Klay Thompson Named All-Pac-10 First Team; DeAngelo Casto Second Team

The Pac-10 unveiled its all-conference teams this morning, and WSU star guard Klay Thompson was named to the first team by the conference's coaches. Forward/center DeAngelo Casto joined Thompson in the honors by being named to the second team and all-defensive team.

I was critical of Thompson's selection to the first team last year, but there is no such complaining this year. He absolutely earned it, and his growth from last year to this (recent issues notwithstanding) has been astounding. Thompson was able to maintain his scoring efficiency throughout the majority of the year, but beyond that, he made himself into a complete player -- his assist rate is at a point guard level, and his rebounding rates are excellent for a guard. Defensively, his steal and block rates are stellar.

No, Thompson didn't win the Player Of The Year award -- that honor went (as expected) to Arizona's Derrick Williams. But although Thompson might not be a superstar yet -- college doesn't have a lot of those, anyway -- he's on his way if he sticks around for another year. Think Jimmer Fredette is good? Thompson could be better. Like this guy good.

I find Casto's selection to the second team remarkable. For much of this year, I (and others) lamented his apparent lack of development offensively. He appeared to still simply depend on either dunks off nice feeds or a jump hook over his left shoulder. But as the season went on, he displayed an increased array of offensive moves to introduce some variety, and his offensive efficiency shot up. It also helped that he stopped turning the ball over on one out of every three possessions.

When you combine his increased offensive performance over the second half of the Pac-10 season with his defensive prowess, you get a second team player. To be sure, this still is a pretty weak conference for big men, but it's a testament to Casto that he was able to secure a spot as one of the top 15 players in the conference.

And his selection to the all-defensive team? It shows that the coaches understood just what he did as the anchor of the WSU defense. Casto block rate is down this year, but that's because he's playing more soundly on defense -- you've seen very few of those wild block attempts that resulted in an offensive put back for the guy Casto was supposed to be blocking out. 

Kudos to both these guys on recognition well-earned. Listing of the teams after the jump. If you're wondering what we think about the coaches' selections, you'll have to wait until tomorrow when we unveil our third annual CougCenter.com All-Pac-10 awards.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Derrick Williams, Arizona
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Allen Crabbe, California
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marcus Simmons, USC
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Washington
COACH OF THE YEAR: Sean Miller, Arizona

All-Pac-10 First Team

Name School Pos  Yr Ht Wt Hometown (Last School)
Matthew Bryan-Amaning WASH F Sr. 6-9 240 London, England (South Kent School, Conn.)
Jeremy Green STAN G Jr. 6-4 198 Austin, Texas (Bowie HS)
Jorge Gutierrez CAL G Jr. 6-3 195 Chihuahua, Mexico (Findlay College Prep, Nev.)
Tyler Honeycutt UCLA F So. 6-8 183 Los Angeles, Calif. (Sylmar HS)
Malcolm Lee UCLA G Jr. 6-4 195 Riverside, Calif. (John W. North HS)
Reeves Nelson UCLA F So. 6-8 235 Modesto, Calif. (Modesto Christian HS)
Isaiah Thomas WASH G Jr. 5-9 185 Tacoma, Wash. (South Kent School, Conn.)
Klay Thompson WSU G Jr. 6-6 202 Ladera Ranch, Calif. (Santa Margarita HS)
Nikola Vucevic USC F Jr. 6-10 240 Bar, Montenegro (Stoneridge Prep)
Derrick Williams ARIZ F So. 6-8 240 La Mirada, Calif. (La Mirada HS)

 

All-Pac-10 Second Team

Name School Pos Yr Ht Wt Hometown (Last School)
DeAngelo Casto WSU F Jr. 6-8 255 Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS)
Joevan Catron ORE F Sr. 6-6 237 Phoenix, Ill. (Thornton Township HS)
Jared Cunningham OSU G So. 6-4 182 Oakland, Calif. (San Leandro HS)
Harper Kamp CAL F Jr. 6-8 245 Mesa, Ariz. (Mountain View HS)
Trent Lockett ASU G So. 6-4 211 Golden Valley, Minn. (Hopkins HS)

 

Honorable Mention (receiving at least three votes):  Ty Abbott (ASU, Sr., G), Allen Crabbe (CAL, Fr., G), Lamont Jones (ARIZ, So., G), Josh Owens (STAN, Jr., F)

All-Freshman Team

Name School Pos Ht Wt Hometown (Last School)
Anthony Brown STAN G/F 6-7 200 Huntington Beach, Calif. (Ocean View HS)
Allen Crabbe CAL G 6-4 165 Los Angeles, Calif. (Price HS)
Maurice Jones USC G 5-7 155 Saginaw, Mich. (Arthur Hill HS)
Dwight Powell STAN F 6-10 227 Toronto, Ontario (IMG Academy)
Joshua Smith UCLA C 6-10 305 Kent, Wash. (Kentwood HS)
C.J. Wilcox WASH G 6-5 190 Pleasant Grove, Utah (Pleasant Grove HS)

 

Honorable Mention (receiving at least three votes): Jordin Mayes (ARIZ, G), Terrence Ross (WASH, G)

All-Defensive Team

Name School  Pos Yr Ht Wt Hometown (Last School)
DeAngelo Casto WSU F Jr. 6-8 255 Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS)
Jared Cunningham OSU G So. 6-4 182 Oakland, Calif. (San Leandro HS)
Jorge Gutierrez CAL G Jr. 6-3 195 Chihuahua, Mexico (Findlay College Prep, Nev.)
Malcolm Lee UCLA G Jr. 6-4 195 Riverside, Calif. (John W. North HS)
Marcus Simmons USC G Sr. 6-6 220 Alexandria, La. (Peabody HS)

 

Honorable Mention (receiving at least three votes):  Matthew Bryan-Amaning (WASH, Sr. F), Kyle Fogg (ARIZ, Jr., G), Justin Holiday (WASH, Sr., F)

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