Per The University of Washington Press Release…..
It is the first time in the 16 years that the Pac-12 has given out a Defensive Player of the Year award, that a school has won Coach of the Year, Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Additionally, it is the first time since 2014-15 and 16th time in conference history that the same school has won Coach of the Year and Player of the Year.
Hopkins’ back-to-back honors make him the first coach in league history to earn the Coach of the Year award in each of his first two seasons with a program. He’s also just the fourth coach to repeat joining Mike Montgomery (1999, 2000; 2003, 2004) and Lute Olson (1988-1989; 1993, 1994) who both accomplished the repeat twice, as well as Dana Altman (2015, 2016).
He has led the Huskies to their first regular season conference title since the 2011-12 season and the Dawgs’ 15 wins in conference play this season tied the most in program history. Washington has recorded back-to-back 20 win seasons in Hop’s two years, making him just the second UW coach in program history to reach 20 wins in his first two years, joining Tippy Dye (1951-52, 52-53).
Washington saw two players get selected to the All-Pac-12 First Team for the first time since 2011-12 and it was just the fifth time in Pac-12 history that UW has had three on the All-Conference Teams. The mentor helped oversee Nowell who earned UW’s first Player of the Year honor since 2005-06 (Brandon Roy) and just the third in program history joining Christian Welp (1985-86). Additionally, Thybulle became just the second player in Pac-12 history to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year. Every player returning under Hopkins saw improvements in at least two stat categories from last year and Washington had a different leading scorer in each of the final nine games of the season. The Huskies held teams to just 62.3 points per game in league action, to lead the conference.
Sophomore Jaylen Nowell, a finalist for the Naismith Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year award, is the youngest Husky to earn the prestigious Pac-12 Player of the Year honor joining Brandon Roy (2005-06) who won it as a senior and all-time UW leading scorer Christian Welp, who earned it as a junior in 1985-86. Nowell, a 2019 All-Pac-12 First Team selection, led the Huskies in scoring for the second-straight year with 16.3 points per game on 50.4 percent shooting from the field, up from 45.1 percent a year ago. He also improved his 3-point percentage to 42.7 from 35.1 last season.
The Seattle native’s all-around game also changed as he led the team in assists with a career-best 97 and averaged 5.4 rebounds per game, which ranks second on the team, along with his 38 steals. Nowell earned three Pac-12 Player of the Week awards, the first UW player to do so since 2011-12 and led the team in scoring 13 times while posting double-figure scoring in 28 of his 31 games played. The sophomore posted nine 20-point games helping him become the fastest player in Washington history to reach 1,000 career points. Nowell is the 42nd player to reach the 1K mark as he currently has 1,050 career points which ranks 41st all time.
Per College Basketball Reference, Nowell is also the only player in college basketball this season to post such an efficient stat line (16 ppg/5 rpg/3 apg/50% FG/40% 3FG) and would be one of just three Conference players – along with Roy in 2005-06 and Arizona State’s James Harden in 2007-08 – to record the line over the past 25 seasons.
Thybulle became just the second player in Pac-12 history to repeat as the annual Defensive Player of the Year joining Gary Payton II (2014-15, 15-16). The senior who is also a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award tied the Pac-12 single-season record with 110 steals this season (shared with Jason Kidd of Cal, 1992-93). He’s just one steal shy of becoming the 28th player in NCAA history to reach 111 steals in a single season. Thybulle currently leads the NCAA averaging 3.55 per game and his 315 career steals lead all active NCAA Division I players.
Not only did Thybulle record his second-straight 100-steal season but the 6-5 guard also notched a team-high 72 blocks which ranked second in the Pac-12 and were the most by a guard. He is the only 6-5 player ranked in the NCAA top 65 in blocks while being the only player in the country to be ranked in the top 20 in steals (3.55 – 1st) and blocks (2.32 – 18th). The historic marks continue for Thybulle as he is the only player in the last 20 seasons to record both 100 steals and 70 blocks in the same year and is also one of just three players in that span to average 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals in a season, joining Shane Battier – Duke (1999-2000, 2000-01) and Nerlens Noel – Kentucky (2012-13). Additionally, Thybulle has 175 blocks on his career, which is 11 shy of the UW record set by Christian Welp (1984-87).
Thybulle has started every game during his UW career, a streak that now stands at 130 games and has recorded 1,210 career points, which ranks 29th all-time at Washington. This season, he’s averaging 9.5 points per game this season while adding 3.1 rebounds a night.
The top-seeded Huskies open the 2019 Pac-12 Tournament against the winner of the 8/9 game featuring Arizona and USC. UW earned the 2019 Pac-12 Regular Season Title for the first time since the 2011-12 season and will play at Thursday, March 14 at 12 p.m. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.