Duke sophomore guard Luke Kennard was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Trophy on Wednesday in an announcement by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Kennard leads Duke in scoring with an average of 19.8 points per game and shooting .503 from the floor, .454 from outside the arc and .845 from the free throw line. He is one of two players nationally – and the only major-conference player – to average at least 19.5 points while shooting at least .500 from the floor, .400 from outside the arc and .800 from the line.
Kennard was also recently named one of 10 finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award and a member of the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20.
The Franklin, Ohio, native has scored in double figures in 29 of Duke’s 30 games this season, eclipsing the 20-point mark a team-high 15 times. He leads the ACC in three-point field goal percentage (.454) and ranks second in scoring while averaging the third-most minutes per game (35.5) in the ACC. He is the only ACC guard shooting above .500 from the floor this season.
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 15.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 30.7 minutes. He is a career .465 shooter from the floor and .385 from three-point range. Kennard’s .862 career free throw percentage is tied for the second-best in Duke history (min. 200 FTs made).
He has scored at least 20 points in exactly one-third (22-of-66) of his games in a Duke uniform.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club will announce four finalists for the 2017 Naismith Trophy on March 19. The award will be presented at the Final Four in Phoenix on April 2.
2017 Naismith Trophy Semifinalists
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
Josh Hart, Villanova
Josh Jackson, Kansas
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Luke Kennard, Duke
Frank Mason III, Kansas
Jonathan Motley, Baylor
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga