Although there's plenty of assent about who deserves to win what award, the Pac-12 writers (including many of us on the SB Nation network) decided to get together and come up with our own basketball awards for this year's performance in-conference. And because us Pac-12 basketball writers are a bunch of studs, our list makes sure to put the right players in the right place.
Today's post deals with the All-Conference Teams in terms of best players, best defenders, and best freshmen.
All Pac-12 First Team
Tony Wroten, Washington - G*
Jared Cunningham, Oregon State - G*
Allen Crabbe, Cal - G/F
E.J. Singler, Oregon - F
Solomon Hill, Arizona - F
All Pac-12 Honorable Mention
Kyle Fogg, Arizona - G
Justin Cobbs, Cal - G
Josh Owens, Stanford - F
Harper Kamp, Cal - F
Chip the Buffalo - Mascot
Now imagine if this ten man team had suited up in the Pac-12. You have Gutierrez and Joseph handling the ball each a little bit (they're not natural ball-handlers, but they're good at creating and running the offense). You have Ross stretching the floor and both Gutierrez and Joseph can dribble-drive and spot up. Joseph is the better scorer, Gutierrez the better creator. You have Roberson beasting the boards and Motum just scoring underneath from feeds from Gutierrez. Solid starting unit.
If you need a guy with a lot of stamina, Wroten comes in and handles the point guard duties, Cunningham roves the passing lanes, Crabbe can replicate what Ross does, Singler provides more offensive flexibility if Roberson gets shut down offensively, and Hill is developing into a star who can get buckets from anywhere. Having him as your backup big will invite the pain.
(*)With regards to voting, Wroten and Cunningham were actually tied with Ross, so I dealt with it by looking at the First Team as a basketball squad. Do I want three guards or a stretch forward to help make Roberson and Motum more versatile? When you put it that way, I figured Ross should get the nod and Wroten and Cunningham got the second team. A similar issue occurred with Kyle Fogg and Allen Crabbe, with Crabbe getting the nod because he filled a position on the team.
Not exactly a vote of confidence for anyone, but it's not like we had any runaway candidates in these nominations. It says a lot that combining the best talent the Pac-12 has to offer might just be enough to crack only the top 20.
All Pac-12 Defensive Team
Jorge Gutierrez, Cal - G
Jared Cunningham, Oregon State - G
Kyle Fogg, Arizona - G
Andre Roberson, Colorado - F
Aziz N'Diaye, Washington - C
Eric Moreland was tied with Fogg, and I nearly went with him on the All-Defensive team to fulfill natural positions, until I realized it'd be very strange to have two Beavers on the squad when they were perhaps one of the worst defensive teams in the conference. Fogg it was.
In general though, this lineup makes plenty of sense defensively. You have Gutierrez as the on-ball defender on the point guard, Cunningham roaming around, Fogg playing the versatile option, Roberson cleaning up the glass and N'Diaye stocking the paint. Not all that bad.
All Pac-12 Freshmen Team
It was pretty easy for people to spot the five freshmen here. Wroten is of course a likely lottery pick, Randle has shown great promise at times for the Cardinal (particularly with his hot three point shooting), Dinwiddie carried Colorado at times throughout the season and was a great point guard in the Pac-12 tourney, Kravish stepped into a starting role for Cal and was exceptional as Harper Kamp's batterymate in the trenches, and Moreland is fast becoming one of the conference's best big men (simply because no one else is there to take the title). The conference could use a little more depth in this regard, but these five were a cut above the rest (Davonte Lacy, Desmond Simmons, Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner got votes too).
Thanks to the following people for voting.
- Jeff Nusser from Coug Center.
- David Piper from Addicted to Quack.
- norcalnick from California Golden Blogs.
- AndyPanda from Building the Dam.
- Parker Baruh from the Ralphie Report.
- Griffin Bennett from Montlake Madness.
- Our contributors at Pacific Takes: Jack Follman, Joey Kaufman, Adam Butler, and me.