The coaches will announce their All-Pac-12 teams on Monday.
Here are my choices:
– Justin Cobbs, Cal: A combo guard playing the point, Cobbs wasn’t afraid to take big shots when the Bears needed them. His game-winner against at Oregon was as big a play as the team had all year.
– Allen Crabbe, Cal: Drew more defensive attention than any single player in the Pac-12 and still led the league in scoring. Improved his ability to get into the lane, his rebounding and his playmaking.
– Jahii Carson, ASU: Devastatingly quick. Dangerous in the open court. Talented enough coach Herb Sendek went up-tempo this season. Single-biggest reason the Sun Devils won 10 more games than a year ago.
– Larry Drew II, UCLA: Senior transfer from North Carolina was exactly what the young Bruins needed most — a rudder. Set a UCLA single-season record with 239 assists, and they’ve had a couple pretty good teams over the years.
– Solomon Hill, Arizona: Understated, but well-rounded and a difficult matchup who can play on the perimeter or in the paint. Strong and experienced. Always productive.
– Mark Lyons, Arizona: Just as Drew gave UCLA direction, Lyons brought experience at the point as a transfer from Xavier. Made big shots in big games. Has played in three Sweet 16 games — would like to make it four.
– Brock Motum, WSU: Among good players on bad teams, Motum was the best with the least around him. The Pac-12′s No. 2 scorer.
– Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA: It took the freshman wing a while to get in shape, but he delivered 13 20-point games for the league champion. A shooter and a scorer, Muhammad will leave for the NBA without an all-around game.
– Dwight Powell, Stanford: The most improved player in the conference, Powell showed what he could do when healthy. After two injury-plagued seasons, he delivered a consistent performance for the Cardinal.
– Andre Roberson, Colorado: The best rebounder and most versatile defender in the league. Roberson is the kind of player every coach loves — productive without needing to shoot the ball a lot.
– Kyle Anderson, UCLA: The most versatile of UCLA’s three excellent freshman, Anderson passes like a point guard and rebounds like a power forward. He needs more strength and explosiveness, but he has a chance to be very good.
– Carrick Felix, ASU: Along with Stanford’s Powell, Felix was the league’s most improved player. And he was a factor at both ends of the floor. Led the league in double-doubles.
– Roberto Nelson, Oregon State: Finally, after seemingly years of build-up, Nelson delivered this season. His team underachieved, but not Nelson.
– E.J. Singler, Oregon: The best all-around player on his team, Singler probably will earn first-team honors from the coaches, who like to reward seniors. Fact is, he was better in every statistical category a year ago.
– C.J. Wilcox, Washington: A nagging foot injury prevented Wilcox from practicing much of the season and he shot just 31 percent since Jan. 31. Still, he refused to leave the lineup and led the Huskies in scoring.
COACH OF THE YEAR
ASU’s Herb Sendek probably would have won this in early January (when the Sun Devils were 14-2), and Oregon’s Dana Altman might have taken it six weeks ago (when the Ducks were 17-2). But it’s a full-season deal, and one of the youngest (albeit talented), drama-driven, defection-ridden, ill-fitting teams wound up surviving the craziest Pac-12 race in years. UCLA’s Ben Howland should get some credit for that. The winner: Howland.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
There will be sentiment for a variety of players, but it comes down to Crabbe and Muhammad. Muhammad is very good and helped the Bruins win the Pac-12. But Crabbe had the better season. He scored more, rebounded more, had 80 assists to 24 for Muhammad, and bought in defensively on a team that wouldn’t have won without doing so. The winner: Crabbe.