A unanimous first-team All-ACC selection for sophomore guard Luke Kennard highlighted Duke’s collection of conference awards on Sunday, as senior guard Matt Jones and freshman forward Jayson Tatum were also honored in the first combined vote of the league’s coaches and media.
In addition to Kennard’s honor, Jones was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team, while Tatum was named a third-team All-ACC selection and a member of the ACC All-Freshman Team.
This season marks the 10th in a row that Duke has produced multiple All-ACC selections, with each of those years featuring at least one first-team all-conference pick.
The league’s only unanimous first-team All-ACC selection, Kennard is the fourth Duke underclassman to earn to first-team honors in as many seasons, joining Jabari Parker (2014), Jahlil Okafor (2015) and Grayson Allen (2016).
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.
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.
He 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 has been named one of 10 finalists for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award.
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.
The DeSoto, Texas, native has been the driving force behind a Duke perimeter defense that has limited teams to just .306 shooting from outside the three-point line this season, a mark that ranks among the nation’s best.
In his second season as a team captain, he has averaged 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds to go along with his 1.6 steals per contest. Duke is an average of +10.1 points per game when Jones is on the floor, compared to an average of just +1.4 when he is not in the game.
Fifth-seeded Duke will face with No. 12 seed Clemson or No. 13 seed NC State on Wednesday in the second round of the ACC Tournament at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The contest will tip at approximately 2 p.m. ET and be televised by ESPN and the ACC Network. All ACC Tournament games will also be available via the WatchESPN app.