Huskies baffled by another snub on All-Pac-12 team
C.J. Wilcox makes the second team, not the 10-player first team, despite being the fourth-leading scorer in the conference
Seattle Times staff reporter
C.J. Wilcox prides himself on being able to anticipate most things that happen in basketball.
The fifth-year senior figured his Washington teammate Nigel Williams-Goss would be chosen to the Pac-12 all-freshman team, which was unveiled Monday.
“Saw that coming,” Wilcox said. “He had really good stats and it just gradually got better over the year. You could definitely see it coming, so congrats to him.”
However, the results of the all-conference team hit Wilcox like a blindside screen.
For the second consecutive year, Pac-12 coaches left the UW sharpshooter off the 10-man first team and voted him instead to the five-player second team.
“It’s not what I was expecting,” said the ever-stoic Wilcox, who gave a wry smile. “But it’s not in my control.”
Arizona dominated the postseason honors, winning three of the five major awards. Wildcats junior Nick Johnson was named player of the year, Aaron Gordon was tabbed freshman of the year and Sean Miller claimed the coach-of-the-year award.
Johnson and Gordon were voted to all-conference first team along with UCLA’s Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson, Arizona State’s Jahii Carson, California’s Justin Cobbs, Stanford’s Dwight Powell and Chasson Randle, Colorado’s Josh Scott and Utah’s Delon Wright.
The all-conference second team was Arizona’s T.J. McConnell, ASU’s Jordan Bachynski, Oregon State’s Roberto Nelson, Oregon’s Joseph Young and Wilcox.
Williams-Goss joined UCLA’s Bryce Alford and Zach LaVine, a Bothell High product, and Arizona’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Gordon on the all-freshman team.
Bachynski, the defensive player of the year, was chosen to the all-defensive team along with Wright, Stanford’s Josh Huestis, Johnson and McConnell.
Stanford’s Anthony Brown won the most improved award.
“It was an honor to make first team (all-freshman),” Williams-Goss said. “Any time you’re recognized for your play and hard work, it feels good. So I’m thankful for that.”
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said he believes his counterparts got it right with Williams-Goss, but made a mistake with Wilcox. Coaches are not allowed to vote for themselves or their players.
“It’s very mind-boggling how (Wilcox) couldn’t be on the first team,” Romar said. “I don’t understand that one. That’s not the first time I haven’t understood the end-of-the-season awards. That’s no sleight to those that were on the first team. I just think that that’s a no-brainer that C.J. Wilcox should be on the first team.”
When asked if Washington’s 17-14, 9-9 Pac-12 record likely hurt Wilcox’s status, Romar said: “We could say that, but he deserves to be on the first team. It’s that simple.”
Wilcox, who finished fourth in the conference with an 18.5 scoring average, moved into second place on Washington’s career scoring list (1,866 points) this season. He’s the school’s career leader with 299 three-pointers and ranks sixth on the Pac-12 career list.
“I’m not losing sleep over it,” Wilcox said. “Like I said, it’s out of my control. I’m just going to keep doing what I do best and we’re going to try and do some damage in Vegas. That’s where my head is at right now.”
Washington is the No. 9 seed in the Pac-12 tournament that starts at noon Wednesday against No. 8 Utah at the MGM Grand Arena.
Wilcox said the postseason awards snub might give him extra motivation this week.
“Before (the awards) even came out, I was planning on going to Vegas and just go out and have a good time for the last go-round,” he said. “And just have that aggressive mentality for the whole week. I guess that can add to it.”
• The Huskies are scheduled to fly to Las Vegas on Tuesday morning. Washington players, coaches and staff will dine with Williams-Goss’ family in the evening. The freshman point guard played four years at Findlay Prep in nearby Henderson.
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.