Arizona's Deandre Ayton both Pac-12 freshman and player of the year

Sporting News
The 2018 NBA Draft will be held Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The 2018 NBA Draft will be held Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Deandre Ayton doubled up on Pac-12 awards.

The Arizona big man was named both the conference's freshman and player of the year Monday.

Ayton, a 7-1 forward from The Bahamas, averaged 19.9 points and 11.4 rebounds this season while leading the Wildcats (24-7) to a regular-season conference title.

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The 19-year-old is only the third recipient of both the conference’s player and freshman of the year honors in the same season, joining UCLA’s Kevin Love in 2008 and California’s Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1996.

Ayton led the conference in rebounding to join California’s Leon Powe in 2004 as the only freshmen ever to lead Pac-12 in rebounding. His 11.4 boards per game would break the league’s freshman record currently held by Love, who pulled down 10.9 rebounds per game in 2008.

MORE: March Madness 2018: Odds to win the NCAA Tournament

Ayton is also third in the Pac-12 in blocks (1.9 bpg) and fifth in field goal percentage (.616). His 59 blocked shots are tied for the seventh-most in a season by a freshman in conference history. He has recorded 21 double-doubles, tied for the third-most in the country and the most for any freshman in the nation. He is just two shy of the conference’s rookie record held by Love.


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