Arizona Basketball

Ayton is eighth Arizona player to be Pac-10/12 Player of Year

Deandre Ayton is Pac-12 Player of the Year. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Sasnett for Arizona Athletics)

Deandre Ayton is the eighth Arizona Wildcats basketball player to be selected Pac-10/12 Player of the Year — and the first to do it as a freshman.

It’s the latest — and not the last honor — for Ayton, who earned top conference honors Monday after a regular season in which he is second in the Pac-12 in scoring (19.9) and first in rebounding (11.4). He is also fifth in shooting percentage (61.6) and third in blocks at 1.9 per game.

Ayton was also, quite logically, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.

The 7-foot-1 big man is the third player under coach Sean Miller to be the Pac-12 Player of the Year, joining Nick Johnson (2014) and Derrick Williams (2011).

Other Wildcats to win the conference honor are Jason Terry (1999), Mike Bibby (1998), Damon Stoudamire (co-Player of the Year, 1995), Chris Mills (1993) and Sean Elliott, who won it twice — in 1988 and 1989.

Ayton has 21 double-doubles this season, two off the single-season conference record, held by UCLA’s Kevin Love.

Arizona junior Allonzo Trier joined Ayton as first-team All-Pac-12; click here for the full all-conference teams.

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