The Pac-12 today announced the end of season awards and several Huskies earned a spot on at least one of the teams. F Keion Brooks Jr. earned 2nd team all-conference recognition while C Braxton Meah was named to the all-defense team and G Keyon Menifield Jr. was named to the all-freshman team.
Brooks, after transferring in from Kentucky, ended the season 3rd in the conference in points per game at 17.8 and 8th in rebounds per game at 6.9. The only other player to average at least that many points and rebounds per game was Arizona’s Azoulas Tubelis. However, Brooks missed out on being named to the 10-person 1st team likely due to his efficiency. Brooks averaged more than 3 turnovers per game and still shot below 30% from the 3-point line despite making a career high percentage from deep.
It was a breakout season from Braxton Meah considering many (myself included) though that he would primarily serve as the backup for fellow incoming transfer Franck Kepnang. Instead Meah won the starting job right away and saw his playing time greatly increase when Kepnang tore his ACL in December. Meah ended up averaging 9.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. He finished 7th in the conference in rebounding and tied for 4th in blocks.
Keyon Menifield was overshadowed by fellow freshman guard Koren Johnson in the recruiting rankings but showed from day one that he was vastly underrated. Menifield scored 21 and then 26 points in his first 2 games starting after Noah Williams went down in the season opener with a knee injury. At the beginning of conference play Menifield was inserted into the starting lineup permanently and he ended the year averaging 10.0 points and 3.0 assists per game on 41.6%/34.7%/70.5% shooting splits. Among true freshmen Menifield was 2nd in points per game and 1st in assists per game.
The complete awards were the following:
Player of the Year: Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
Coach of the Year: Mick Cronin, UCLA
Defensive Player of the Year: Jaylen Clark, UCLA
Freshman of the Year: Adem Bona, UCLA
Most Improved Player: Oumar Ballo, Arizona
6th Player of the Year: Reese Dixon-Waters, USC
1st Team All-Conference
Oumar Ballo, Arizona
Tyger Campbell, UCLA
Branden Carlson, Utah
N’Faly Dante, Oregon
Tristan da Silva, Colorado
Boogie Ellis, USC
Mouhamed Gueye, Washington State
Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
Drew Peterson, USC
Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona
2nd Team All-Conference
Keion Brooks Jr., Washington
Desmond Cambridge Jr., Arizona State
Jaylen Clark, UCLA
Spencer Jones, Stanford
KJ Simpson, Colorado
(Honorable Mentions: TJ Bamba WSU, Adem Bona UCLA, Courtney Ramey Arizona, Will Richardson Oregon)
Adem Bona, UCLA
Jaylen Clark, UCLA
Kobe Johnson, USC
Braxton Meah, Washington
Joshua Morgan, USC
(Honorable Mention: Marco Anthony Utah, Oumar Ballo ASU, Mouhamed Gueye WSU, Warren Washington ASU)
Amari Bailey, UCLA
Adem Bona, UCLA
Keyon Menifield, Washington
Jordan Pope, Oregon State
Tre White, USC
(Honorable Mention: Kylan Boswell Arizona, Grant Newell California)
For those interested I had Brooks and Meah listed on my midseason awards “ballot” as honorable mention list of candidates. Brooks increased his scoring by over a point per game between that point and season’s end while Meah scoring and blocks went down but his rebounding went up.
There was a decent amount of changing from my midseason list to the final actual results. Jaime Jaquez, Azuolas Tubelis, Drew Peterson, Branden Carlson, and Oumar Ballo stayed on 1st team. KJ Simpson and Jaylen Clark fell from 1st team to 2nd. TJ Bamba and Will Richardson fell to honorable mention while Kerr Kriisa didn’t even make honorable mention despite leading the conference in assists per game.
4 members of my midseason 2nd team (N’Faly Dante, Mouhamed Gueye, Tyger Campbell, and Boogie Ellis) took a leap up to the 1st team. Frankie Collins of ASU fell off the list completely. Both Keion Brooks and Tristan da Silva jumped from honorable mention with Brooks ending up on 2nd team and da Silva 1st team.
The only players who were on any of the teams that didn’t appear on my midseason list anywhere were Desmond Cambridge Jr. (2nd team), Spencer Jones (2nd team), Adem Bona (HM), and Courtney Ramey (HM)
I also put out my final predictions this morning on twitter and got 8 of the 10 1st team selections correct with Tristan da Silva actually taking the place of teammate KJ Simpson while N’Faly Dante earned a nod of Jaylen Clark. I got 4 of the 5 all-defense spots correct missing Adem Bona for Desmond Cambridge Jr. I nailed all 5 of the all-freshman team representatives although I had Jordan Pope rather than Adem Bona as FotY. Oumar Ballo won most improved over KJ Simpson while Reese Dixon-Waters won 6th man which I can only imagine was because they decided David Singleton started a couple too many games to qualify. I correctly picked PotY, CotY, and DPoY.