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Saturday, April 19, 2014 | Last updated: 5:44pm

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Nick Johnson named second team All-American by AP



On Monday, the Associated Press announced that Arizona junior Nick Johnson was named second team All-American.

Johnson was the leading vote-getter on the AP All-American second team. He has earned three first-team All-American honors, by the Sporting News, the NABC and the USBWA, and one-second team award.

The Pac-12 Player of the Year led Arizona in scoring (16.3) and ranked second on the team in assists (2.8) and steals (1.1).

Johnson has been named first-team All-Pac-12, to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team, USBWA District IX Player of the Year and first-team USBWA All-District 20.

He was also named Most Outstanding Player at the NIT Season Tip-Off, to the Pac-12 All-Tournament Team, and has been a finalist for the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy and Robertson Trophy.

—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520


Nick Johnson a finalist for player of the year



SAN DIEGO — Arizona Wildcats junior guard Nick Johnson was named to the final four of the 2014 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year award on Sunday.

Johnson joins Creighton’s forward Doug McDermott, Duke’s forward Jabari Parker and Louisville’s guard Russ Smith on the final list.

Along with leading the Wildcats to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Johnson averages 16.3 points per game and makes 44.4 percent of his shots from the field. He has already been named to the Sporting News and USBWA first-team All-American list.

Parker’s No. 3-seeded Duke team were upset by No. 14-seeded Mercer in the first round of the tournament. Parker, a freshman, averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

McDermott is finishing up his college career as one of the greatest scorers in college basketball history. As of Saturday, he ranked fifth in the all-time NCAA basketball-scoring list with 3,135 points scored. He is 30 points behind former Mississippi Valley State guard Alphonso Ford for fourth place.

McDermott’s No. 3-seeded Bluejays are still in the tournament as of Sunday afternoon. He is averaging 27 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Louisville senior guard Smith is averaging 18.1 points and 4.7 assists per game. His No. 4-seeded Cardinals have reached the Sweet 16 and will play in-state rival Kentucky on Friday.

The winner will be announced on April 6.

— Follow Luke Della @LukeDella


Pac-12 commissioner on the one-and-done rule, Pac-12 in China



Prior to the Pac-12 tournament championship, conference commissioner Larry Scott talked to the media to discuss the pulse of the Pac.

Scott said that one of the most important topics related to college basketball on a national level is the existence of the one-and-done.

Unlike the National Football League or Major League Baseball where college players have to be 21 or done with their junior year to enter the draft collegiate basketball players are eligible to go to the NBA after just a year in an NCAA institution.

“Our feeling on the one-and-done phenomenon is very detrimental to the essential academic mission of our universities,” Scott said. “This high visibility trend of one-and-done threatens to undermine the twin goals of academic as well as athletic excellence at our colleges.”

Scott announced that Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson would lead the first ever Pac-12 men’s basketball All-Star team to China. The conference All-Stars will play against two professional Chinese teams. According to Scott, the All-Star team would be comprised of representatives from each of the league’s 12 teams.

Scott additionally proclaimed that the conference has finalized plans to stage the first-ever regular season men’s basketball game in China.

Washington will play Texas on Nov. 14 2015 in China live on ESPN, Scott said.

—Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17


Miller named district Coach of the Year, Johnson district Player of the Year



The United States Basketball Writers Association selected Arizona men’s basketball’s Sean Miller as its District IX Coach of the Year and Nick Johnson as its District IX Player of the Year.

Johnson and freshman forward Aaron Gordon were selected to the All-District IX team.

They are the trio’s first USBWA honors. Johnson is the UA’s second District IX Player of the Year Award recipient in the last four years, after Derrick Williams won it in 2011.

This is the second season that two Wildcats have made the 10-man All-District team.

Michigan and New Mexico are the only other schools to win district Coach of the Year and Player of the Year.

—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520


Future Wildcat named to Jordan Brand Classic



Future Arizona men’s basketball player Stanley Johnson was named to the roster of the 13th annual Jordan Brand Classic on Monday.

Johnson, who is a senior at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., is a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward. The Jordan Brand Classic will be held in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 18.

Johnson, who signed with the UA in November, will play in the 26-player “National Game” at 4 p.m. Arizona time.

The current Wildcats that participated in the Jordan Brand Classic are freshmen forwards Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Aaron Gordon. Past Wildcats that played in the classic are Andre Iguodala, Lamont “MoMo” Jones, Chris Rodgers, Hassan Adams and Jerryd Bayless.

—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520


Serbian 7-footer Dusan Ristic commits to Arizona



Sunrise Christian Academy 7-footer Dusan Ristic announced Saturday afternoon that he has committed to play for the University of Arizona next year.

