UW's Hopkins named Pac-12 coach of year; Thybulle top defensive player

Washington head coach Mike Hopkins (AP file photo)

SEATTLE -- Mike Hopkins, who is in his first season at men's basketball coach at the University of Washington, has been named the Pac-12's coach of the year.

In addition, the UW's Matisse Thybulle was named defensive player of the year, and Washington State's Robert Franks was named most improved player.

Hopkins was named the John R. Wooden Coach of the Year after what the conference said was one of the best turnarounds in Division 1 college basketball this season.

The UW had its first 20-win season since 2011-12. Last year, the team finished 9-22. It was the second-best improvement among high major programs.

Thybulle is the first UW player to be named defensive player of the year. He had the sixth-most steals in a single season in league history at 92. He also had 44 blocked shots. He is one of only two players in Pac-12 history to have at least 90 steals and 40 blocks in the same season. USC’s Jeff Trepagnier also accomplished that in the 1999-2000 season.

Franks, a junior from Vancouver, Wash., tripled his scoring average from 6.3 to 17.4 points per game. His three-point baskets went from 19 to 64. His rebounds went from 3.3 to 6.7 per game and his assists went from 24 to 58.