Washington basketball: Stewart earns All Pac-12 honors

Washington basketball’s top recruit was named as a member of the All Pac-12 First Team, and the conference’s All-Freshman First Team

Washington basketball had high hopes coming into the season, and while they didn’t live up to them as a team, Isaiah Stewart lived up to all the hype. Over the course of the season, Stewart was named the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Week four times, tied for the most by any first year in the Pac-12 this season with Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji, who edged out Stewart for the conference’s Freshman of the Year award.

Stewart finished the season behind Nnaji with 13 double-doubles, which is good enough for fourth nationally among freshmen in that category. He also ended the regular season as the conference’s seventh-leading scorer at 16.6 points per game, and the third-leading rebounder, grabbing 8.7 boards per game.

Stewart also ended the year with the third-most blocks per game in the conference (2.1) while setting a new freshman record at Washington for blocks in a single season (65).

Over the course of the regular season, it often took triple-teams to neutralize Stewart, who was a semi-finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, and when teams could get to him, the offense tended to sputter. But he’s one of college basketball’s great competitors, who performed at his best when the competition was at its highest, going for 21 points and 10 rebounds against Gonzaga, and a 25/19 line against Oregon, where he tied his career-high with five blocks.

After a standout season for the Huskies, it’s likely that Stewart will be entering the NBA Draft, where he deserves to be considered as a lottery pick.

Stewart was Washington’s only representative on any of the All Pac-12 teams. Now, the focus for Stewart’s squad shifts to Nnaji and Arizona, who the Huskies face off with in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament.