2022-23 Pac-12 Men's Basketball All-Conference honors and Annual Performance Awards, presented by Nextiva
Player of the Year - Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
Defensive Player of the Year - Jaylen Clark, UCLA
Freshman of the Year - Adem Bona, UCLA
Most Improved Player of the Year - Oumar Ballo, Arizona
Sixth Player of the Year - Reese Dixon-Waters, USC
John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year - Mick Cronin, UCLA
SAN FRANCISCO – Following a runaway regular-season title campaign, UCLA claimed four of the six major Pac-12 Men's Basketball awards in a vote of the 12 Conference coaches, headlined by Jaime Jaquez Jr. as the 2022-23 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Player of the Year. The Bruins also saw Jaylen Clark tabbed the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Adem Bona the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, and Mick Cronin the John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year. ARIZONA had the Pac-12 Most Improved Player for the second straight year with Oumar Ballo's selection, and USC's Reese Dixon-Waters was chosen the league's Sixth Player of the Year.
The 2023 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament is set to take place March 8-11 in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena. Fans can follow coverage of the event all week long at pac12.me/23MBBT.
PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA (Sr., G/F, Camarillo, Calif.)
The National Player of the Year candidate becomes the seventh UCLA player to earn the Conference's Player of the Year honor (eighth total award) after leading the Bruins to a record tying 18 league victories and the outright Pac-12 regular-season title by four games, the largest margin since 2004.
The 6-7 wing is fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring (17.5 ppg), tied for fourth in steals (1.52 spg) and fifth in rebounding (8.0 rpg) - attempting to become just the sixth player to rank in the top 5 in the Conference in those three categories (Tres Tinkle, Landry Fields, Sam Clancy, Adam Keefe, Derrick Dowell). Additionally, he trails only teammate and national-leader Jaylen Clark in Defensive Win Shares (2.8) according to College Basketball Reference.
Jaquez Jr. is UCLA's first Conference Player of the Year since Kevin Love in 2008, and the Bruins' first senior to earn the honor since Ed O'Bannon in 1995.
PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Jaylen Clark, UCLA (Jr., G, Riverside, Calif.)
Clark, who is among 10 national semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy Defensive Player of the Year, is the third UCLA player to receive the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award, joining Russell Westbrook (2008) and Nigel Miguel (1985).
He currently leads the Pac-12 and ranks fifth nationally with 2.6 steals per game, which would be the league's highest average since 2019 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Matisse Thybulle's national-leading 3.5.
According to College Basketball Reference, Clark currently leads NCAA Division I in Defensive Win Shares (2.8) and Defensive Box Plus/Minus (6.7) and is fourth in Defensive Rating (85.0) - the only player in the country in the top 5 in all three categories.
PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Adem Bona, UCLA (F, Ebonyi, Nigeria)
Bona is UCLA's 10th all-time recipient of the Freshman of the Year award, matching Arizona for the most of any program in league history.
The 6-10 forward ranks second overall in the league in field goal percentage (.667) and tied for fifth in blocked shots (1.67 bpg).
Among freshmen, Bona leads in blocks, field goal percentage and rebounding (5.3 rpg), and ranks fifth in scoring (7.8 ppg).
PAC-12 MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Oumar Ballo, ARIZONA (R-Jr., C, Koulikoro, Mali)
Ballo becomes the second consecutive recipient of Most Improved Player from Arizona along with Christian Koloko in 2022.
Playing behind Koloko last season, Ballo averaged 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds in 15 minutes per game. This year, Ballo has more than doubled his scoring (13.9 ppg) and increased his rebounding (8.6 rpg) in 28 minutes an outing while starting all 31 games.
PAC-12 SIXTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Reese Dixon-Waters, USC (So., G, Long Beach, Calif.)
Dixon-Waters came off the bench 15 times in 16 league games played, averaging 9.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in just over 25 minutes per game in those contests.
