SAN FRANCISCO – Utah sophomore forward Jakob Poeltl was named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year and senior guard Brandon Taylor was tabbed the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the conference announced on the Pac-12 Networks Sports Report Monday evening.
Poeltl, who was tabbed an All-Pac-12 First Team selection earlier today, becomes the first Utah player to earn Player of the Year since joining in the conference in 2011. He also becomes the first Ute player to be named a league’s Player of the Year honor since Luke Nevil was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year back in 2009.
“I am obviously honored,” said Poeltl. “I have always said that individual awards are not really what I am [playing] for and I am more about the team. I hope that our team is playing well, but being named the Pac-12 Player of the Year is a great honor.”
Poeltl led the conference with a .660 field goal shooting percentage, ranked second with 17.6 points per game and was third in the league with 9.1 rebounds per game. The Vienna, Austria native ranked second in both total field goals made (202) and total points (543), while also collecting the third-most double-doubles (14) in the league.
Taylor becomes the first player from Utah to earn Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete Player of the Year honors after boasting a cumulative 3.4 GPA throughout his four years on campus. The Los Angeles native was also named an All-Pac-12 selection earlier today, earning Honorable Mention accolades. Taylor ranked ninth in the conference with 3.9 assists per game, while his 120 total assists were eighth-most in the league. His 1.5 steals per game average ranked fourth-best in the Pac-12.