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Deandre Ayton named Pac-12 Player of the Week

The first of many

NCAA Basketball: MD Baltimore Cty at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Wildcats freshman Deandre Ayton has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week, it was announced by the conference Monday.

The big man averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds on 62 percent shooting in Arizona’s wins over Long Beach State and UNLV, including a 28-point, 10-rebound outing against the Runnin’ Rebels.

Ayton is the second Wildcat to earn the honor this season. Allonzo Trier won it in the first week of the season.

While Arizona’s four other freshmen have not lived up to expectations thus far, Ayton certainly has. The 7-footer is averaging 20.4 points and 11.4 rebounds on 61.4 percent shooting through eight games.

Ayton is currently one of only four players in the nation to average 20 points and 10 rebounds a game while shooting 60 percent or better from the field.

The freshman has tallied six double-doubles in the first eight games of his career, which places him fifth in UA freshman history after the first month of the season.

Ayton is currently eighth in the KenPom Player of the Year standings and most NBA mock drafts project he will be selected in the top 3.

Arizona will need another big week from Ayton this week as it faces No. 7 Texas A&M on Tuesday and Alabama on Saturday.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire