With the Oscar this Sunday, it only seems appropriate to handout Oscar Winners within the Pac-12. The categories are as follows: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Supporting Actor, Best Directing, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture. Sadly, Bill Walton will not be eligible for any of these awards. So I’m sorry if I bummed anyone out. Now without further ado, the first annual Pac-12 Academy Awards.
First up, Best Supporting Actor. This is for the player that has made a significant impact for their team. However, it’s for the players we tend to forget about because they may not be the best on their team or their team has fallen to the back of the Pac.
Nominees: Askia Booker, Gary Payton II, T.J. McConnell, Nigel Williams-Goss, and Normal Powell.
Winner: T.J. McConnell.
This was a very tight race between Booker, McConnell, and Powell. However, McConnell managed to edge out Ski and Powell for a few reasons. McConnell is tied for first in the Pac-12 in assists with 6.0 per game. McConnell is the man that makes the Arizona offense tick. His experience is second to none and that is reflected by his excellent decision making skills. We tend to lose McConnell in the crowd of impressive Arizona players like Stanley Johnson, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Next is Best Directing. This goes to the coach that has led his team above and beyond this year.
Nominees: Sean Miller, and Larry Krystkowiak.
Winner: Larry Krystkowiak.
Bill Walton would love this choice. Krystkowiak has made a complete overhaul of the Utah basketball program. Just a few years ago, they were the doormat of the Pac-12. Now, they wipe their feet on all of their opponents except Arizona. Now with that logic one would think since Arizona beat down Utah this year, Sean Miller should win this award. Sean Miller has the Wildcats as the seventh best team in the country. Krystkowiak has the Utes two spots behind at nine. The difference? Krystkowiak doesn’t need a roster full of All-American’s to do so. Utah is a true team that has stuck together for the four year long haul and Krystkowiak has held everything in place.
Continuing on with the ceremony, our next award is Best Original Screenplay. This goes to the team that has truly inspired us this year. They have come together as a team and delivered something worthwhile.
Nominees: Arizona’s Continued Dominance, Utah’s Ascension to Excellence, Oregon’s Attempt to Bust the Bracket, and Oregon State’s Breakout Year.
Winner: Utah’s Ascension to Excellence.
Who else could this award go to. This team has come together to remind every college basketball fan the definition of team. There are no one and done players on this team and they only start one freshman. Utah spreads the wealth around and they work together in harmony to be one of the best teams in the country. Players have even stepped down in certain roles to let better players lead just for the sake of the team. That’s true commitment. The Utes have struggled and worked for the past few years under everyone’s nose and now are on a mission to prove they’re the leader of the Pac. Now what will they do in March?
Our next award is Best Picture, the team who has represented the Pac-12 to the very best of their abilities.
Nominees: Utah, Arizona, Stanford, UCLA, and Oregon.
This one isn’t even a contest. The Wildcats are by far the best team in the Pac-12. They do have the two blemishes of the Oregon State and ASU losses, but next to that, nobody can hold a candle to Sean Miller and Company. If you think it should go to Utah, I have only one thing to say to you: 69-51.
With the Awards drawing to a close, it is time we recognize the Best Actor in a Leading Role. This goes to the player who is the heart and sole of their team. Without this player there is no team. Not only is the player dominant, he has paved the way for his team to succeed.
Nominees: Stanley Johnson, Delon Wright, Joseph Young, Chasson Randle, and Norman Powell.
Winner: Joseph Young.
Yes, you read that right. Joseph Young beat out Delon Wright for Best Actor. How could I commit an atrocity of this magnitude you ask? Joe Young is the heart and soul of the Oregon Ducks. Without Young, they wouldn’t even be in contention for the tournament this year. He does a little bit of everything. Young leads the league in scoring, with 20.0 points per game, comes in at sixth in assists per game with 3.8, and grabs 4.5 boards per game. Yes, Delon Wright is no doubt stiff competition. But, Wright has Loveridge, Poeltl, and Taylor to back him up. Joseph Young has Elgin Cook, and sometimes Jordan Bell, that’s it. Mighty Joe Young has delivered a senior performance for Oregon history, and he deserves what is rightfully his.
Thank you all for your time. If the Pac-12 Academy Awards did not go as well for your team as you wanted, then I hope you find success with your true Oscar favorites. Here’s to an excellent finish to the Pac-12 Season.
Until next time,
Trevor Simmons (@TRSimmons33, @CUBuffsBBall)