Stanford men’s basketball was recognized Monday by the Pac-12 as juniors Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis received All-Pac-12 honors.
Dwight Powell was a first-team selection and won Most Improved Player of the Year. He is the only player in the Pac-12 ranked among the league’s top 10 in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. The team’s go-to player has reached double figures in scoring in 18 consecutive games and has had eight 20-point games.
Powell was an obvious candidate for Most Improved Player since he only recorded 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season. He is the only Stanford player to receive this award since its inception four years ago. He is also the first Stanford player to make the All-Pac-12 first team since Jeremy Green in 2011.
There have been rumors that Powell is good enough to potentially be drafted into the NBA after this season, but if Green’s experience is any example, it might be a wiser choice for Stanford’s star to stay for his senior year — and certainly Cardinal fans would be more pleased with that decision. (Green left the Farm after his junior year, but was not drafted.)
After receiving Defensive Honorable Mention last season, Huestis’ aggressive and tenacious play this year earned him a spot on the All-Defensive Team.
Huestis is almost averaging a double- double with 10.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest. The last player to achieve that feat was Curtis Borchardt, who was drafted after his junior year, in 2001-02. Huestis is also tallying two blocks per game and is Stanford’s sixth all-time block leader.
Stanford has had the most success this season when both Powell and Huestis play well on the same night. In the Cardinal’s upset over then-No. 10 Oregon, both Huestis and Powell scored in double digits. Powell had 12 points with 13 rebounds and three steals. Huestis scored 14 points, grabbed 13 boards and had three blocks.
The Card will rely on the powerhouse duo to lead it past Arizona State in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday.