Denzel Valentine beat out Buddy Hield in a close vote to be named The Associated Press' Player of the Year.
"We spent time together this summer at a basketball camp, and we built a relationship,'' Valentine said of his fellow senior.
"During the season we would give each other words of encouragement,'' Valentine said. "He was first person to text me when I got hurt, and I thought that was pretty big time of him. He deserves everything he's getting.''
Valentine, who missed four games after having minor knee surgery, received 34 of 65 votes from the national media panel that selects the weekly AP Top 25. Hield was the only other player to receive votes.