Pac-12 announces 2018-19 Men’s Basketball annual major awards

WASHINGTON’S JAYLEN NOWELL SELECTED MEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR;
ARIZONA STATE’S LUGUENTZ DORT NAMED FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR;
WASHINGTON’S MATISSE THYBULLE REPEATS AS DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR;
COLORADO’S TYLER BEY EARNS MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR;
UTAH’S DONNIE TILLMAN VOTED SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR;
OREGON STATE’S STEPHEN THOMPSON JR. PICKED SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR;
WASHINGTON’S MIKE HOPKINS REPEATS AS JOHN R. WOODEN COACH OF THE YEAR

 

SAN FRANCISCO – In a vote of the 12 Conference coaches, WASHINGTON’s Jaylen Nowell has been chosen the 2018-19 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Player of the Year; ARIZONA STATE’s Luguentz Dort was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year; WASHINGTON’s Matisse Thybulle was selected as repeat Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year; COLORADO’s Tyler Bey was tabbed the Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year; UTAH’s Donnie Tillman earned the Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year; OREGON STATE’s Stephen Thompson Jr. was named Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year; and WASHINGTON’s Mike Hopkins claimed the John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor for the second straight season, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.

PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jaylen Nowell, So., G, WASHINGTON

Nowell, who powered the Huskies to the outright Pac-12 regular-season title, becomes the third Husky to claim the Conference’s Player of the Year honor, joining Brandon Roy in 2005-06 and Chris Welp in 1985-86.

Similar to Roy’s win in 2005-06, Nowell’s selection stems largely from his efficiency on the offensive end. The 6-4 guard from Seattle wrapped the regular season seventh in the league in scoring (16.3 ppg), 15th in assists (3.1 apg) and 18th in rebounding (5.4 rpg) while shooting better than 50 percent from the field (11th in Pac-12, .504) and 40 percent behind the arc (4th, .427).

Per College Basketball Reference, Nowell is the only player in college basketball this season to post such an efficient stat line (16 ppg/5 rpg/3 apg/50% FG/40% 3FG) and would be one of just three Conference players – along with Roy in 2005-06 and Arizona State’s James Harden in 2007-08 - to record the line over the past 25 seasons.

Nowell is the ninth underclassman to earn the Player of the Year award including the sixth since 2007-08 and the third in the last four seasons.

PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Luguentz Dort, Fr., G, ARIZONA STATE

Dort is the Sun Devils’ fifth recipient of the Conference’s Freshman of the Year award joining Byron Scott (1979-80), Jamal Faulkner (1990-91), Ike Diogu (2002-03) and Jahii Carson (2012-13). He also joins Arizona’s Deandre Ayton (2017-18) and Oregon’s Jordan Bell (2014-15) as freshmen to be named to the All-Defensive Team, further joining Ayton as the only rookies to also earn All-Conference recognition.

The imposing 6-4 guard from Montreal leads all Pac-12 rookies and ranks in the top 10 in the league in scoring (9th, 16.2 ppg) and steals (T-5th, 1.6 spg) while ranking third on the Sun Devils in rebounding (4.5 rpg) and assists (2.4 apg).

Dort burst onto the national scene in November with tournament MVP honors at the MGM Grand Main Event, in which he led ASU past Mississippi State and Utah State and was named NCAA.com National Player of the Week, before helping the Sun Devils to their best Pac-12 regular season in nine years (12-6) and the No. 2 seed for the Pac-12 Tournament.

PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Matisse Thybulle, Sr., G, WASHINGTON

Thybulle, a finalist for the Naismith Trophy Defensive Player of the Year, will remembered as arguably the best defensive player in Conference history as he joins Gary Payton II as the only repeat winners of the Defensive Player of the Year, an award that was discontinued after the elder Gary Payton won it as a freshman in 1986-87 prior to it being reinstated in 2007-08.

The 6-5 senior closed the regular season with an NCAA-leading 110 steals to equal Jason Kidd’s single-season Conference record set in 1992-93 while also ranking second in the league with 72 blocked shots – becoming the only collegiate player in the last quarter century to record 110 steals and 70 blocks in a season according to College Basketball Reference.

He is the only player in college basketball this season to rank in the top 50 in both steals (1st, 3.55 spg) and blocks (18th, 2.32 bpg).

Thybulle (315 steals, 175 blocks) will enter the Pac-12 Tournament six steals shy of Gary Payton’s Conference record of 321 career steals, and is the only college basketball player since 1992-93 with more than 300 steals and 150 blocks in a career.

PAC-12 MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tyler Bey, So., F, COLORADO

Bey finished his second regular season at Colorado tied for the league lead with 14 double-doubles and finished just shy of averaging one with 13.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, totals which rank 16th and second in the Pac-12, respectively. The 6-7 forward from Las Vegas also ranks in the top 10 in the league in field goal percentage (8th, .559) and blocked shots (9th, 1.2 bpg).

Bey, who joins former teammate George King as recipients of the league’s Most Improved Player award from Colorado, has more than doubled his scoring average (6.1 ppg) while helping the Buffaloes to a winning Conference record (10-8) for the first time in three seasons. 

PAC-12 SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR: Donnie Tillman, So., F, UTAH

Tillman has come off the bench in 13-of-18 Conference games and 16-of-30 games overall, providing 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in nearly 27 minutes per contest for Utah.

After converting only nine 3-pointers (9-28) in 28 games as a freshman, Tillman has improved to 43 triples on 37 percent shooting (43-116) in his sophomore campaign, helping the Utes to an 11-7 mark and third place in the league standings after being picked eighth in the preseason media poll.

