Arizona freshman Deandre Ayton has been named the PAC-12 Player and Freshman of the Year.
The 7’1’’ freshman is averaging 19.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks in what is expected to be his only season with the Wildcats. Ayton is projected as one of the top NBA draft choices this spring.
Ayton capped off the regular season with a 26 point, 20 rebound performance against Cal on Saturday. The win earned the Wildcats a PAC-12 regular season title.
“Who he is speaks for itself,” said head coach Sean Miller after the victory. “He’s a tremendous player. He does it on offense. He does it on defense. He does it in big moments.”
Arizona will play either Colorado or Arizona State in the PAC-12 tournament quarterfinals.
Ayton becomes the third player in conference history to win Pac-12 player and freshman of the year in the same season. He is also a candidate for the national player of the year awards.
“I doubt if I will coach anyone like him again,” added Miller. “I don’t mean that we won’t try, but there aren’t too many Deandre Ayton type of players walking around.”