Arizona’s season fell well short of its initial goal and was filled with plenty of controversy.
Now that the dust is settled, though, it’s time to honor the Wildcats’ standouts. None was more impressive than freshman forward Deandre Ayton, who was recognized by the Basketball Hall of Fame with its Karl Malone Award, given to the star on Friday.
📸: Arizona Athletic Department pic.twitter.com/o7RgVFycwO
— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) April 7, 2018
The Basketball Hall started giving the award in 2015, with Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell receiving the inaugural honor. Georges Niang (Iowa State) and Johnathan Motley (Baylor) won the award in 2016 and 2017.
Ayton averaged a double-double in his lone season at Arizona with 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game and shot 61.2 percent from the floor. He was named a first team AP All-American in late March and a Naismith Award finalist earlier in the month. He declared for the NBA draft in March.
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) April 7, 2018
He was also implicated in controversy involving Arizona, the NCAA and the FBI, with Arizona head coach Sean Miller being accused of paying Ayton to attend the university. His family vehemently denied such allegations.