SAN FRANCISCO – UCLA senior Bryce Alford and freshmen Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf have earned first-team All-Pac-12 team honors, the Pac-12 Conference announced on Monday.
In addition, Ball has been named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. He becomes UCLA's first freshman since Shabazz Muhammad in 2013 to have earned Freshman of the Year honors (Muhammad shared that honor with Arizona State's Jahii Carson) and the first Bruin to win the award, in outright fashion, since Kevin Love in 2008.
Alford, who has earned honorable mention acclaim the previous two seasons, has been named an All-Pac-12 selection for the first time in his four-year career. Alford ranks sixth in the Pac-12 in scoring (16.5 ppg) and is first in three-point field goal percentage (45.4%). Alford's total of 104 three-pointers this season ranks seventh in Pac-12 history.
Ball and Leaf have both secured first-team honors in their first collegiate seasons and have also been named to the Pac-12's All-Freshmen Team. Ball, a 6-foot-6 guard from Chino Hills, Calif., has averaged 14.9 points, a nation-leading 7.8 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game. He has already established a new Pac-12 freshman season assists record (241), breaking a 30-year-old mark previously set by Gary Payton of Oregon State (229) in 1986-87.
Leaf ranks seventh in the Pac-12 in scoring (16.3 ppg) and eighth in rebounding (8.4 rpg). He is one of just three players in the conference to rank among the Pac-12's top 10 in both scoring and rebounding (along with fellow first-team selections Kyle Kuzma of Utah and Reid Travis of Stanford). Leaf enters the Pac-12 Tournament this week as the conference's leader in overall field goal percentage (63.0%).
Junior center Thomas Welsh was one of seven players to secure honorable mention All-Pac-12 acclaim. Welsh has averaged 10.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
Ball and sophomore guard Aaron Holiday have both been listed as honorable mention selections on the Pac-12's All-Defensive Team.
The All-Pac-12 teams include 10 student-athletes as first-team selections and five student-athletes as second-team selections. Honorable mention candidates have received at least three votes. The All-Freshmen and All-Defensive Teams include five players each.
Oregon's Dillon Brooks has been named the Pac-12 Player of the Year. In addition, Oregon's Jordan Bell has been selected as the conference's Defensive Player of the Year and USC's Chimezie Metu has earned Most Improved Player of the Year acclaim. Arizona's Sean Miller has been named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year.