Pac-12 Men's Basketball with league-record tying four AP All-Americans
SAN FRANCISCO – Four Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball standouts earned Associated Press All-America honors it was announced on Tuesday, the most selections of any conference in the nation and equaling the record number of AP selections for league members from 1975.
Additionally, UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball (First Team) and OREGON junior Dillon Brooks (Second Team) became the first two Conference players to earn Consensus All-America accolades in the same season since WASHINGTON’s Brandon Roy and CALIFORNIA’s Leon Powe in 2006.
Ball was a unanimous consensus First Team All-American as selected by the AP, United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and The Sporting News, while Brooks was a unanimous choice as a Second Team All-American. Ball becomes the first league player to garner First Team AP All-America recognition since ARIZONA STATE's James Harden in 2009.
The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, Ball was the first league player to average at least 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a season since CALIFORNIA’s Jason Kidd in 1993-94. He finished the season with 274 assists, a new UCLA single-season program record and the second-most in a season in league history. Brooks, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, is the leading scorer of the Final Four-bound Ducks, the first Oregon team to reach the national semifinals since 1939 and first from the Conference since 2008.
Joining Ball and Brooks on the Associated Press list were WASHINGTON freshman Markelle Fultz (Third Team) and ARIZONA freshman Lauri Markkanen (Third Team), both of whom were also recognized as Third Team All-Americans by the NABC and The Sporting News. UCLA freshman TJ Leaf was named to the AP’s list of honorable mention All-Americans.
Fultz became only the third freshman to pace the Conference in scoring average, while Markkanen is only the sixth freshman nationally since 1992 to amass more than 500 points, 250 rebounds and 50 made three pointers in a season according to College Basketball Reference. Leaf teamed with Ball to help the Bruins engineer the second-best turnaround in college basketball this season.
Based on Conference membership at the time of selections, this season’s haul equals the league-record of four players named to the three AP All-America teams from 1975 when UCLA’s Dave Meyers (First Team), USC’s Gus Williams (Second Team), ARIZONA STATE’s Lionel Hollins (Third Team) and OREGON’s Ron Lee (Third Team) all earned recognition.