LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: Brock Motum #12 of the Washington State Cougars goes up for a dunk over Aziz N'Diaye #5 of the Washington Huskies in the second half in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 10, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The best Pac-12 basketball minds of the conference have come together and voted on the best in the conference. Today's award: Most Improved Player.
Brock Motum was a quiet unknown last year as more prominent Cougars stepped up and made plays, but with Washington State struggling much of this season Motum came up huge with big contributions. He was arguably the most efficient player offensively in the Pac-12 by the time the season was done, and is well worth the honor of Most Improved Player.
Motum received eight of the ten votes, with Garrett Sim and Terrence Ross also getting votes. Kyle Fogg, Andre Roberson, Brendon Lavender and Angus Brandt also got some consideration. Here are the explanations from each voter.
Jeff Nusser, CougCenter:
Jack Follman, Pacific Takes: Brock Motum, the Cougars needed someone to fill the void of Klay Thompson, DeAngelo Casto and Faisel Aden and Motum really stepped up after not being much more than a solid contributor last year. Motum alone won the Cougars some games and kept them in a number of games that they shouldn't have been in.
Joey Kaufman, Pacific Takes: A season ago, Brock Motum averaged 7.8 points per game. He was significantly better in 2012, finishing second in scoring with 18.1 and helping the Cougars finish just under .500 despite a rather weak supporting cast.
awbutler, Pachoops: Easy. Brock Motum jumped from a role player to a POY candidate and lead the league in scoring and was also top-10 in rebounding. Impressive stuff. But you know all this. I found him most impressive to watch because he just willed his way to productivity. I really hope Ken Bone can conjure up something around him cause he's poised for a big senior year.
David Piper, Addicted to Quack: Garrett Sim--Oregon
Didn't even have to think about this one, and didn't even consider anyone else. Last season, we called Sim a non-D1 talent. This season, as a jump shooter at the guard position, he improved his scoring by over four points a game, his shooting percentage 90 points to over 50%, and his three point percentage well over a hundred points to an ungodly 47%.
norcalnick, California Golden Blogs: Brock Motum, easily. Do I need to justify this one?
AndyPanda, Building The Dam: Again, its hard to argue against the Pac-12’s choice of Brock Motum. Without him, the Cougars would have given Utah and USC a run for the cellar. I would offer up 2 other names, one somewhat obvious, and one less so.
Arizona’s Kyle Fogg I felt elevated his game in crunch situations considerably. Oregon St.’s Angus Brandt progressed considerably as well, and became a real matchup problem for many opponents.
Griffin Bennett, Montlake Madness: Terrence Ross – Washington. Ross is greatly improved from last season. He didn’t even make the Pac-12 All Freshman team last season and is now a Player of the Year candidate.
2010/11: 17 mpg, 8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, .443 FG%, .352 3P%.
2011/12: 31 mpg, 15.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, .454 FG%, .363 3P%.
Parker Baruh, Ralphie Report: Brock Motum was the unanimous pick for this award. He went from being barely a role player last year to one of the best players in the conference this year. Motum averaged 18 points and almost 7 rebounds per game and was one of the main reasons for any success that the Cougars had this year.
Avinash Kunnath, Pacific Takes: Brock Motum. He came out of nowhere to become the best big man in the conference. If he comes back next year and gets some talent around him, WSU will be a force to be reckoned with.