Pac-12 Awards: UCLA’s Amari Bailey Wins Freshman of the Week

The former McDonald’s All-American has now secured the honor four times this season, leading the conference with one week to go.

With the Pac-12 regular season title locked down, the Bruins are adding to their team success with some more individual accolades.

The Pac-12 announced its weekly performance awards Monday afternoon, and No. 4 UCLA men’s basketball (25-4, 16-2 Pac-12) guard Amari Bailey took home Freshman of the Week honors. Guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. was one of the nominees for Pac-12 Player of the Week, but Arizona State guard Desmond Cambridge Jr. secured it instead.

California forward Grant Newell was the only other student-athlete nominated for Freshman of the Week, but he ultimately lost out to Bailey.

Bailey opened the week with seven points, two assists and one rebound on 3-for-9 shooting against Utah on Thursday. The guard stepped up big time on Saturday, though, scoring 11 points and pulling down three boards as UCLA clinched sole possession of the Pac-12 regular season title with a road win over Colorado.

The Bruins needed Bailey to win the game, too, considering he ran out on the fast break for a dunk that pushed their lead from two points to four with 16 seconds remaining. The freshman guard also got free on an inbounds pass on the next possession, streaking down the court and drawing a shooting foul before hitting both attempts to seal the victory.

Bailey shot 41.2% from the field and 75.0% from the line during the two-game road trip.

Through his first 22 games at the college level, Bailey is averaging 10.1 points, 3.2 rebounds 2.0 assists and 1.0 steal per game on 49.0% shooting from the field and 36.8% shooting from deep. Since returning from a seven-game absence at the start of conference play, Bailey is putting up 11.1 points a night on .506/.375/.714 shooting splits.

The Pac-12 first introduced its Freshman of the Week award back in the 2019-2020 campaign. Both Jaquez and point guard Tyger Campbell won it that season, but the team went nearly three full years before putting forward another winner again.

UCLA accounted for five of the first nine Pac-12 Freshman of the Week winners this season, with Bailey winning it back-to-back on Nov. 28 and Dec. 5. Guard Dylan Andrews won it himself on Dec. 12, while center Adem Bona won it on both Jan. 2 and Jan. 9.

The Bruins have now accounted for seven of the 16 Pac-12 Freshman of the Week winners this season, with no other program garnering more than three. Bailey has won the award four times, vaulting him ahead of Oregon State guard Jordan Pope, who has won it three times.

Bailey ranks No. 2 in points per game, No. 3 in assists per game, No. 3 in steals per game and No. 8 in rebounds per game among Pac-12 freshmen.

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