Arizona Wildcats’ coach Sean Miller scanned the list of Pac-12 all-conference honors, finding one surprise.
“I cannot believe Jordan Adams did not make the all-freshman team,” Miller said, referring to the 6-5 UCLA guard.
“I had him as a first-team all-conference player. To me, he’s one of the very, very best players at his position in the country. On defense, he’s incredible. The fact that he wasn’t on the all-defensive team is also astonishing to me.”
Adams ranks eighth in the conference with 15.2 points per game. He is fourth in free-throw percentage (83.8) and is third in steals at 2.2 per game.
Adams earned honorable mention honors on the All-Freshman team, as did Arizona center Kaleb Tarczewski.
UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad and Arizona State’s Jahii Carson were chosen as co-Freshman of the Year. UCLA’s Kyle Anderson, Colorado’s Josh Scott and Oregon’s Damyean Dotson rounded out the All-Freshman team.
Arizona senior forward Solomon Hill became the 12th UA player to win multiple first-team awards since the team joined the Pac-10 for the 1978-79 season.
Miller called the back-to-back awards “one heck of an accomplishment.”
Said Hill: “It’s pretty good. It just shows my hard work gets noticed, and it always comes with team success. If the team wouldn’t be in this situation, in the top half of the conference, I wouldn’t have this award.”
UA senior Mark Lyons, a third-team pick in the Atlantic 10 last season at Xavier, was a first-teamer this time around.
“I’d been in the A-10 for three years, seen it for four, and I respect that conference and don’t think they get enough credit,” Lyons said. “But I think this conference, from top to bottom, is probably a lot better. But the A-10 has a lot of great teams.”
Miller said you could have made a case for UA guard Nick Johnson being on the All-Defensive team, instead of just honorable mention.
“I’m sure one of the things that hurt him was the last three weeks of our team sliding defensively overall,” Miller said. “And you get grouped into that. You get grouped into that when things go well, and you get grouped into it when things don’t go well.”
Johnson, though, might have come out of his funk with a big regular-season finale against Arizona State.
“This team knows what he does on defense,” Hill said. “Maybe if he hadn’t hit that little wall, you’d definitely see him on the list.”