Arizona freshman phenom center Deandre Ayton has earned Pac-12 Player of the Week and national player of the week honors this week — impressive but he is so talented, the accomplishments are becoming to be expected.
He is on track to become Arizona’s third first-team All-American under Sean Miller. Derrick Williams earned that distinction in 2011 and Nick Johnson in 2014.
Ayton had 23 points, 19 rebounds, three assists and three blocks in the 84-78 win over No. 3 Arizona State last Saturday. The performance was Ayton’s fourth game of 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds as well as the 10th double-double of the season.
He is in position to break the Arizona season record for double-doubles.
Arizona Double-Doubles (Pts/Rebs.)
1. Al Fleming (1973) — 12
Michael Wright (1999) — 12
3. Bob Elliott (1974) — 11
4. Deandre Ayton (2018) — 10
5. Aaron Gordon (2014) — 8
6. Frank Smith (1980) — 6
Channing Frye (2002) — 6
Lauri Markkanen (2017) — 6
9. Chase Budinger (2007) — 5
10. Derrick Williams (2010) — 4
Here are some reactions of Ayton’s performance so far including some from himself:
They criticize me and don’t know me….I don’t give a 🤐 pic.twitter.com/SxdEQs2U52
— Deandre Ayton (@RealDeandreAy) December 28, 2017
— Deandre Ayton (@RealDeandreAy) December 31, 2017
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 2, 2018
Marvin Bagley and Trae Young and Luka Doncic are all unreal. But man, it’s hard for me to get past thinking DeAndre Ayton has a higher ceiling than any of them. Just a totally freakish mix of power, body control, skill, touch, and explosiveness.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) December 31, 2017
Trae Young: 39 points, 14 assists
Marvin Bagley: 32 points, 21 rebounds
Deandre Ayton: 23 points, 19 rebounds
This year's freshman stars aren't slowing down.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) December 31, 2017
Deandre Ayton can score the ball in many ways. Here is a scoring and efficiency breakdown of his game. pic.twitter.com/20XDHEK3vm
— The NBA Draft Wire (@NBADraftWire) December 29, 2017
Deandre Ayton. Less than a God, but more than a man.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 31, 2017
Everything we ever said about Freshman struggling in conference play is being demolished by Marvin Bagley, Trae Young and Deandre Ayton
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) December 31, 2017
Deandre Ayton is a monster. A 2018 version of Ralph Sampson. Skilled, smooth, great footwork, proficient in the post, nice touch on jumpers and around the basket.
Strong as an ox. Finishes well through contact. Carries defenders on his back like Luke carrying Yoda on Dagobah. pic.twitter.com/lMh0h0wQS5
— Dave DuFour (@DaveDuFourNBA) December 31, 2017
Trae Young, Marvin Bagley and DeAndre Ayton. Three pretty ridiculous major conference freshmen debuts on the same day. College hoops has delivered today.
— Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) December 31, 2017
Deandre Ayton is the embodiment of “imagine if you had a big guy who could do ____” … Whatever that blank is he can do it. He’s really dang talented
— Matt Moreno (@MattGOAZCATS) December 31, 2017
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) January 2, 2018
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 2, 2018
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) December 31, 2017
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.