NCAA Basketball Season Recap

The NCAA Division 1 Basketball season finished on March 13 and out of 363 Division 1 schools, only sixty-four of the best teams made it to the March Madness National Championship tournament. Out of 32 NCAA D1 conferences the Pac 12 is the conference where USC and UCLA play. The Pac 12 gives out awards every year and UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. won Pac 12 Player of the Year, UCLA’s Jaylen Clark won the Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year, UCLA’s Adem Bona won Freshman of the Year, USC’s Reese Dixon-Waters won Pac 12 Sixth Man of the Year, Arizona’s Oumar Ballo won Pac 12 Most Improved Player, and UCLA coach Mick Cronin lead UCLA to a 27-4 record and won the Pac 12 John Wooden Coach of the Year. UCLA’s 31-5 description led to a first-place title but it ended up losing 61-59 to Arizona.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. brought UCLA their eighth player of the year award, their first since Kevin Love in 2008 and the first senior since Ed O’Bannon in 1995. He averaged 17.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Jaylen Clark brought UCLA their third defensive player of the year award and their first since Russell Westbrook in 2008. Clark averaged 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 2.6 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game. His 2.6 steals per game was the best in the Pac-12. Adem Bona won Freshman of the year bringing UCLA to a total of 10 recipients. Bona led in blocks, rebounds, and field goal percentage among freshmen. He averaged 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.7 blocks, and a 67.5 field goal percentage. USC’s Reese Dixon-Waters brought the second award to USC’s program averaging 9.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. He started the first seven games leading to a 4-3 record and eventually started to come off the bench and led USC to a 22-11 record. UCLA coach Mick Cronin won his second Coach of the Year award. He led UCLA to a 27-4 record. UCLA’s Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr. were named to the All-Pac-12 team and USC’s Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson were also named to the All-Pac-12 team. Jaylen Clark was the only player from either team to make it to the All-Pac-12 Second Team. Amari Bailey (UCLA), Adem Bona (UCLA), and Tre White (USC) made it to the All-Freshman Team. Adem Bona and Jaylen Clark made it to the All-Defensive Team for UCLA and Kobe Johnson and Joshua Morgan made it to the All-Defensive Team for USC.