The Serbian high school senior playing in Kansas made his announcement prior to his school’s basketball game.

Ristic’s decision to come to Arizona is not much of a surprise. The Wildcats had been heavily recruiting the 240-pound center even before he moved to the United States.

If Ristic follows through with his commitment, he will be the second player from Serbia to wear an Arizona basketball jersey since the 2003-04 season.

2003-04 recruit Ivan Radenovic was the other Serbian to play for the Wildcats. Radenovic was named Arizona’s co-Most Valuable Player by his teammates after leading the team in rebounds his junior season.

What this means for Arizona next season?

Current Wildcat 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski has seen his draft stock rise over the past few weeks. If he continues the trend he is on and Arizona has a deep tournament run, Tarczewski could leave Tucson for the NBA after this season. This would leave a starting center position open for Ristic to battle for with current junior Matt Korcheck.

If Tarczewski opted to stay another season, Arizona could likely start two 7-footers on its frontline, pushing then-sophomore Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to either the small forward position or keep him as the team’s sixth man.

Ristic’s signing also means Zach Peters’ time at Arizona might be done. The fellow big man who transferred from the University of Kansas has barely seen the court this season for the Wildcats, mostly due to a preseason concussion issue. Peters is also still the only Wildcat yet to score.

Don’t expect Ristic to stay a Wildcat for long. The 18-year-old is a top-10 NBA prospect for the draft class of 2015.

–Follow Luke Della @LukeDella


Fans can help McConnell win point guard of the year



Fan voting began Tuesday for the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award.

Arizona men’s basketball junior T.J. McConnell is one of 23 finalists for the award. Fans can vote at cousyaward.com through March 10.

McConnell leads the Wildcats with 5.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game and a 2.63 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is second in the Pac-12 Conference.

McConnell has started all 25 games for the Wildcats and is averaging 7.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

He is one of four Pac-12 point guards to make the final 20 for the Cousy Award, which is tied with the ACC for the most of any conference.

—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520


McConnell named Bob Cousy Award finalist



Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell was named as one of the finalists for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award on Monday.

McConnell is one of 23 named to the list that originally had 80 players on it. The national committee that votes on the award list is made up of media members, head coaches and Hall of Fame members. The winner of the 2014 Bob Cousy Award will be announced during the NCAA Final Four in early April.

Including McConnell, there are four other Pac-12 Conference point guards who have made the list. The other three are Kyle Anderson of UCLA, Justin Cobbs of California and Jahii Carson of ASU.

No Wildcat point guard has ever won the award, which was first given out after the 2003-04 season. Michigan’s Trey Burke won the award last season.

Syracuse’s freshman point guard Tyler Ennis may be the favorite as of Monday, with McConnell being a long shot. McConnell is averaging 7.9 points, 5.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.63.

Ennis is averaging 11.8 points, 5.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.64. Syracuse is also undefeated and is the No. 1-ranked school in the country.

—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella


Sean Miller will coach fantasy camp



Basketball fans will get a chance to be coached by Sean Miller this summer at the second annual USA Basketball Fantasy Camp.

The Arizona men’s basketball head coach will provide “hands-on instruction and coaching” July 30-Aug. 1 in Las Vegas as campers will get to be members of USA Basketball.

Other head coaches participating include Kentucky’s John Calipari, Gonzaga’s Mark Few, Grand Canyon’s Dan Majerle, Washington’s Lorenzo Romar, Georgetown’s John Thompson III and Villanova’s Jay Wright.

“This is the opportunity for those with a strong passion for basketball to know what it feels like to represent your country and form a relationship with others who also love the game,” said USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo in a press release. “These participants will have an inside view of our National Team participants as they prepare for the FIBA World Cup, while at the same time receiving coaching from many of the greatest minds in college basketball.”

Fantasy Camp participants must be at least 35 years or older and rooms, meals and ground transportation will be included in the package.

Jay Bilas of ESPN, Bill Raftery of CBS Sports and Fox Sports will serve as commissioners and former Dream Team assistant coach and ESPN analyst P.J. Carlesimo will be host.

For more information about the Fantasy Camp visit www.USABFantasyCamp.com or contact Matt Chacksfield at 513-745-5850 or mchacksfield@procamps.com.

—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520


Ashley's surgery was successful



On Tuesday the UA announced that sophomore forward Brandon Ashley underwent “successful” foot surgery.

Ashley went under the knife to repair a ligament in his right foot, which he injured Feb. 1 at California.

He will miss the rest of the season but told ESPN that there is a “very, very, very strong chance” that he will return for his junior year rather than entering the NBA Draft.

The Wildcats are 2-0 without Ashley in the lineup, but lost at Cal when he missed much of the game.

Ashley started all 22 games he played this season and averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds.

—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520