (17.8), turnover rate (16.5), block percentage (3.0) and steal percentage (2.3). Ross didn’t do a whole lot to separate himself from the pack, except for being on the regular season champion. Solid cases could be made for Brock Motum, Jared Cunningham, Jorge Gutierrez, Allen Crabbe or Devoe Joseph.

Tony Wroten was solid this year, but definitely has room for improvement.

Freshman of the Year: Tony Wroten, Washington

I might have been a little harsh on Wroten by putting him on the third team. On the surface, his per games averages of 16.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 steals look great, especially considering he’s a freshman. Wroten had a huge impact on the court – he used 33 percent of the Huskies’ possessions, the eighth highest mark in the country. A closer examination of Wroten’s numbers shows some holes in his resume. Wroten was inefficient and prone to turnovers.  He ranked 60th in offensive rating (95.0) and 56th in turnover rate (22.0) out of the 75 Pac-12 players who played at least 40 percent of their team’s minutes. Wroten ranked 39th in effective field goal percentage (46.1) and true shooting percentage (49.3) out of the 45 Pac-12 players who played at least 60 percent of their team’s minutes. The freshman shot a dismal .184 percent from behind the three-point line (49 attempts). Wroten was effective in getting to the free throw line – he was second in the Pac-12 in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (7.0) – but he shot just .575 from the charity strip.

Andre Roberson was the second best defensive rebounder in the nation.

Defensive Player of the Year: Andre Roberson, Colorado

The sophomore big man led the Pac-12 in rebounds and blocked shots per game. He grabbed 30.4 percent of available boards on defense, the best mark in the Pac-12 and second best in the entire country. Roberson ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in block percentage (7.1).

Tad Boyle’s Buffaloes finished fifth in the Pac-12 this year.

Coach of the Year: Tad Boyle, Colorado

Colorado was picked 10th in the preseason Pac-12 media poll after losing Alec Burks and Cory Higgins to the NBA.  However, Boyle was able to lead the Buffaloes to a 11-7 conference record and a fifth place finish. Colorado is 19-11 and probably headed for the NIT.

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