Pac-12 player of the year: Jakob Poeltl, Utah Utes. Poeltl put Utah on his back and took the Utes all the way to a second seed after struggling to start Pac-12 play. Utah is the hottest team in the conference headed into the tournament.
Pac-12 freshman of the year: Jaylen Brown, California Golden Bears. Brown made the leap in Pac-12 play and Cal has only gotten stronger with every passing week. The Bears are third in the conference thanks in large part to Jaylen.
Pac-12 coach of the year: Dana Altman, Oregon Ducks. Altman wins another coach of the year award, and he just keeps on piling them up. Oregon lost leading scorer Joseph Young and didn't miss a beat.
Pac-12 defensive player of the year: Gary Payton II, Oregon St. Beavers. Payton went back-to-back as he emerged as one of the best pick pockets in the country.
Pac-12 most improved player: George King, Colorado Buffaloes. King made a huge leap in productivity after some key departures and injuries and was a key contributor in a return for the Buffs to the Dance.
Pac-12 scholar athlete: Brandon Taylor, Utah Utes.
Full release from the Pac-12.
DANA ALTMAN REPEATS AS THE JOHN R. WOODEN COACH OF THE YEAR
SAN FRANCISCO - In a vote of the 12 Conference coaches, UTAH sophomore forward/center Jakob Poeltl has been named the 2015-16 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Player of the Year; CALIFORNIA forward Jaylen Brown was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year; OREGON STATE senior guard Gary Payton II repeated as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year; COLORADO redshirt sophomore guard George King has been named Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year; UTAH senior guardBrandon Taylor was chosen the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year; and Dana Altman of OREGON repeated as the John R. Wooden Coach of the Year, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.
PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jakob Poeltl, UTAH
POELTL and teammate BRANDON TAYLOR, the 2015-16 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, are the first Utah players to earn major Pac-12 Conference awards since the Utes joined the league in 2011-12. Among the finalists for the Naismith, Robertson and Wooden National Player of the Year awards, as well as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year, Poeltl helped Utah to a 24-7 overall record and 13-5 league mark that earned the Utes second place in the Pac-12 standings for the second straight season. The sophomore from Vienna, Austria finished the regular season as the Pac-12 leader and fourth nationally in field goal percentage (.660). He also ranked second in the league in scoring (17.5 ppg), third in rebounding (9.1 rpg) and double-doubles (14), and tied for fifth in blocked shots (1.6 bpg).
PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Jaylen Brown, CALIFORNIA
BROWN is the eighth California player to earn the Pac-12 Freshman or Rookie of the Year award, joining Dave Butler (1982-83), Leonard Taylor (1984-85), Jason Kidd (1992-93), Tremaine Fowlkes (1994-95), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1995-96), Leon Powe (2003-04) and Allen Crabbe (2010-11). The Atlanta, Ga., native and Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year award finalist tied for the best scoring average among Pac-12 freshmen at 15.3 points per game and added 5.6 rebounds per contest, pacing the Golden Bears to their most regular-season victories (22) since 2011-12. He also earned recognition on the 2015-16 Pac-12 All-Conference First Team and All-Freshman Team.
PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Gary Payton II, OREGON STATE
PAYTON II is the first player in league history to repeat and earn multiple Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year awards. He led the conference in steals for the second straight season, ranking sixth in the nation with 2.41 steals per game. The only Pac-12 player to finish in the top 10 in the league in steals, scoring (7th, 15.9 ppg), rebounding (9th, 7.6 rpg) and assists (3rd, 5.3 apg), Payton II guided the Beavers to their most conference wins (nine) since 1992-93. He also earned his second Pac-12 All-Conference First Team accolade.
PAC-12 MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR: George King, COLORADO
KING is the second Colorado player to earn a major Pac-12 Conference award since the Buffaloes joined the league in 2011-12, along with 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year André Roberson. After averaging 1.5 points in 27 games as a freshman in 2013-14 and redshirting in 2014-15, the guard started 24 of Colorado's 31 contests, averaged 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds and finished the Pac-12 regular season as the league leader in three-point percentage (.453). He helped the Buffaloes to 21 victories in the regular season, equaling the program mark also reached in 1996-97 and King's rookie year of 2013-14.
PAC-12 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Brandon Taylor, UTAH
TAYLOR, a Pac-12 All-Academic Team selection in both 2013-14 and 2014-15, maintains a 3.40 grade-point average as a senior psychology major at Utah. This season, he earned Pac-12 All-Defensive Team and honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors while averaging 9.6 points and team-highs of 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals for a Utes team that won their final seven regular-season games to finish second in the league with a 13-5 mark and a 24-7 overall record.
PAC-12 JOHN R. WOODEN COACH OF THE YEAR: Dana Altman, OREGON
ALTMAN is the first repeat Pac-12 Conference Coach of the Year since California's Mike Montgomery in 2002-03 and 2003-04. It is his third honor in the past four seasons, moving him into the company of Lute Olson (seven), Montgomery (four), George Raveling (three) and Lorenzo Romar (three) as mentors with three-or-more Pac-12 Coach of the Year awards. After being picked to finish fourth in this year's Pac-12 preseason media poll, the Ducks captured their first regular-season league title since 2002, winning the crown outright with a 14-4 conference record. Altman has guided Oregon to 20-or-more victories in each of his six seasons in Eugene, posting a league-best 25-6 regular-season mark this year for his 18th career 20-win campaign and 19th consecutive winning season - an active streak matched only by Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Bill Self (Kansas) and Roy Williams (North Carolina). He is 558-306 in 27 years as a head coach, including 148-63 in six years at Oregon.
THE VOTE: Coach of the Year, All-Conference, All-Freshman, All-Defensive teams and Most Improved Player are voted on by the coaches. Coaches are not permitted to vote for themselves or their own players for the honors.