TUCSON, Ariz. – University of Arizona junior guard Nick Johnson was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday for his efforts in helping lead the Wildcats to their record-tying fourth NIT Season Tip-Off title in New York.
Johnson averaged 17.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in two contests at Madison Square Garden, propelling UA to a 66-62 win over Drexel in the semifinals and a 72-66 victory over Duke in the championship game. He excelled at the free throw line in New York, sinking 14-of-17 attempts (.824), and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
In addition to his stellar free throw shooting, Johnson made several clutch shots in the two games to help Arizona run its record to 7-0 on the season. Against Drexel, he made a transition layup with 9:26 to play that gave UA its first lead of the game, and his three-point field goal with 6:47 remaining pushed Arizona in front by two possessions for the first time.
The Duke game saw Johnson have a 1:51 stretch in the second half in which he scored five points and found sophomore Kaleb Tarczewski for a dunk, keying a 20-5 Wildcat run that effectively sealed the tournament championship. He also blocked two shots and picked up two steals against Duke, tying for the team lead in both departments.
The Gilbert, Ariz., native is the third Arizona player to be named NIT MOP, joining Chris Mills (1990) and Gilbert Arenas (1999).
The second-ranked Wildcats will begin a three-game homestand against Texas Tech on Tuesday. Tickets for the contest with the Red Raiders are still available at the McKale Center Ticket Office, by phone at (520) 621-CATS or online at arizonawildcats.com.
For the latest updates on Arizona men’s basketball and an inside look at the program, follow @APlayersProgram on Twitter.