Live Blog: ACC Tournament Semifinal Friday

accAFP editor Chris Graham leads our live blog on ACC Tournament Semifinal Friday – featuring Duke-UNC and Florida State-Notre Dame.

 

UNC Team Notes

  • Junior forward Justin Jackson is the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.
  • The Tomball, Texas, native leads Carolina in scoring at 18.3 points per game and in three-pointers with 85, is second in assists (84) and fourth in rebounds (4.7). He is setting career highs in scoring average, three-point percentage (.385), three-pointers and rebounds.
  • Jackson is the 14th Tar Heel to win ACC Player of the Year honors (a total of 15 times). He joins Lennie Rosenbluth (1957), Pete Brennan (1958), Lee Shaffer (1960), Billy Cunningham (1965), Larry Miller (1967 and 1968), Mitch Kupchak (1976), Phil Ford (1978), Michael Jordan (1984), Antawn Jamison (1998), Joseph Forte (2001), Tyler Hansbrough (2008), Ty Lawson (2009) and Tyler Zeller (2012).
  • Junior guard Joel Berry II earned second-team All-ACC honors. Berry is Carolina’s second-leading scorer (15.1 ppg), and leads UNC in assists (112), three-point percentage (.424), free throw percentage (.832) and steals (42). The Apopka, Fla., native was the MVP of the Maui Invitational in November, earned ACC Player-of-the Week honors four times this year and National Player-of-the-Week honors twice.
  • Berry has scored 20 points eight times this season, including a career-high 31 at Clemson when he made seven three-pointers in an overtime win on the road that helped the eventual ACC champions avoid an 0-2 start in conference play. Berry also had 26 points in a win over Florida State and 28 on March 4 vs. Duke.

 

Duke Team Notes

  • A unanimous first-team All-ACC selection for sophomore guard Luke Kennard highlighted Duke’s collection of conference awards on Sunday.
  • Kennard leads Duke in scoring with an average of 20.1 points per game and shooting .504 from the floor, .450 from outside the arc and .847 from the free throw line. He is one of two players nationally – and the only major-conference player – to average at least 20.0 points while shooting at least .500 from the floor, .400 from outside the arc and .800 from the line.
  • Senior guard Matt Jones was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team. Jones is Duke’s first ACC All-Defensive Team selection since Mason Plumlee in 2013. He is the 15th Duke player to earn the acclaim since 1997 – a group that has combined for 25 All-Defensive Team nods. Routinely given the assignment of guarding the opposition’s top perimeter player, Jones has blossomed this season with a career-high average of 1.6 steals per game that ranks fifth in the ACC. He ranks fourth in the ACC in steals percentage, accounting for 27.3 percent of the Blue Devils’ total steals on the season.
  • Freshman forward Jayson Tatum was named a third-team All-ACC selection and a member of the ACC All-Freshman Team. Tatum is the fifth Duke freshman in the last four seasons to garner All-ACC accolades, and his selection to the ACC All-Freshman Team gives Duke a representative for the sixth consecutive season.  He is the 23rd Duke player to earn a spot on the ACC All-Freshman Team since 1993. The St. Louis native ranks second on the team in rebounding (7.3) and scoring (16.0), which rank first and second, respectively, among ACC freshmen. He is shooting .433 from the floor, .358 from the three-point line and .870 from the free throw line.

 

Florida State Team Notes

  • The No. 15 Seminoles won a team-record 24 regular season, tied the school record with 12 ACC regular season victories, finished a perfect 18-0 at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center (including 9-0 in ACC play) and have been nationally ranked during 13 of the 17 weeks of the regular season.
  • Florida State was ranked No. 6 nationally during week 12 of the regular season and has been ranked in the nation’s top 20 in both major national polls in each of the last 10 weeks.
  • Dwayne Bacon (All-ACC Second Team), Jonathan Isaac (All-ACC Freshman Team, All-ACC Honorable Mention) and Xavier Rathan-Mayes (All-ACC Defensive Team) were all honored as the Atlantic Coast Conference announced its post season all conference men’s basketball teams on Sunday.

 

Notre Dame Team Notes

  • Irish head coach Mike Brey has led his team to a top-four finish in a conference 10 times in 17 years at Notre Dame and his team earns a double-bye in a conference tournament for the sixth time in the last eight seasons.
  • Each of the five previous times the Irish have earned a double bye, they have advanced to the conference semifinals.
  • Junior forward Bonzie Colson was named to the All-ACC First Team, while seniors V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia, along with junior Matt Farrell, all earned Honorable Mention honors. Notre Dame is the only conference team to have four players earn 10 or more votes for all-conference honors this season. Colson, who finished third in Player of the Year voting, led the league in rebounds all season and is the only conference player to average a double-double for the entire conference season. Colson also ranks in the ACC top 10 in field goal percentage (fourth, .523), blocked shots (sixth, 1.42 per game) and free throw percentage (ninth, .807). The New Bedford, Mass., native also is finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, presented to college basketball’s player of the year and the Karl Malone Trophy, given to the nation’s top power forward.

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