WBB: Oregon takes home Pac-12 honors — including player and coach of the year

Four players are recognized as all-Pac-12 performers — led by player of the year Sabrina Ionescu

Sabrina Ionescu is the Pac-12 player of the year.

Joining a select group of players to win the award twice, Ionescu was named as the player of the year for the second consecutive season, the conference announced on Tuesday evening.

It comes as no surprise Ionescu won the award as she’s averaging 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 8.1 assists on the season — being the only player in the NCAA to average over 15 points, seven assists and seven rebounds per game.

“I wouldn’t trade anybody for her,” Oregon head coach Kelly Graves said. “That’s for sure.”

Ionescu, who’s widely considered a front runner to national player of the year, set the NCAA triple-double record earlier in the season and has 17 in her career — her seven triple-doubles this season is also an NCAA record.

Graves was named as the Pac-12 coach of the year, leading the Ducks to 27-3 record and 16-2 in Pac-12 play, earning the regular season championship for the second consecutive season. His first time receiving the award, Graves had the Ducks up to No. 2 in the national rankings at one point, and now in the running for a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

The Ducks were well represented on the all-Pac-12 team as starters Ruthy Hebard, Satou Sabally and Maite Cazorla were all-named to the team.

“I think it’s incredible and so well deserved,” Graves said. “Especially Maite. She sometimes flies under the radar with talents like Ruthy and Sabrina and Satou. To see her honored by the league coaches is a tremendous tribute to her.”

For Ionescu and Hebard, both juniors, it’s the third time they’ve been named all-Pac-12 while it was the second time for Cazorla, the senior leader of the team. Sabally, who was named as Pac-12 freshman of the year last season, averages 17.2 points per game and is the No. 2 option for Oregon offensively.

Erin Boley, Oregon’s fifth starter, was named honorable mention despite averaging 13.1 points and shooting a conference-high 45.5-percent from beyond the arc.

With so many returning starters, it was difficult for freshman Taylor Chavez to break into the lineup but when she did, she was effective — and Pac-12 coaches noticed as she was chosen honorable mention for the all-Pac-12 freshmen team.

The Ducks next play on Friday against the winner of No. 8 Arizona and No. 9 USC in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. and will air on the Pac-12 network.

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