Virginia Basketball: Bennett, Guy, Wilkins, Hunter claim top ACC honors
Virginia’s Tony Bennett was named 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, Isaiah Wilkins (Lilburn, Ga.) was named Defensive Player of the Year and De’Andre Hunter (Philadelphia, Pa.) was named Sixth Man of the Year, announced by the ACC on Sunday (March 4).
Three other Cavaliers earned All-ACC honors. Kyle Guy (Indianapolis, Ind.) was named All-ACC First Team, Devon Hall (Virginia Beach, Va.) was named All-ACC Second Team and All-ACC Defensive Team, and Ty Jerome (New Rochelle, N.Y.) was named All-ACC Third Team.
Wilkins was also named to the All-Defensive Team and Hunter was named to the All-Freshman Team.
Bennett earned his third ACC coach of the year honor after guiding Virginia to its third outright ACC regular-season title in the last five years. The Cavaliers, who were predicted to finish sixth in the ACC and unranked in the preseason national polls, have posted a 28-2 overall record and league-record 17-1 mark en route to their first No. 1 ranking since 1982.
Wilkins spearheads UVA’s top-ranked defense which yields 52.8 points per game and ranks third nationally in field goal percentage defense at 37.5 percent. Wilkins, who has taken a team-leading 11 charges, ranks 10th in the ACC in blocked shots (1.5 bpg) and 17th in rebounding (6.4 rpg). Wilkins is the third Cavalier to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors, joining Darion Atkins (2015) and Malcolm Brogdon (2015 and 2016). He was also named All-ACC Defensive Team for the second straight season.
Hunter averaged 10.8 points off the bench during league play in his rookie season. The league’s top sixth man led UVA in scoring during five league games, including an ACC-high 22 at Miami. Hunter posted his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds at Pitt. He banked in the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer that capped the Cavaliers’ dramatic one-point win at Louisville on March 1.
Guy is averaging a team-best 13.9 points per game for top-ranked Virginia. He has drilled 74 shots from 3-point range to rank sixth in the ACC and is shooting 87 percent from the free throw line. Guy has reached double-figures in 24 games, including a career-high 29 against VCU. He has led Virginia in scoring in 11 games, including 22 points against Syracuse (1/9/18) and Louisville (1/31/18). Guy has increased his scoring average by more than six points after averaging 7.5 points as freshman in 2016-17.
Hall earns his first All-ACC honors after averaging 11.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Hall is shooting a team-best 44.7 percent from 3-point range and leads the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.31. Hall reached double figures in 13 league games, including a career-high 25 points against NC State. Hall chipped in 25 steals and is UVA’s top perimeter defender.
Jerome shared the team scoring lead with Guy during ACC play, averaging 12.4 points. Jerome scored a career-high 31 points against Boston College and leads the team in assists (3.7) and steals (1.5). He reached double figures in 11 league games.
Joining Guy on the All-ACC first team were ACC Player of the Year Marvin Bagley III (Duke), Jerome Robinson (Boston College), Luke Maye (North Carolina) and Joel Berry II (North Carolina).
Marcquise Reed (Clemson), Tyus Battle (Syracuse), Wendell Carter, Jr. (Duke) and Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech) joined Hall on the All-ACC second team.
Grayson Allen (Duke), Matt Ferrell (Notre Dame), Josh Okogie (Georgia Tech) and Omer Yurtseven (NC State) joined Jerome on the All-ACC third team.
No. 1 seed Virginia (28-2) will play No. 8 seed Louisville (19-12) or No. 9 seed Florida State (20-10) in ACC Tournament quarterfinal action on Thursday, March 8. Tipoff at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., is set for Noon ET.