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UVA basketball’s De’Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, Tony Bennett bring home ACC season honors

acc basketballDuke’s Zion Williamson is the ACC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, and UVA coach Tony Bennett is the ACC Coach of the Year, the league announced on Monday.

Virginia landed two players on the All-ACC first team: guards De’Andre Hunter and Kyle Guy.

Williamson, sweeping the individual honors, ranks third among ACC players in total points scored. His 21.6 points per game scoring average is second among conference players, and he stands third in rebounding at 8.8 per game.

Williamson received 49 of 70 ACC Player of the Year votes cast by a selection panel consisting of the league’s 15 head coaches and 55 members of the media. Fellow Duke freshman RJ Barrett received 16 votes, while Virginia sophomore De’Andre Hunter was named on four ballots, and Boston College junior Ky Bowman received one vote.

Williamson received 47 votes for ACC Rookie of the Year, followed by Barrett with 21 and North Carolina’s Coby White with two.

Williamson joins former Duke standouts Jahlil Okafor (2015) and Marvin Bagley III (2018) as the only players in the ACC’s 66-year history to be chosen as the league’s Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season.

It’s Bennett’s second consecutive award and fourth in six years. For the second straight year, his Cavaliers secured at least a share of the ACC title (winning it outright last year and sharing it with UNC this year) and will enter the ACC tournament as the conference’s top seed.

No. 2 Virginia (28-2 overall, 16-2 ACC), is in the running for the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament as well. The Cavaliers own five road wins over top-25 opponents this season, an ACC record, and have lost to just one team: Duke.

Bennett, who is also a two-time Henry Iba Award winner for top college basketball coach in the nation, captured his second consecutive conference crown while working in new contributors such as Braxton Key, Kihei Clark and Jay Huff.

The Cavaliers continued their success despite losing ACC Defensive Player of the Year Isaiah Wilkins and All-ACC guard Devon Hall, among others, from last year’s team.

Hunter received ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors, while Florida State sophomore Mfiondu Kabengele was recognized as the league’s Sixth Man of the Year. Louisville sophomore Jordan Nwora received the nod as the ACC’s Most Improved Player.

Hunter, a 6-foot-7 forward out of Philadelphia, was a key part of Virginia’s outstanding defense, which leads the nation in points per game and field goal percentage allowed.

Hunter, a first-team All-ACC selection this year, averaged 5.4 rebounds per game — second on the team — as well as 0.6 blocks and 0.5 steals per contest in conference. But as is usually the case with Virginia defenders, it wasn’t the stats that proved his worth defensively. Hunter often took on the role of defending opponents’ best players game-in and game-out and is versatile enough to guard any position from point guard to power forward.

Hunter follows in the footsteps of former teammate Isaiah Wilkins, who won the award last year.

Hunter is also one of 10 semifinalists nationwide for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. Finalists will be announced March 14.

Williamson, Hunter and Guy are joined on the All-ACC first team by Barrett (a league-leading 23.4 ppg) and North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson (ACC-leading .469 from 3-point range).

North Carolina senior Luke Maye (14.6 ppg, 10.5 rpg) heads up the All-ACC second team, along with Boston College’s Bowman (19.2 ppg), Virginia’s Ty Jerome (13.5 ppg, ACC-leading 5.3 apg), North Carolina’s White (16.3 ppg) and Virginia Tech’s Kerry Blackshear Jr. (14.5 ppg).

The All-ACC third team includes Louisville’s Nwora (17.3 ppg), Clemson’s Marcquise Reed (19.4 ppg), Syracuse’s Tyus Battle (17.2 ppg), Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker (16.6 ppg) and Notre Dame junior John Mooney (14.1 ppg, ACC-leading 11.2 rpg).

Williamson, Barrett, White, Pitt’s Xavier Johnson and Duke’s Tre Jones comprise the All-ACC Freshman Team.

In addition to Hunter, the All-ACC Defensive team includes Duke’s Jones and Williamson, Clemson’s Elijah Thomas and Georgia Tech’s James Banks III.

2019 Atlantic Coast Conference Post-Season Honors

All-ACC
First Team
Zion Williamson, Fr., Duke, 350*
RJ Barrett, Fr., Duke, 346
De’Andre Hunter, So., Virginia, 302
Cameron Johnson, Sr., North Carolina, 277
Kyle Guy, Jr., Virginia, 231

Second Team
Luke Maye, Sr., North Carolina, 221
Ky Bowman, Jr., Boston College, 188
Ty Jerome, Jr., Virginia, 177
Coby White, Fr., North Carolina, 171
Kerry Blackshear Jr., Jr., Virginia Tech, 170

Third Team
Jordan Nwora, So., Louisville, 135
Marcquise Reed, Sr., Clemson, 129
Tyus Battle, Jr., Syracuse, 128
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, So., Virginia Tech, 72
John Mooney, Jr., Notre Dame, 71

Honorable Mention
Mfiondu Kabengele, So., Florida State, 69
Cam Reddish, Fr., Duke, 37
Tre Jones, Fr., Duke, 18
Terance Mann, Sr., Florida State, 16
Elijah Thomas, Sr., Clemson, 10

ACC Player of the Year
Zion Williamson, Fr., Duke, 49
RJ Barrett, Fr., Duke, 16
De’Andre Hunter, So., Virginia, 4
Ky Bowman, Jr., Boston College, 1

ACC Rookie of the Year
Zion Williamson, Duke, 47
RJ Barrett, Duke, 21
Coby White, North Carolina, 2

ACC Coach of the Year
Tony Bennett, Virginia, 30
Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech, 12
Roy Williams, North Carolina, 11
Leonard Hamilton, Florida State, 10
Chris Mack, Louisville, 7

ACC Defensive Player of the Year
De’Andre Hunter, So., Virginia, 46
Tre Jones, Fr., Duke, 19
David Skara, Sr., Clemson, 3
Trent Forrest, Jr., Florida State, 2

ACC Most Improved Player
Jordan Nwora, So., Louisville, 30
John Mooney, Jr., Notre Dame, 27
Cameron Johnson, Sr., North Carolina, 5
Mfiondu Kabengele, So., Florida State, 4
Kerry Blackshear Jr., Jr., Virginia Tech, 2
Chris Lykes, So., Miami, 2

ACC Sixth Man of the Year
Mfiondu Kabengele, So., Florida State, 60
DJ Funderburk, So., NC State, 3
Jared Wilson-Frame, Jr., Pitt, 3
Nassir Little, Fr., North Carolina, 2
Braxton Key, Jr., Virginia, 2

ACC All-Defensive Team
De’Andre Hunter, So., Virginia, 60
Tre Jones, Fr., Duke, 56
Zion Williamson, Fr., Duke, 53
Elijah Thomas, Sr., Clemson, 31
James Banks III, Jr., Georgia Tech, 29

ACC All-Freshman Team
Zion Williamson, Duke, 70*
Coby White, North Carolina, 67
RJ Barrett, Duke, 66
Xavier Johnson, Pitt, 40
Tre Jones, Duke, 38

With reporting by Zach Pereles


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