UCLA’s Ball voted AP Pac-12 player of the year

TJ Leaf, Drew Eubanks
FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2017, file photo, UCLA forward TJ Leaf, right, grabs a rebound away from Oregon State forward Drew Eubanks during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles. Leaf was selected to the AP All-Pac-12 Conference first team, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

(STL.News) 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):

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FIRST TEAM

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,

SECOND TEAM

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.

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Player of the Year — Lonzo Ball, UCLA

Coach of the Year — Sean Miller, Arizona

Newcomer of Year — Lonzo Ball

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AP All-Pac-12 Voting Panel: Paola Bovin, Arizona Republic, Bruce Pascoe, Arizona Daily Star; Jack Magruder, Fansided; Kyle Goon, Salt Lake City Tribune; Pat Rooney Boulder Daily Camera; Tyson Alger, The Oregonian; Anthony Gimino, Tucsonnewsnow.com; Jacob Thorpe, The Spokesman-Review.

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More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and //twitter.com/AP_Top25 .

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This story has been corrected to show that Arizona’s conference record is 16-2, not 10-4.

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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