Pac-12 Weekly Honors: Week FivePosted by AMurawa on December 17th, 2012
There wasn’t a ton of discussion about the selections for this week’s honors. Anyone who was near a television or inside the McKale Center on Saturday night had a good idea where these things were going. So, without further ado, let’s get to celebrating the Wildcats.
Team of the Week – Arizona
For the third consecutive week, the Wildcats earn our team of the week honor, this time in unanimous fashion with no other possibilities even discussed. It wasn’t always pretty, but Arizona defended its home court and the Pac-12’s honor on Saturday night, coming back from as many as 11 down in the second half against Florida to take its first lead since very early in the game in the final seconds. They forced three turnovers in the final 61 seconds and erased a six-point deficit in that span to pull out a one-point home win and establish themselves as legitimate factors in the national conversation. There were plenty of bumps along the way, but the Wildcats hung tough throughout, limiting turnovers against a disruptive Gator defense, finishing both halves incredibly strong (they outscored UF by a combined 15-0 in the final two minutes of both halves), and showing that even without that traditional point guard, they’ve got enough savvy leadership on this team to get by. And, the scary thing is, their trio of freshman bigs combined to shoot just 4-of-10 from the field for nine points with nine rebounds mixed in there. In other words, there is still plenty of room for improvement with this squad.
Player of the Week – Mark Lyons, Arizona
Like those freshman bigs, Lyons is still a work in progress in his current role. There were some occasional bad decisions Saturday night that made you want to say, um, Arizona, about that point guard thing… but, that’s the thing; they were very occasional. And, when all the chips were down, Lyons took the outcome upon himself and hit a great runner over the Gators’ Patric Young to win the game. You could make arguments for Solomon Hill or Nick Johnson as the best player on the floor for the Wildcats on Saturday night, but in a game where the team fought and scrapped and clawed its way to have a chance to win in the closing moments, it was Lyons who came up large and sent the partisan crowd home happy.
Newcomer of the Week – Mark Lyons, Arizona
He’s the POTW, and he’s a newcomer, so, it only makes sense that he shows up here as well. Rather than write more about him, we’ll give you another angle on his final shot that shows you just how jacked up the McKale Center was in the waning moments.