Memphis' Precious Achiuwa takes home AAC Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year honors | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / July 14.
  • Memphis’ Precious Achiuwa takes home AAC Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year honors

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    By JACOB POLACHECK

    University of Memphis freshman forward Precious Achiuwa was named American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year on Wednesday.

    The vote was conducted by the league’s 12 coaches.

    He became the first Memphis player to win AAC Conference Player of the Year since the Tigers joned the AAC seven years ago.

    “He has worked his (tail) off to get to where he is,” Tigers coach and former Memphis great Penny Hardaway said of Achiuwa. “We’re proud of him. To be recognized by our conference is big-time.

    He is also the first Memphis freshman to be a conference player of the year since Keith Lee in 1982. He is also the first to win both Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year since Lee.

    On Tuesday, Achiuwa was named to the All-AAC First Team and joined teammate Lester Quinones on the league’s All-Freshman Team.

    Achiuwa, the only freshman in the nation averaging a double-double, has posted averages of 15.8 point and 10.8 rebounds during the regular season.

    “He has exceeded expectations,” Hardaway said. What he’s doing, as many double-doubles as he has had, to lead the nation in double-doubles . . . it’s pretty amazing.”  

    He’s been even better in conference play, posting averages of 16.6 points and 11.2 rebounds in 18 conference games.

    He also leads all freshman in the nation with 18 double-doubles and ranks seventh on the school’s single-season double-doubles chart. At 10.8 rebounds per game, he is the nation’s top freshman rebounder.

    And Achiuwa became Memphis’ first player to be named a conference player of the year since Joe Jackson in 2013 in Conference USA.

    The Tigers (21-10) enter the AAC Tournament as the conference’s No. 6 seed.

    Coaches American Athletic Conference Awards

    Coach of the Year: Frank Haith, Tulsa
    Player of the Year: Precious Achiuwa, Memphis
    Sixth Man of the Year: Martins Igbanu, Tulsa
    Freshman of the Year: Precious Achiuwa, Memphis
    Sportsmanship Award: Trevon Scott, Cincinnati
    Most Improved Player:  Trevon Scott, Cincinnati
    Defensive Player of the Year: Trevon Scott, Cincinnati

    Photo: Memphis Athletics

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