USC's third-leading scorer started the first seven games as the Trojans opened the season 4-3, then came off the bench for 23 consecutive games to spark the Trojans to a 17-6 mark.
He is the second USC player to earn the award, joining Glenn Smith in 1985.
To be eligible, players must not exceed more than one-third starts in league games played.
JOHN R. WOODEN PAC-12 COACH OF THE YEAR
Mick Cronin, UCLA
Cronin earns his second John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year award (2019-20), becoming the first UCLA mentor to receive multiple honors named after the Bruins legend.
The Naismith Trophy National Coach of the Year candidate has led the Bruins to a 27-4 overall record, a record tying 18 league wins and the program's first Conference title since 2013 by four games, the league's largest margin since 2004.
It marks only the second time in Conference history that one school captured the Player, Freshman, Defensive Player and Coach of the Year accolades in the same season (USC, 2021).
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 complete All-Conference Teams:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Jaime Jaquez Jr., Sr., G/F, UCLA
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Jaylen Clark, Jr., G, UCLA
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Adem Bona, F, UCLA
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Oumar Ballo, R-Jr., C, ARIZONA
SIXTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR, PRESENTED BY NEXTIVA
Reese Dixon-Waters, So., G, USC
JOHN R. WOODEN COACH OF THE YEAR
Mick Cronin, UCLA
|Oumar Ballo||Arizona||C||R-Jr.||Koulikoro, Mali|
|Tyger Campbell***||UCLA||G||R-Jr.||Cedar Rapids, Iowa|
|Branden Carlson||Utah||C||Sr.||South Jordan, Utah|
|N'Faly Dante||Oregon||C||Sr.||Bamako, Mali|
|Tristan da Silva||Colorado||F||Jr.||Munich, Germany|
|Boogie Ellis||USC||G||Sr.||San Diego, Calif.|
|Mouhamed Gueye||Washington State||F||So.||Dakar, Senegal|
|Jaime Jaquez Jr.**||UCLA||G/F||Sr.||Camarillo, Calif.|
|Drew Peterson**||USC||G||5th||Libertyville, Ill.|
|Ąžuolas Tubelis**||Arizona||F||Jr.||Vilnius, Lithuania|
|Keion Brooks Jr.||Washington||F||Sr.||Fort Wayne, Ind.|
|Desmond Cambridge Jr.||Arizona State||G||5th||Nashville, Tenn.|
|Jaylen Clark||UCLA||G||Jr.||Riverside, Calif.|
|Spencer Jones||Stanford||F||Sr.||Roeland Park, Kan.|
|KJ Simpson||Colorado||G||So.||West Hills, Calif.|
HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least three votes): TJ Bamba, WSU; Adem Bona, UCLA; Courtney Ramey, ARIZ; Will Richardson, ORE.
* denotes number of All-Pac-12 First Team honors
|Amari Bailey||UCLA||G||Chicago, Ill.|
|Adem Bona||UCLA||F||Ebonyi, Nigeria|
|Keyon Menifield||Washington||G||Flint, Mich.|
|Jordan Pope||Oregon State||G||Oakley, Calif.|
|Tre White||USC||G||Dallas, Texas|
HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least three votes): Kylan Boswell, ARIZ; Grant Newell, CAL.
|Adem Bona||UCLA||F||Fr.||Ebonyi, Nigeria|
|Jaylen Clark**||UCLA||G||Jr.||Riverside, Calif.|
|Kobe Johnson||USC||G||So.||Milwaukee, Wisc.|
|Braxton Meah||Washington||C||Jr.||Fresno, Calif.|
|Joshua Morgan||USC||F||R-Jr.||Sacramento, Calif.|
HONORABLE MENTION (receiving at least three votes): Marco Anthony, UTAH; Oumar Ballo, ARIZ; Mouhamed Gueye, WSU; Warren Washington, ASU.
* denotes number of All-Defensive Team honors