It is award season in the land of college basketball. Many conferences are starting to release who is being named to conference teams, being given player of the year, and freshman of the year awards. This is one of the few times of the year where a “team” sport such as basketball gives out individual accolades to the young people who perform for our entertainment — for no money.
Arizona State Sun Devils‘ Jahii Carson along with UCLA Bruins‘ Shabazz Muhammad have both been named Pac 12 Freshman of the Year winners. Personally, I think giving an individual award to two people is like going on a date and receiving a handshake at the end of it, but it would be hard to pick between these two fine players.
Carson was one of the Pac-12′s best guards, averaging 17.7 points and 5.0 assists during the regular season. He also helped the team in the amount of winning they have done. The Sun Devils went from a bad 10 win season to at least 20 so far this year. Carson happens to be only the fourth ASU player to win the award, following in the footsteps of Byron Scott (1980), Jamal Faulkner (1991) and most recently Ike Diogu (2003).
Whether or not Carson can help parlay Arizona State’s new-found success in the postseason is yet to be determined. The Sun Devils open up their Pac 12 Tournament schedule against a solid Stanford Cardinal team.
If they were to win, ASU would have to play UCLA in the following round in a match-up pitting the Pac 12′s two freshmen of the year winners.