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Honored Coug

WSU forward Brock Motum, center, scored over a quarter of the Cougars’ points this season. (Associated Press)
WSU forward Brock Motum, center, scored over a quarter of the Cougars’ points this season. (Associated Press)

First-teamer Motum chosen Most Improved Player

LOS ANGELES – Brock Motum’s head-turning season earned him some more recognition on Monday.

The Washington State junior won the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player of the Year award, and was also named first-team all-conference after narrowly missing out on the Pac-12 scoring title.

Neither honor comes as much of a surprise, considering Motum scored 26.5 percent of the Cougars’ points this season and 18.1 per game, along with 6.5 rebounds. Oregon State’s Jared Cunningham was the only Pac-12 player to score more, besting Motum by a total of five points.

Motum, a 6-foot-10 forward from Brisbane, Australia, averaged 7.6 points and three rebounds per game as a sophomore. He was at a movie – the team is staying in Los Angeles until the Pac-12 tournament – when he started receiving congratulatory text messages after the Pac-12 announced the awards Monday afternoon.

“They’re both pretty cool awards,” Motum said. “It would have been cool to win a Pac-12 championship, too, but I guess that’s in the past now.”

This is the fourth consecutive season that a WSU player has earned first-team all-conference honors – Klay Thompson was a first-teamer in each of the previous two seasons, and Taylor Rochestie made it in 2009.

Motum wasn’t the only WSU player honored. Junior guard Reggie Moore, who led the Pac-12 in assists with 5.3 per game, was named honorable mention all-conference. Marcus Capers was named honorable mention to the all-defensive team, and DaVonte Lacy was an honorable mention to the all-freshmen team.

Moore, who said he wasn’t aware of his assists achievement until recently, was pleased with his honor.

“I didn’t really think I was going to get anything like that,” said Moore.The Cougars (15-15) face Oregon State (17-13) at noon Wednesday in the opening game of the Pac-12 tournament at Staples Center.