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Luke Kennard and Jayson Tatum Named USBWA All-District

Jayson Tatum & Luke Kennard | Photo: Chris Summerville

Duke sophomore Luke Kennard and freshman Jayson Tatum continued to add to their haul of postseason awards on Tuesday when they were named to the All-District III team by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Members of USBWA All-District teams are eligible for USBWA All-America honors, one of the four teams used to determine consensus All-Americans.

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.

The Franklin, Ohio, native has scored in double figures in 30 of Duke’s 31 games this season, eclipsing the 20-point mark a team-high 16 times. He leads the ACC in scoring and ranks second in three-point field goal percentage while averaging the third-most minutes per game (35.6) in the ACC. He is the only ACC guard shooting above .500 from the floor this season.

He has made at least one three-point field goal in 34 consecutive games, tied for the fourth-longest streak in Duke history and the 16th-longest stretch in ACC history.

Kennard eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career on Feb. 25 at Miami, becoming just the 12th Duke player (and fifth under Mike Krzyzewski) to hit that milestone prior to the end of his second season. He has an opportunity to become the fifth Duke player – and first since Christian Laettner in 1992 – to average at least 20.0 points while shooting at least 50 percent from the field.

For his career, Kennard owns averages of 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 30.8 minutes. He is a career .466 shooter from the floor and .384 from three-point range. Kennard’s .863 career free throw percentage is currently the second-best in Duke history (min. 200 FTs made).

He has scored at least 20 points in more than one-third (23-of-67) of his games in a Duke uniform.

Kennard was recently named one of 10 finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, a member of the national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy. He was the only unanimous first-team All-ACC selection in 2017.

Tatum 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.

The St. Louis native is on pace to become the 14th Duke freshman under head coach Mike Krzyzewski to average more than 30 minutes per game (32.3). The ultra-versatile Tatum has also set a Duke single-season record with six games of at least 10 points/5 rebounds/3 assists/2 steals/2 blocks; those six occasions are also the third-most in Duke history for a career.

He has scored in double figures 20 times in 23 games since making his debut in early December, including four 20-point efforts and a pair of double-doubles.

Tatum’s scoring average currently ranks sixth on Duke’s freshman list, while his rebound average is on pace to be the fifth-best ever by a Duke freshman. He is on the verge of joining Parker and Okafor as the only freshmen under Coach K to average 16+ points and 7+ rebounds.

His free throw percentage of .870 (87-of-100) also currently ranks fifth on Duke’s freshman charts.

A three-time ACC Freshman of the Week, Tatum was named to the All-ACC third team and the ACC All-Freshman Team. He has also been named one of 10 finalists for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.

USBWA All-District III
Joel Berry II, North Carolina
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
John Collins, Wake Forest
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Luke Kennard, Duke
London Perrantes, Virginia
Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State
Jayson Tatum, Duke
Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina
Melo Trimble, Maryland