Trying to put together various all-conference awards is a not-so-pleasant reminder of how down the Pac-12 is. Honestly, I considered leaving a blank for conference player of the year because it doesn't feel like any one player went out and grabbed the award. But onward we must go, so without further ado here are my own (probably unconventional and probably wrong) choices for various Pac-12 awards. I encourage everybody to tell me just how wrong I am in the comments.
All-Conference First Team
I very seriously considered not putting Jorge on the first team but ultimately decided that Jorge's defense and rebounding gave him the edge over some of the guards on the 2nd team. I also didn't want to let the last few games of the season overly influence what should be awards that reflect the entire season. Motum and Roberson were easy choices in what was a particularly down year for post players. But which of these five players won the player of the year? Hit the jump to find out!
Conference Player of the Year
Devoe Joseph, Oregon
A bizarre year requires an outside-the-box pick. To be honest, the only other player I seriously considered was Brock Motum and Terrance Ross. I went against Motum because I'm just not convinced he's a good defender, and I went against Ross in part because there's this intangible sense that he should be better - that he should be taking over games all the time. I'm probably not making much sense.
But let's focus on what Joseph did. He was the #1 option and main cog on what ended up being the best offense during conference play. He's perhaps the best shooter in the conference. He rarely turns the ball over. He never fouls. He's a decent rebounder for a 6'4'' guard.
I'm not really thrilled with this choice, but I'm not really thrilled with any choice. Ultimately I'm comfortable going with the best offensive player from the best offense in the conference.
Defensive Player of the Year
Andre Roberson, Colorado
Roberson ended up being the easy choice because of two skills he has that nobody else in the conference seems to possess. He's easily the best rebounder in the conference, and he's the main reason Colorado was the best defensive rebounding team in Pac-12 play. And he's perhaps only high volume shot-blocker in the conference that doesn't also commit a boatload of fouls (see: Aziz N'Diaye, Tony Woods). Without Roberson patrolling the middle and sucking up every missed shot there's no way Colorado is a particularly competitive team this year.
Coach of the Year
Tad Boyle, Colorado
Another award I agonized over. I considered Dana Altmann, I considered Lorenzo Romar,. and Mike Montgomery could win the award every year. But Boyle impressed me. He lost a ton of talent and production from the previous year and still managed to make his team successful. When I look at Colorado's roster I only see one player that particularly impresses me - Andre Roberson. I just really wish he had won a game in Oregon to make this pick a bigger slam dunk.
All-Conference Second Team
The first four spots were pretty easy, but the final spot (that went to Eric Moreland) could have gone to any number of players. It wasn't a banner year for freshmen in the Pac-12. What were the odds that nobody from Arizona's roster would make this team!? And Kravish and Dinwiddie? Just a couple of three star guys with little if any hype.
G Jorge Gutierrez, California
G Kyle Fogg, Arizona
G Jared Cunningham, Oregon St.
F Harper Kamp, California
F Andre Roberson, Colorado
This is always the hardest team to fill out. I just don't see enough of every team to get a great sense of who's playing the best defense, and the result is a too-ignorant set of educated guesses. Hopefully the Pac-12 network will help me out. Kyle Fogg made the team because Arizona plays great defense and I found a few articles talking about how good Fogg's defense has been. Cunningham makes it for getting tons of steals, even though OSU's defense is generally awful to the point that I questioned whether anybody on the Beavers should make the all-defense team. But I didn't know who else better to put there, so congrats Jared.
That does it for award season. Next up, of course, is the Pac-12 tournament. CGB will have a separate, in depth preview of the tourney later in the week.