Arizona’s Johnson wins inaugural Julius Erving Award - Tucson News Now

Arizona’s Johnson wins inaugural Julius Erving Award

Arizona freshman Stanley Johnson was named the winner of the inaugural Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, on Friday at ESPN's new College Basketball Awards Show at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

Chosen by the Hall of Fame's selection committee with input from fans via an online voting process, Johnson was selected as the winner of the award from a group of finalists that also included Justin Anderson (Virginia), Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), LaDontae Henton (Providence) and Justise Winslow (Duke).

“It's difficult to express how humbled I am to not only be named Small Forward of the Year, but to also win an award named after one of the all-time greats in the game of basketball,” Johnson said. “I want to thank the Hall of Fame selection committee, the fans who voted for me, and my family, coaches and teammates at Arizona for their support.

“I also want to congratulate all the other award winners from tonight on their great seasons. I'm thrilled to be the Julius Erving Award winner and it's something that will always be a source of pride for me.”

Johnson averaged a team-high 13.8 points for Arizona in 2014-15, while also ranking second on the squad with averages of 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He was one of two freshmen in the major college basketball conferences to average at least 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest, along with Jahlil Okafor of Duke.

The Fullerton, Calif., native scored in double figures 30 times on the year, leading UA in scoring 15 times and posting three double-doubles to help lead the Wildcats to the Pac-12 regular season and tournament championships and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight.

Johnson led Pac-12 freshmen in scoring, steals, free throws made and free throw attempts, ranking sixth overall in the league in steals, 13th in rebound average and 14th in scoring average. On Arizona's freshman records list, he ranks third in points scored (523) and steals (57), fourth in free throws made (132), fifth in total rebounds (247) and free throw attempts (178), sixth in three-pointers made (43) and seventh in field goals made (174).

In March, Johnson became the 28th Arizona player, and the fourth of Miller's tenure, to earn All-America honors when he was named to the NABC third team. He was also named to the five-man Freshman All-America team by the USBWA, was selected Pac-12 Freshman of the Year – Arizona's second in as many seasons – and was the lone freshman on the All-Pac-12 first team.

Johnson was named MVP of the EA Sports Maui Invitational in November, and garnered Pac-12 Tournament All-Tournament Team recognition in March as Arizona won the championship at both events.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Athletics. All rights reserved.

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