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UCLA’s Ball voted AP Pac-12 player of the year
UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball has been named player and newcomer of the year, while Arizona coach Sean Miller has been named coach of the year on the All-Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball team announced Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Ball arrived at UCLA with plenty of hype and lived up to this season, leading the nation in assists with 7.8 per game. The 6-foot-6 guard also averaged 14.9 points and 6.2 rebounds for the third-ranked Bruins.
Led by Ball, UCLA is the nation’s top-scoring team at 91.3 points per game and is in position for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Miller had arguably the best season of his eight-year coaching career in Tucson, leading the Wildcats to a share of the Pac-12 title despite a suspension to his team’s best returning player and a slew of injuries.
Arizona played the first 19 games of the season without sophomore guard Allonzo Trier due to a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs and lost point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright for six games with a sprained ankle.
The Wildcats also had center Dusan Ristic and guard Kadeem Allen go out with injuries, but still finished 27-4 overall and 16-2 in conference to share the Pac-12 title with No. 5 Oregon.
Ball was joined on the first team by teammate and fellow freshman TJ Leaf, along with Oregon’s Dillon Brooks, Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen and Markelle Fultz of Washington.
The 2017 AP All-Pac-12 team, with name, school, position, height, weight, class and hometown (u-denotes unanimous selections):
u- Lonzo Ball, UCLA, G, 6-6, 190, Fr, Chino Hills, Calif.
u-Markelle, Fultz, Washington, G, 6-4, 195, Fr, Upper Marlboro, Md.
u-Dillon Brooks, Oregon, G, 6-7, 225, Jr, Misssissauga, Ontario
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona, F, 7-0, 230, Fr, Jvyaskyla, Finland
TJ Leaf, UCLA, F, 6-10, 225, Fr, El Cajon, Calif,
Bryce Alford, UCLA, G, 6-13, 185, Sr, Albuquerque
Derrick White, Colorado, G, 6-5, 200, Sr, Parker, Colo.
Kyle Kuzma, Utah, F, 6-9, 221, Jr, Flint, Mich.
Ivan Rabb, California, F, 6-11, 200, So, Oakland
Jordan Bell, F, 6-9, 225, Jr, Long Beach, Calif.
Player of the Year – Lonzo Ball, UCLA
Coach of the Year – Sean Miller, Arizona
Newcomer of Year – Lonzo Ball