Azuolas Tubelis is usually a fairly mild-mannered interview. Heck, after he dropped 40 points on the Oregon Ducks, he had the most subdued response possible.

“Shots went in, I had a lot of points, and yeah, big credit to my teammates,” he said.

Not really a man to get too wrapped up in individual awards or get too worked up over missing out on them. Tubelis had a strong case to be named the Pac-12 Player of the Year by the league on Tuesday. Instead, that honor went to UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr.

If Tubelis was bothered by it, he didn’t show it.

“You know, I think he deserves it,” Tubelis told reporters on Tuesday, per The Arizona Daily Star’s Justin Spears. “If coaches think that way, then he deserves it.”

The two were undoubtedly the best players in the Pac-12 this season. If Jaquez didn’t win it, Tubelis would have.

The league’s coaches sided with the best player on the best team. That happens quite a bit with these kinds of honors.

Tubelis’s case was strong, though.

He averaged 19.9 points a game this year while shooting 57.7% from the field. He averaged a career-best 9.2 rebounds to go with 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 29 minutes.

Jaquez averaged 17.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 48.7% from the field.

On a per-40 basis, Tubelis averaged six more points than Jaquez and three more rebounds. His 59% effective field goal rate was seven percentage points better than Jaquez’s.

Tubelis led the league in PER (Player Efficiency Rating) and win shares per 40 minutes. Jaquez ranked third and second, respectively.

Jaquez is able to space the floor, though, and as UCLA roared to 10 straight wins to close out the regular season, he played some of his best ball. Jaquez scored 20 or more points in seven of his final nine games — including a 22-point, 10-rebound game in UCLA’s win over Arizona to close out the year.

At the same time, Tubelis was somewhat inconsistent after his 40-point explosion against Oregon.

In the eight games following that performance, he topped 20 three times, but also had a four-point outing in a loss to Stanford and then an 11-point outing against Utah. Coach Tommy Lloyd called out his defense after the Arizona State loss — not the only time down the stretch Lloyd was critical of Tubelis.

Still, one player led the league in points, rebounds, and win shares produced. And that player wasn’t named the Player of the Year.

Tubelis will have to settle for the prospect of another championship. The Wildcats open their title defense at the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday.