It was one of the greatest single-game performances in Arizona history, nearly shattering some longstanding records. And it was only part of another big weekend for Azuolas Tubelis, who continues to build his resume for season-ending awards.
For the time being, though, another conference honor will have to suffice.
Tubelis has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week, the second time this season and third occasion in his career. He got this one after averaging 29.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 assists on 71 percent shooting in the Wildcats’ home sweep of the Oregon schools.
The 6-foot-11 junior scored 40 in Thursday’s 91-76 win over Oregon, one shy of Al Fleming’s McKale Center record for a UA player set in 1976. He was 16 of 21 in that game, one field goal off the school record in a conference game.
Tubelis then followed that up with 19 points and eight rebounds in only 23 minutes against Oregon State, a performance coach Tommy Lloyd called the “most quiet 19 I’ve ever seen” before getting on his soapbox to campaign for Tubelis to get more national recognition.
“He’s having an All-American type season,” Lloyd said. “I’ve coached those guys, and he’s at that level. He probably isn’t getting that due he deserves. This guy’s a first team All-American, and you have to convince me otherwise.”
Tubelis has made the midseason watch list for the Wooden and Oscar Robertson awards, given to college basketball’s best player, as well as the Karl Malone Award that goes to the best power forward.
He gives Arizona three Pac-12 weekly awards this season, as Oumar Ballo was honored in late November after his dominant performance at the Maui Invitational.