The Huskies took home half of the Pac-12 postseason awards — Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year — en route to claiming the conference’ 2018-19 regular-season title.
There’s no chance Washington makes a similar haul this year and the league honors will likely be equally dispersed among the top five teams that are separated by a game.
Here’s how the races stack up with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: This is a two-man battle between Oregon’s Payton Pritchard and Arizona State’s Remy Martin. Pritchard, who leads the Pac-12 in scoring and assists, likely wins it. However, it would be difficult to deny Martin if he carries ASU to its first Pac-12 conference title.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Oregon State’s 7-foot center Kylor Kelley is second in the country in blocks (95) and blocks per game (3.5). He ranks 10th in the Pac-12 in career blocks (199) and single-season blocks.
COACH OF THE YEAR: No one expected much from UCLA this season, which lost its top three scorers in the offseason. Mick Cronin wasn’t the Bruins’ first choice, but sooner than expected, the first-year coach has made UCLA relevant again. And don’t rule out ASU’s Bobby Hurley.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: This could go to Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji, USC’s Onyeka Okongwu or Washington’s Isaiah Stewart, each of whom has been remarkably consistent while leading his respective teams in points, rebounds and blocks. But Arizona could be in title contention so Nnaji gets the nod.
SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR: Arizona State guard Alonzo Verge has started just nine games and is 14th in the Pac-12 in scoring at 14.6 points per game while averaging 26.4 minutes. He ranks fourth in the league in points per 40 minutes (22.1).
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Utah’s Timmy Allen and California’s Matt Bradley are each averaging 17.4 points. For Allen, it’s a 5.2-point improvement from last season while Bradley has made a 6.6-point jump. Still, Allen, who ranks second in the Pac-12 in minutes per game (35.3), is more productive while averaging more rebounds (7.3-5.1), assists (2.9-1.6), steals (1.3-0.4).
Now here’s a look at the Pac-12 Power Rankings.
1. Arizona State (Previous ranking: 6) (10-4, 9-8): After a 1-3 start, the Sun Devils were last in the Pac-12 standings in Week 2. Since then, ASU has won nine of 11 games, including seven straight. Thursday’s game at UCLA could decide the Pac-12 champion. This week: At UCLA and USC.
2. Oregon (Previous ranking: 1) (21-7, 10-5): Pritchard locked up the Pac-12 Player of the Year award with a career-high 38 points and six three-pointers at Arizona in a 73-72 OT win. This week: Against Oregon State.
3. UCLA (Previous ranking: 9) (10-5, 17-11): Early this season, the Bruins were left for dead following a 13-game stretch in which they compiled a 4-9 record. UCLA also started 1-3 in the Pac-12 before winning nine of 12 games, including five straight. This week: Against ASU and Arizona.
4. Colorado (Previous ranking: 2) (10-5, 21-7): Theoretically, the Buffaloes have the easiest remaining schedule among the contenders. However, they finish with three straight road games and they’ve split three previous conference trips. This week: At California and Stanford.
5. Arizona (Previous ranking: 5) (19-8, 9-5): A young team led by freshman stars headed to the NBA that’s very good at times while occasionally sputtering and misfiring. Credit coach Sean Miller for keeping the Wildcats in the title chase. This week: At USC and UCLA.
6. Stanford (Previous ranking: 4) (18-9, 7-7): Nothing like a trip through Washington to save the season. The Cardinal were circling the drain after compiling a 1-7 record during an eight-game stretch that included four straight losses. However, Stanford remains in NCAA tournament consideration following a road sweep against UW and WSU. The Cardinal need at least a split during their final two regular-season games and 1-2 wins in the Pac-12 tournament to secure a ticket to the Big Dance. This week: Against Utah and Colorado.
7. USC (Previous ranking: 3) (19-9, 8-7): The Trojans’ best Pac-12 game came against Stanford six weeks ago. However, USC plays its final three regular-season games at home against three of the top five teams in the conference and a strong showing would bolster its resume. This week: Against Arizona and ASU.
8. Utah (Previous ranking: 7) (15-12, 6-9): The Utes are dominant at home (9-2) and just 4-9 on the road, which is typical of a young team that’s ranked No. 351 in terms of experience by KenPom. This week: At Stanford and Cal.
9. Washington (Previous ranking: 12) (13-15, 3-12): Two strange but true facts. No. 1: The Huskies have outscored their Pac-12 opponents 988-985 points. No. 2. Quade Green still leads UW in assists (79) despite playing in just 15 games. The next closest Husky is at 57. This week: Against Washington State.
10. Oregon State (Previous ranking: 11) (15-12, 6-10): Tres Tinkle is just 20 points shy of passing Gary Payton (2,172, 1987-90) for the OSU career record. It would be fitting if he did it Thursday during the 354th Civil War. This week: At Oregon.
11. California (Previous ranking: 10) (11-16, 5-9): The Golden Bears have been held to fewer than 58 points in three of their past six games. Cal ranks last in the Pac-12 in points (62.4) and Mark Fox’s No. 1 offseason priority is finding athletic scorers. This week: Against Colorado and Utah.
12. Washington State (Previous ranking: 8) (14-14, 5-10): The Cougars have lost seven of their past nine games, including four straight. Regardless of how this season ends, WSU has made major strides under new coach Kyle Smith, including wins over Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA. Sweeping the Apple Cup series would endear Smith with Wazzu fans. This week: At UW.