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  • COLLEGE BASKETBALL

    Singler first team in Pac-12 awards

    Oregon's Altman is chosen coach of the year for a fifth time in his career
  • WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Former South Medford standout E.J. Singler, a senior for Oregon, has been chosen for the all-Pac-12 Conference first team, and Duck coach Dana Altman was chosen coach of the year.
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  • WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Former South Medford standout E.J. Singler, a senior for Oregon, has been chosen for the all-Pac-12 Conference first team, and Duck coach Dana Altman was chosen coach of the year.
    Singler was a second-team choice last year.
    The 6-foot-6 forward led the Ducks with averages of 11.5 points and 2.9 assists per game, starting all 31 games this season. He also played a team-high 30.5 minutes per contest.
    The selection of Singler gave UO a first-team player for the second straight year, following Devoe Joseph in 2012.
    Meanwhile, in a vote of the coaches, California junior guard Allen Crabbe player of the year, Arizona State guard Jahii Carson and UCLA guard Shabazz Muhammad shared freshman of the year, Colorado junior forward Andre Roberson has been named the top defensive player and Stanford junior forward Dwight Powell most improved.
    Altman guided Oregon (23-8, 12-6) to a second-place tie with California and Arizona in the league standings after being picked seventh in the preseason media poll. The Ducks have posted three straight 20-win seasons and two consecutive runner-up finishes in Pac-12 play under Altman, who has won coach of the year honors in four conferences.
    He also earned coaching honors in the Missouri Valley Conference with Creighton in 2001 and 2002, in the former Big Eight Conference with Kansas State in 1993, and in the Southern Conference with Marshall in 1990.
    He's the third Oregon coach to earn coach of the year honors, joining Dick Harter (1977) and Ernie Kent (2002).
    Altman has a career record of 478-277. He is 68-34 at Oregon.
    The third-seeded Ducks will play their first game in the conference tournament Thursday against the winner of No. 6 Washington and No. 11 Washington State.
    Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi made the all-defensive team and Damyean Dotson was on the all-freshman team.
    Kazemi made the most of his lone season at Oregon, leading the Ducks and ranking third in the conference with 9.6 rebounds per game. The senior transfer from Esfahan, Iran, who was also honorable mention All-Pac-12, was second in the conference in steals (2.2 per game) and paced the Ducks with eight double-doubles.
    He is the first UO player named for defense since the award's inception in 2007-08.
    Dotson led the Ducks in scoring in conference play up until the last week of the season and finished the regular season averaging 10.5 points per game.
    The Houston product made a team-best 128 field goals and had the fewest turnovers among Oregon's starters. Dotson, who has started all but one game this season, is the first Duck to earn all-freshman honors since guard Tajuan Porter in 2007.
    Oregon enters this week's Pac-12 Tournament as the No. 3 seed and will face the winner of Wednesday's first-round game between No. 6 Washington and No. 11 Washington State on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. (ESPNU) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
    Crabbe's selection as the top player continued a trend.
    The Pac-12's leading scorer is the seventh Cal player and third in the last four years to win the conference's most prestigious award, joining Jason Kidd (1994), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996), Ed Gray (1997), Sean Lampley (2001), Jerome Randle (2010) and Jorge Gutierrez (2012).
    "You work so hard so to get an award like this, it's a blessing," Crabbe said. "I feel like everything happens for a reason. It seems like everything has fallen into place."
    While Cal started off slow this season, Crabbe made sure the program finished strong.
    Crabbe averaged 18.6 points and six rebounds per game, propelling the Golden Bears (20-10, 12-6) to seven straight wins and a likely NCAA tournament berth before losing 83-70 at home to Stanford in the regular-season finale. He is 10th on Cal's career scoring list with 1,489 points.
    "I am really happy for Allen," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said in a statement. "He has been a mainstay in our program and has improved each year. Allen has been a guy that has been under constant pressure to carry the load offensively and has done a very good job for us. This is a reward for a lot of hard work and I think well-justified."
    Crabbe led the conference in scoring the entire season. He also ranked fifth in 3-pointers made per game (two), sixth in free-throw percentage (81 percent) and 20th in rebounds (six) per game.
    The Los Angeles native scored at least 20 points in 14 games, including two 30-point performances. He had 10 points or more in all but three games. He scored a career-best 33 points in a 79-62 win over Pepperdine on Nov. 13.
    The Bears earned the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas, and they can add to their credentials with a strong showing this week. Cal begins play Thursday against the winner of seventh-seeded Southern California and No. 10 Utah.
    Also on the first team were Carson, Muhammad, Roberson, Powell, Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie, UCLA guard Larry Drew II, Arizona forward Solomon Hill and Arizona guard Mark Lyons.
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