INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – Arizona first-year head
coach Tommy Lloyd led the Wildcats to the Pac-12 Conference
championship and a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.
For his smashing debut guiding Arizona to 33 wins and into the Sweet
16, Lloyd has been named the winner of the 2021-22 Henry Iba Award,
given annually by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association to its
national coach of the year.
Lloyd, who will formally receive the award at the upcoming
USBWA College Basketball Awards Banquet in St. Louis on April 11
hosted by the Missouri Athletic Club, is the first Arizona coach to earn the honor and the first
from the Pac-12 since Tony Bennett at Washington State in 2007.
He's only the fifth Pac-12 coach to earn the Henry Iba Award, joining
UCLA legend John Wooden (a six-time winner in 1964, '67, '70, '71,
'72, '73), Pete Newell (California, 1960) and Ralph Miller (Oregon
Arizona (33-4) ascended to several success marks during Lloyd's
first season in Tucson. The Wildcats finished the season 17-0 at
home, the 13th time they have finished a season undefeated
in the 49-year history of the McKale Center. Arizona's 19-game home
win streak is the longest active streak in the Pac-12 and the third-longest
in Division I heading into next season. The 'Cats won nine road games
for the first time since 2016-17 and were 7-0 in neutral site games.
Lloyd is the ninth first-time head coach in NCAA history to win
30 games in year one and joined UCLA's Gary Cunningham (1977-78)
as the only first-time head coaches in the Pac-12 to win 25 of their
first 27 games. Lloyd is alone as the only Pac-12 coach to start
15-1 or better in conference play. Arizona's 18-2 Pac-12 record
that won the conference by a three-game margin over runner-up UCLA
is also the best-ever for a first-year coach in conference.
Lloyd, 46, joins Bill Guthridge (North Carolina in 1998) and Bill Hodges
(Indiana State in 1979) as the only head coaches to earn a No. 1
seed in their first season as head coach. The 33 wins – Arizona
fell to Houston in last weekend's Sweet 16 – are tied for third-most
in program history and left Lloyd one shy of tying Guthridge for
the most by a first-time head coach in NCAA history.
The style of play Lloyd brought to Arizona also produced record
marks in various statistical categories. UA led the nation in total
assists (714), assists per game (19.8) and total rebounds (1,496).
The 'Cats scored 80 or more points 28 times and were undefeated
in those games. School records for assists (714) and blocked shots
(207) fell. In its final win against TCU in the NCAA's second round,
Arizona scored 52 points in the paint, the 25th game this year for
it to score 40-plus paint points – the most by any Pac-12 team in the
last 15 seasons.
Arizona produced a second-team USBWA All-America selection in
sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin, also the Pac-12 Player of the
Year. The conference's John R. Wooden Coach of the Year, Lloyd also
coached the Pac-12's Defensive Player of the Year (center Christian
Koloko), Most Improved Player of the Year (Koloko) and Sixth Man
of the Year (Pelle Larsson). Koloko, Mathurin and forward Azuolas
Tubelis earned First-Team All-Pac-12 honors and Kokolo and guard
Dalen Terry were on the All-Defensive Team.
Also of note is in his first semester as head coach last fall,
Arizona's men's team posted a team GPA of 3.04, the best team GPA
for a semester in the history of the program with 11 players having
a 3.0 or better.
Lloyd was an assistant coach at Gonzaga for 20 seasons before
coming to Arizona. At Gonzaga he helped to develop 19 All-Americans and
15 conference players of the year and contributed to five straight
30-win seasons and two appearances in the national championship
The Henry Iba Award is named in honor of the
legendary coaching great at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State)
who won two NCAA championships and two gold medals and one silver
as coach of the U S. Olympic teams. Iba held the dual position of
basketball coach and athletic director until he retired in 1970.
He was elected to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma
Hall of Fame, the Missouri Hall of Fame, the Helms Foundation All-Time
Hall of Fame for basketball, and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall
of Fame at Springfield, Mass. Henry Iba passed away in 1993 in Stillwater,
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed
in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential
organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America
team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA
and its award programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran
at 814-574-1485. For additional info about covering the awards banquet,
contact Jim Wilson with the MAC (314-539-4488).