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Utah Basketball: Delon Wright named 1st team All Pac-12

Published March 10, 2014 5:39 pm

Men's basketball • Ute guard makes first team; Pleasant Grove's Wilcox on 2nd team.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Delon Wright has always thought about moments like Monday's. Utah's star point guard even practiced what he would say when the time came.

As a junior college player at the City College of San Francisco, he needed imagination to get through lonely nights far away from Division I basketball. So one day Wright sat down and jotted down his goals for when he hit the big time. Making the All Pac-12 team was one of them.

All the hard work paid off on Monday, as Wright was named to the 10-player all-conference first team, as voted on by the league coaches. One of the Pac-12 leaders in steals and blocked shots, Wright was also named to the all-defensive team.

It all added up to the culmination of a breakout season for Wright. He arrived in the Pac-12 with little fanfare, but spoke volumes with his play from Utah's first game against Evergreen State all the way through the Utes' regular-season finale against Stanford.

"It means a lot to me," Wright said. "This is one of the goals that I wanted, and this is one of the reasons that I wanted to play in the Pac-12. I wanted to go against the best and to test myself against the best. It means a lot, and I'm honored that a lot of people voted for me."

Wright is the only Utah player to attain postseason all-conference honors. Sophomore forward Jordan Loveridge was seen as a candidate for all-league, but his production dip in the middle of the season cost him.

And with the Utes going 20-10 in the regular season, and winning nine games in the conference, there was some thought that Larry Krystkowiak had a chance to garner coach of the year honors. But that award went to Arizona's Sean Miller, who led the Wildcats to a national top-five finish in the regular season and did it with his best interior player, Brandon Ashley, going down for the year with a broken foot.

Wright becomes the first Utah player to be named to the Pac-12's first team since the Utes made the leap three years ago from the Mountain West Conference. He did so by being one of the most versatile guards in the league, averaging 16.1 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game and 5.3 assists per game.

He also averaged 2.6 steals per outing and 1.3 blocks, an impressive stat for a point guard. Several times, Wright flirted with triple-doubles. Next year — as a senior — he will be one of the leading candidates for player of the year.

That's quite a debut for someone who was playing before 500 people a night just a year ago.

"He deserves it," Krystkowiak said. "He's someone who came into the program and has played well. He's been consistent and he's been great on both ends of the floor. The best thing is that he won't let this go to his head. He'll come out and work even harder now."

Wright was the only Ute to earn All Pac-12 honors, but he wasn't the only Utahn. Washington guard C.J. Wilcox, a Pleasant Grove native, made the second team.

Wilcox and the Huskies face the Utes in Wednesday's Pac-12 Tournament opener. Tipoff is at noon.

tjones@sltrib.com

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All Pac-12

First team

Player Pos. Team

Jordan Adams F UCLA

Kyle Anderson G UCLA

Jahii Carson G Arizona State

Justin Cobbs G California

Aaron Gordon F Arizona

Nick Johnson G Arizona

Dwight Powell F Stanford

Chasson Randle G Stanford

Josh Scott C Colorado

Delon Wright G Utah

Second Team

Jordan Bachynski C Arizona State

T.J. McConnell G Arizona

Roberto Nelson G Oregon State

C.J. Wilcox G Washington

Joseph Young G Oregon

All-freshman team

Bryce Alford G UCLA

Aaron Gordon F Arizona

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson F Arizona

Zach LaVine G UCLA

Nigel Williams-Goss G Washington

Freshman of the Year

Aaron Gordon F Arizona

All-defensive team

Jordan Bachynski C Arizona State

Josh Huestis F Stanford

Nick Johnson G Arizona

T.J. McConnell G Arizona

Delon Wright G Utah

Defensive Player of the Year

Jordan Bachynski C Arizona State

Most Improved Player

Anthony Brown G Stanford

Coach of the Year

Sean Miller Arizona

Pac-12 Player of the Year

Nick Johnson G Arizona