2019-20 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Awards Announced
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of Pac-12 women’s basketball media members who cover the league agreed with the league’s coaches voting in four of five awards. The media agreed in voting OREGON’s Sabrina Ionescu the Pac-12 Player of the Year for the third-straight year, USC’s Alissa Pili the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, ARIZONA’S Aari McDonald the Defensive Player of the Year and Oregon’s Kelly Graves the Coach of the Year. The media voted STANFORD’s Ashten Pretchel the Sixth Player of the Year.
PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: SABRINA IONESCU, SR., G, OREGON (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
Ionescu (Walnut Creek, Calif.) was tabbed the Pac-12 Player of the Year for the third time, a first in the history of the media awards which began after the 2010 campaign. Ionescu’s senior season was riddled with Pac-12 and NCAA records, including becoming the first player in NCAA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists. One of five players in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to collect 1,000 assists, she ranks fifth in the category with 1,064. Ionescu boasts 26-career triple-doubles, is averaging 9.1 assists per game and 16.9 points per game, while grabbing 8.5 rebounds per game. Ionescu was voted Pac-12 Player of the Week three times this season, including in back-to-back weeks on Jan. 20 and Jan. 27. Winner of the Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden Award after her junior campaign and leading the Ducks to the NCAA Women’s Final Four for the first time in problem history last year, she is a national player of the year candidate for all the major honors, as well as the Nancy Lieberman Award, presented to the nation’s top point guard, an honor she has won the last two seasons. Ionescu led Oregon to its third-straight Pac-12 regular-season title and No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament for the third year in a row. Projected to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Ducks have been ranked in the top-five in the country for 17 weeks this season.
PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: ALISSA PILI, F, USC (Anchorage, Alaska)
Pili (Anchorage, Alaska) was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week four times this season, including the final week of the season. She leads Pac-12 freshmen in points per game (16.2), rebounds per game (8.1) and double-doubles (11). She is the first Trojan to win the men’s top rookie honor since the award began in 2010. Pili was the only freshman to be named to the media’s All-Pac-12 team and the first freshman to do so since Oregon’s Ruthy Hebard and Sabrina Ionescu in 2017.
PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: AARI MCDONALD, JR., G, ARIZONA (Fresno, Calif.)
McDonald (Fresno, Calif.) was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year by the media. McDonald leads the Pac-12 with 2.5 steals per game and has helped Arizona to limit its opponents to just 55.0 points per game, the 14th-best defensive scoring average in the country. McDonald has twice named Pac-12 Player of the Week this year and was the ESPN.com National Player of the Week on Nov. 18. Also ranked 13th in the country in scoring (20.3 ppg), she is the first Wildcat to earn the media honor since Ify Ibekwe in 2010, the first year of the award. McDonald has led Arizona to a top-four seeding in the Pac-12 Tournament.
PAC-12 SIXTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR: ASHTEN PRECHTEL, FR., F, STANFORD (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Pretchel (Colorado Spring, Colo.) was named the media’s Pac-12 Sixth Player of the Year, the only award to differentiate between the coaches and the media. The freshman forward has four career double-doubles, including one in Stanford’s 61-58 win over then-No.8/7 Oregon State (10 points, 10 rebounds). Pretchel recorded a season-high 19 points in Stanford’s final regular-season matchup against Washington State. Pretchel came off the bench in all but five of Stanford’s conference matchups, helping the Cardinal finish 25-5 overall and 14-4 in Conference play, giving Stanford the No. 3 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament.
JOHN R. WOODEN PAC-12 COACH OF THE YEAR: KELLY GRAVES, OREGON
Kelly Graves was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year by the media and led the Ducks to a top-five national ranking in 17 weeks this season. Under his leadership, three Ducks have been named to the All-Pac-12 media-voting, including Sabrina Ionescu Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally. He has led Oregon to its fifth 20-win campaign, winning at least 28 games in each of the last three years and led the Ducks to their first-ever NCAA Final Four last year. Graves earns the media honor for the second time in three years, winning the nod in 2017-18. Under Graves, Oregon has clinched the Pac-12 regular-season crown and the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament for the third year in a row. Ranked in the top five in the country for 17 weeks, the Ducks are projected to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The media also selected a 15-member All-Pac-12 team, a five-member All-Defensive team and a five-member All-Freshman team.
It is the 11th year of the Pac-12 media awards and are in addition to the Conference awards voted on by the league coaches, which were announced on Tuesday. The panel includes local and national media members.
Japreece Dean, UCLA; Ruthy Hebard, Oregon; Borislava Hristova, Washington State; Lexie Hull, Stanford; Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon; Aari McDonald, Arizona; Amber Melgoza, Washington; Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA; Alissa Pili, USC; Mikayla Pivec, Oregon State; Cate Reese, Arizona; Satou Sabally, Oregon; Destiny Slocum, Oregon State; Ja'Tavia Tapley, Arizona State; Kiana Williams, Stanford.
Aari McDonald, Arizona; Ruthy Hebard, Oregon; Taylor Jones, Oregon State; Minyon Moore, Oregon; Sam Thomas, Arizona.
Taylor Jones, Oregon State; Brynna Maxwell, Utah; Charisma Osborne, UCLA; Alissa Pili, USC; Jaylyn Sherrod, Colorado.
The Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament takes place this week, March 5-8, at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Tickets are available for purchase at pac-12.com/tickets