Joseph Young wins Pac-12 Player of the Year to headline honors

Joseph Young is the Pac-12 Player of the Year award winner. (USATSI)
Joseph Young is the Pac-12 Player of the Year award winner. (USATSI)

In a bit of a surprise, Oregon's Joseph Young has won the Pac-12 player of the year award.

Young -- who led the conference in scoring at 19.8 points-per-game -- beat out Utah's Delon Wright and Arizona's T.J. McConnell for the award, both of whom were considered the favorites to take home the honor. It particularly seems strange that Wright didn't get the award, given that he is considered a potential first-team All-American, and is currently sitting in fifth in KenPom's Player of the Year standings nationally. 

Wright and McConnell had to settle for being named to the 10-man first-team All-Pac-12 team along with Young, Arizona's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson, Washington State's DaVonte Lacy, Oregon State's Gary Payton II, UCLA's Norman Powell, Stanford's Chasson Randle, and Cal's Tyrone Wallace.

On the second team is Colorado's Askia Booker, Oregon's Elgin Cook, UCLA's Kevon Looney, Utah's Brandon Taylor, and Washington's Nigel Williams-Goss.

In what was undoubtedly a well-deserved honor, Oregon's Dana Altman won coach of the year for the masterful work he did with the Ducks this season. Oregon lost eight of its top-10 minute-getters from last season, and didn't even come close to skipping a beat. The Ducks will be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament with a 12-6 record in the conference, and it's due to Altman's ability to quickly gel together a roster full of new faces. 

Payton II was awarded defensive player of the year honors, and was joined on the first team by Oregon's Jordan Bell, Arizona's Hollis-Jefferson and McConnell, and Utah's Wright. Bell was also named to the All-Freshman team, with teammate Dillon Brooks, Arizona State's Tra Holder, Arizona's Johnson, UCLA's Looney, USC's Jordan McLaughlin and Utah's Jakob Poeltl. 

The most improved player award went to Josh Hawkinson of Washington State, whose name (along with that of Stanford's Anthony Brown) was conspicuously absent from the team lists.

>> Want more college hoops? Top 25 (and one) | Bracketology

Our Latest Stories