Utah basketball: Delon Wright makes Pac-12 history for Runnin' Utes

By Dirk Facer

Deseret News

Published: Monday, March 10 2014 1:30 p.m. MDT

Utah Junior Delon Wright poses for a portrait at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on Monday, February 10, 2014.

Matt Gade, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah guard Delon Wright made history Monday. The junior became the Utes’ initial Pac-12 first-team all-conference honoree. He also became the program’s first player to make the league’s all-defensive team.

“I think it’s pretty neat. It’s nice to have,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. “As you look down the Pac-12 stats I think coaches recognize that he’s doing a number of things to be in top 10 or top 15 in a number of categories across the board.”

As the Utes (20-10, 9-9) prepare for their third Pac-12 tournament since joining the conference in 2011-12, they do so with Wright posting some impressive numbers. The junior college transfer leads the team in scoring (16.1 points per game) and is averaging 58.4 percent shooting from the field, 6.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks.

“He’s been a catalyst for our program and we’re proud of him. He’s not patting himself on the back and it’s not time to give any trophies out. We’ve got some things we want to accomplish and he’s a big part of that,” Krystkowiak said. “But I’m super proud for him and our program. I’m sure he’d be the first to tell you that his teammates are just as responsible for it and putting him in a position where he can succeed.”

Teammate Jordan Loveridge noted that Wright is well-deserving of the recognition and that it’s a great thing for him and the team.

Prior to the official announcement, Wright acknowledged that it would be good to make the team.

“I think I deserve to be on there — just (because) of the work I did,” he said. “I helped our team do good. So I think that I should, but if not I won’t like cry over it or anything.”

The focus, Wright explained, is on getting a win in the Pac-12 tournament opener.

Utah takes on Washington Wednesday (1:06 p.m., P12N) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

2013-14 PAC-12 BASKETBALL HONORS

Player of the Year: Nick Johnson, Arizona

Freshman of the Year: Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Defensive Player of the Year: Jordan Bachynski, Arizona State

Most Improved Player of the Year: Anthony Brown, Stanford

John Wooden Coach of the Year: Sean Miller, Arizona

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS

First team: Jordan Adams, UCLA; Kyle Anderson, UCLA; Jahii Carson, Arizona State; Justin Cobbs, California; Aaron Gordon, Arizona; Nick Johnson, Arizona; Dwight Powell, Stanford; Chasson Randle, Stanford; Josh Scott, Colorado; Delon Wright, Utah.

Second team: Jordan Bachynski, Arizona State; T.J. McConnell, Arizona; Roberto Nelson, Oregon State; C.J. Wilcox, Washington; Joseph Young, Oregon.

Honorable Mention: Askia Booker, Colorado; DaVonté Lacy, Washington State;Jermaine Marshall, Arizona State; Mike Moser, Oregon; Richard Solomon, California.

ALL-FRESHMEN TEAM: Bryce Alford, New Mexico; Aaron Gordon, Arizona; Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona; Zach LaVine, UCLA; Nigel Williams-Goss, Washington.

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM: Jordan Bachynski, Arizona State; Josh Huestis, Stanford; Nick Johnson, Arizona; T.J. McConnell, Arizona; Delon Wright, Utah.

Email: dirk@desnews.com

Twitter: @DirkFacer

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