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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona Wildcats basketball: Hill, Lyons named to All-Pac-12 team

Tyler Besh

Arizona Wildcats forward Solomon Hill dunks late in the second half against ASU on Saturday, March 9, 2013. Arizona won the game 73-58 at McKale Center.

Arizona Wildcats seniors Solomon Hill and Mark Lyons made the All-Pac-12 first team that was announced today.

It’s Hill’s second straight first team selection, and Lyons made the third-team all-Atlantic-10 Conference last year when he was at Xavier.

“I’m really happy for them,” head coach Sean Miller said. “We always talk about, with team success comes individual accolades and I cant help but think that our overall record [was a factor], not only what we did in conference but also the total season and the total season that both of those guys have had.”

Arizona finished its regular season with a 24-6 overall record and 12-6 in the Pac-12, which tied the UA with California and Oregon for second place in the conference.

Hill is second on the Wildcats in scoring, behind Lyons, at 13.6 points per game and adds 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and a career-best 1.6 3-pointers per contest.

“It’s pretty good,” Hill said of the first team selection. “It just shows my hard work is noticed and it also comes with team success.

In Lyons’ first (and last) year at the UA, he’s averaging 14.9 points, 2.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.8 3-pointers per game. And 85 percent mark on free throws is good for third-best in the Pac-12.

“It’s a great honor,” Lyons said. “My first time in this conference and to be honored as a first team All-Pac-12 player is great. It feels great.”

Lyons and Hill were joined on the first team by eight Pac-12 players, including Jahii Carson (ASU), Allen Crabbe (Cal), Spencer Dinwiddie and Andre Roberson (Colorado), Larry Drew II and Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA), Dwight Powell (Stanford) and E.J. Singler (Oregon).

Crabbe was selected the conference player of the year, Carson and Muhammad co-freshman of the year, Roberson defensive player, Powell most improved. Oregon’s Dana Altman received the John Wooden Coach of the Year award.

The second team included Kyle Anderson (UCLA), Justin Cobbs (Cal), Carrick Felix (ASU), Brock Motum (Washington State) and C.J. Wilcox (Washington).

Johnson snubbed

Recent struggles from Nick Johnson, and Arizona as a whole, might have proven detrimental in his bid for a spot on the All-Defensive team.

Johnson was listed as an honorable mention to the five-man team, despite his stance as one of the top on-ball defenders in the conference.

“Very surprised,” Lyons said. “I felt like he’s done a great job all year guarding the best players on the opposite team and I thought he would be rewarded for it.

Added Hill: “His team knows what he does on defense. We know what type of defensive player he is … I think rebounding really has a lot to do with it but we all know Nick is a great defensive player and maybe if he didn’t hit that wall he’d see his name on that list.”

Johnson bounced back against ASU, leading the Wildcats with 17 points in a 73-58 win on Saturday.

On the season, Johnson is fourth in the Pac-12 in steals (two per game) and adds 11.6 points. 3.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 three-pointers per game.

Roberson, ASU’s Jordan Bachynski and Carrick Felix, Stanford’s Josh Huestis and Oregon’s Arsalan Kazemi comprised the All-Defensive team.

Zeus an honorable mention

Freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski has come on of late after starting the season off slow, and Pac-12 coaches noticed his recent surge by voting him an honorable mention to the All-Freshmen team.

In his last five games, Tarczewski is getting 9.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and is shooting 61.5 percent from the field. On the season, those numbers are at 6.6 points, 5.9 rebounds

“Kaleb, with each passing day his game has progressed,” Miller said. “You could make the argument that his game against ASU was one of his best, if not his best overall game and hopefully he has several more left in the tank.”

Tarczewski had nine points and eight rebounds against the Sun Devils.

Miller felt Tarczewski, or the UA’s other highly-touted freshman Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett, didn’t make the team because of the overall strength of freshmen in the Pac-12 this season.

Anderson, Carson, Muhammad, Damyean Dotson (Oregon) and Josh Scott (Colorado) made the team, while Jordan Adams (UCLA) and Tarczewski received at least three votes.

More than anything, Miller was shocked that Adams, who gets 15.2 points per game for UCLA, didn’t make the team.

“I can not believe Jordan Adams didn’t make the All-Freshman team,” Miller said. “I voted him as a first team All-Conference player. To me, he’s just one of the very best players at his position in the country. On defense, he’s incredible. The fact that he wasn’t on the all defensive team was equally astonishing for me so I think its says more about the depth and talent in our conference.”

Up next

The Pac-12 tournament begins at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Wednesday. As the No. 4 seed, the 18th-ranked Arizona has a bye and will face the winner of Oregon State and Colorado on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. The game will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks.

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