Arizona's Tommy Lloyd was named the Associated Press men's basketball national coach of the year Friday, while Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe was named the AP men's player of the year.
After serving as an assistant at Gonzaga for 20 years, Lloyd led the Wildcats to the Sweet 16 in his first season as head coach. Arizona had an impressive season, finishing with a 33-4 record after not reaching the NCAA tournament since the 2017-18 season.
Lloyd is one of three coaches to win the AP Coach of the Year award in his first season as a head coaching, joining Indiana State's Bill Hodges, who won in 1979, and Drake's Keno Davis, who won in 2008.
Expectations for the Wildcats entering the 2021-22 campaign were low. Arizona was unranked in the AP preseason poll and projected to finish fourth in the Pac-12. The Wildcats ended up finishing first in the Pac-12, won the Pac-12 championship and finished second in the AP Top 25.
As for Tshiebwe, he is just the second Kentucky player to win the AP Player of the Year award, joining current Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis, who led the school to an NCAA title 2012.
"It is amazing to be join somebody like Anthony Davis," Tshiebwe said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). "And that gives me confidence and gives me more help for my future, too, for what I'm trying to do and what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm just putting God first because God knows what I need, and he has great plans for me."
Tshiebwe had an impressive 2021-22 campaign, averaging 17.4 points, 15.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 60.6 percent from the floor. His 15.2 rebounds per game were the most in Division I men's basketball since 1980.
Tshiebwe is now considering whether to return to Kentucky for another season or declare for the NBA draft.