Oregon’s Dillon Brooks was named the 2017 Pac-12 Player of the Year. The Canadian product helped lead the Ducks to their second straight regular season title at 27-4, 16-2 in Pac-12 and 17-0 at home.
In the final AP Top 25 ranking of the season, Oregon finds themselves entrenched in the No. 5 spot. UO is also the No. 1 seed heading into the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas this week.
After capturing two of Oregon’s six regular season titles in school history, it’s difficult to imagine any other player in his Nike’s.
Brooks was also named to the All-Pac-12 First Team. Joining him on this prestigious squad is Bryce Alford, Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf (UCLA), Markelle Fultz (Washington), Kyle Kuzma (Utah), Lauri Markkanen (Arizona), Ivan Rabb (Cal), Reid Travis (Stanford) and Derrick White (Colorado).
For the season, Brooks was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on three separate occasions. He is averaging 16.0 PPG, 2.9 APG, 2.7 RPG and 1.2 SPG in 2016-17. DB shot an impressive 53 percent from the field, alongside 42 percent from 3-point territory.
Yet, it has been his incredible late-game heroics that have stoked the fire. The Duck has catapulted his team to victory on three separate occasions during the final seconds. Two of those buzzer-beaters came against Pac-12 foes in No. 3 UCLA and California.
In his last nine games, he is averaging 21 points per game. After offseason surgery delayed the start of his season, DB has hit his stride in the last month.
The Pac-12 POY went on to average 17.9 points in conference play, third-best in the league. He led the Ducks with 35 triples in Pac-12 games. Two of those aforementioned threes proved critical in the Ducks winning back-to-back league crowns for the first time in program history.
Brooks is the second Duck to be named Pac-12 Player of the Year in the past three years. He is the fifth Oregon player to capture the award. The other four were Joseph Young, Luke Ridnour, Terrell Brandon and Ron Lee.
He was named a preseason Associated Press First Team All-American. Not to mention, he is currently a Wooden and Erving finalist. He was apart of the Naismith watch, as well. Truly, DB has just begun to scratch the surface of his potential.
In addition, No. 5 Oregon’s Jordan Bell was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. We saw that one coming.
Sadly, head coach Dana Altman missed out on his fourth Pac-12 Coach of the Year in the last five years. Arizona’s Sean Miller received the honor after his Wildcats finished with an identical record to Oregon (27-4, 16-2).
Arizona will be the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament. They lost their tiebreaker to Oregon after losing by 27 points, 85-58, in Eugene earlier this season.
Chimezie Metu of USC was named the Pac-12 Most Improved Player. He more than doubled his scoring (6.4 PPG to 14.4 PPG) and rebounding (3.6 RPG to 7.6 RPG) production compared to his freshman campaign. He also provided a team-best 1.4 blocks per game for the Trojans.
UCLA’s Lonzo Ball was unsurprisingly named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. He was in the driver seat since the season tipped off. Oregon’s Payton Pritchard was trapped within a monster freshman class in the Pac-12. Any other year and the West Linn native could have walked home with the hardware.
The Pac-12 is just beginning to heat up. The fun continues on Wednesday from Sin City, as the Pac-12 Tournaments kicks off from T-Mobile Arena.