To be eligible for Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year, players must not exceed more than one-third starts in league games.

PAC-12 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Stephen Thompson Jr., Sr., G, OREGON STATE

Announced last Friday, Thompson Jr., who completed his bachelor’s degree in digital communication arts with a 3.57 grade-point average in just three years, is the first Oregon State recipient of the Conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in men’s basketball.

Currently pursuing his master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on speech communication and sociology, Thompson Jr. is 1-of-9 major conference players to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District honors this season and is among 40 on the ballot for national Academic All-America honors.

The senior guard and three-time team captain from Los Angeles is second on the Beavers’ roster in scoring (16.3 ppg) and steals (47) and ranks first with 61 three-pointers while leading the Pac-12 in minutes played (36.7) this season. He is OSU’s career leader with 230 three-pointers and is the active leading scorer in the Pac-12 with 1,757 career points, a total which ranks fourth all-time at OSU and 48th in Conference history.

Among the list of Thompson Jr.’s accolades are Pac-12 All-Academic First Team (2017, 2018), NABC Honors Court (2018), CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 (2018, 2019) and Pac-12 Player of the Week (1/14/19). He has also represented OSU at the league’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meetings as well as the Pac-12 All-Star Team tour of Australia in 2016.

He has also volunteered at the Corvallis Boys and Girls Club and the Corvallis Caring Place, participated in Read With The Beavs at the Corvallis Library and a Pen Pal program with Linwood Elementary in Portland, and spoke to students at Linus Pauling Middle School about the importance of staying in school.

ALSO NOMINATED: Parker Van Dyke, UTAH.

PAC-12 JOHN R. WOODEN COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Hopkins, WASHINGTON

Hopkins earns his second John R. Wooden Coach of the Year award in as many seasons as head coach at Washington, guiding the Huskies to their 12th Conference crown and first since 2011-12. He led Washington to the fifth-best start in the history of the Conference’s 18-game format (1978-79) at 10-0 en route to a 15-3 league mark and 24-7 overall record.

Hopkins is the first coach in league history to earn the Coach of the Year award in each of his first two seasons with a program, and is just the fourth to repeat joining Mike Montgomery (1999, 2000; 2003, 2004) and Lute Olson (1988, 1989; 1993, 1994), who both accomplished the repeat twice, as well as Dana Altman (2015, 2016).

With Hopkins’ repeat, Washington becomes the first school in Conference history to sweep the Coach, Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season.

THE VOTE: Coach of the Year, All-Conference, All-Freshman and All-Defensive teams, and Most Improved Player and Sixth Man of the Year are voted on by the coaches. Coaches are not permitted to vote for themselves or their own players for the honors.

The Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year is selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50% of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.

ALL-PAC-12 TEAM

FIRST TEAM

Name School Pos. Yr. Hometown
Sedrick Barefield Utah G Sr. Corona, Calif.
Tyler Bey Colorado G/F So. Las Vegas, Nev.
Bennie Boatwright USC F Sr. Mission Hills, Calif.
Zylan Cheatham Arizona State F R-Sr. Phoenix, Ariz.
Robert Franks Washington State F Sr. Vancouver, Wash.
Jaylen Nowell Washington G So. Seattle, Wash.
KZ Okpala Stanford F So. Orange County, Calif.
Matisse Thybulle Washington G Sr. Issaquah, Wash.
Tres Tinkle** Oregon State F R-Jr. Missoula, Mont.
McKinley Wright IV Colorado G So. North Robbinsdale, Minn.

SECOND TEAM

Name School Pos. Yr. Hometown
Luguentz Dort Arizona State G Fr. Montreal, Quebec
Jaylen Hands UCLA G So. San Diego, Calif.
Remy Martin Arizona State G So. Chatsworth, Calif.
Stephen Thompson Jr. Oregon State G Sr. Los Angeles, Calif.
Kris Wilkes UCLA G So. Indianapolis, Ind.

HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least three votes): Noah Dickerson (WASH, F), Louis King (ORE, F), Nick Rakocevic (USC, F), Josh Sharma (STAN, F).

** two-time All-Pac-12 First Team honoree

PAC-12 ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

Name School Pos. Hometown
Timmy Allen Utah F Mesa, Ariz.
Moses Brown UCLA C Queens, N.Y.
Luguentz Dort Arizona State G Montreal, Quebec
CJ Elleby Washington State F Seattle, Wash.
Louis King Oregon F Jersey City, N.J.

HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least three votes): Brandon Williams (ARIZ, G).

PAC-12 ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

Name School Pos. Yr. Hometown
Zylan Cheatham Arizona State F R-Sr. Phoenix, Ariz.
Luguentz Dort Arizona State G Fr. Montreal, Quebec
Kylor Kelley Oregon State F Jr. Gervais, Ore.
Matisse Thybulle Washington G Sr. Issaquah, Wash.
Kenny Wooten Oregon F So. Manteca, Calif.

HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least three votes): Moses Brown (UCLA, C), McKinley Wright IV (COLO, G).

Now on Pac-12 Network
9:00 AM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network
  • Inside Pac-12 Basketball: NBA Draft Special
    TOMORROW | 9:00pm PT

    Airing on:

    • Pac-12 Oregon
    • Pac-12 Network
    • Pac-12 Arizona
    • Pac-12 Bay Area
    • Pac-12 Los Angeles
    • Pac-12 Washington
    • Pac-12 Mountain
    Live
Get Pac-12 Networks
Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder
Close