Blue Devils Hold Annual Banquet; RJ, Zion Named MVP’s

Zion Williamson & R.J. Barrett | Photo: Chris Summerville

Duke freshmen RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson were named the recipients of the 2019 Swett-Baylin Most Valuable Player Award at the Duke men’s basketball annual banquet and awards ceremony, held Thursday evening at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Barrett and Williamson made NCAA history as the first freshman teammates to earn consensus first-team All-American honors in the same season. In leading No. 1 Duke to a 32-6 record and an ACC Championship, they also became the first freshman teammates in NCAA history to each average 20+ points in a season.

Williamson swept the six National Player of the Year awards recognized by the NCAA – the Wooden, Naismith, NABC, AP, USBWA and Basketball Times, while also earning the honor from Sporting News and CBS Sports. Barrett was chosen the National Player of the Year by USA Today.

Williamson and Barrett are the seventh and eighth freshmen to receive at least a share of team MVP honors under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, joining Johnny Dawkins (1983), Jabari Parker (2014), Jahlil Okafor (2015), Brandon Ingram (2016), Jayson Tatum (2017) and Marvin Bagley III (2018). A freshman has won or shared the trophy in six consecutive seasons.

Barrett also earned the Iron Duke Award, presented to the Blue Devil that logged the most minutes in 2018-19 – a Duke freshman record 1,341. Barrett also set the program’s freshman scoring record with 860 points – the second-most points in a season at Duke behind the 941 from J.J. Redick as a senior in 2006.

Williamson garnered awards for both the highest rebounding average (8.9) and the team’s best field goal percentage (.680) – a mark that was second nationally and the second-highest by a Duke freshman all-time.

Senior Antonio Vrankovic was the recipient of the Glenn E. “Ted” Mann Award, given to the reserve who most contributed to team morale throughout the season. Vrankovic and classmate Brennan Besser were each recognized and addressed the banquet as the team’s graduating seniors.

The Bill Krzyzewski Captains’ Award was bestowed upon juniors Javin DeLaurier and Jack White, while White also claimed the Dr. Deryl Hart Award as the team’s top scholar-athlete. DeLauier was presented the Pagliuca Family Coach’s Award, given to the player that best exemplified the commitment and values of Duke Basketball, for the second straight year.

Freshman guard Tre Jones earned the team’s Defensive Player of the Year honor, while also presented the award for having the team’s most assists (192). Classmate Cam Reddish earned the team’s best free throw percentage plaque (.772).

Receiving the Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award were David Karamardian and Mike McAloon. Billy Gist was the recipient of the Harry Rainey Spirit Award, while Kendall Liang was named the recipient of the Charles Hogan Memorial Band Award.

2018-19 Duke Men’s Basketball Award Winners
Swett-Baylin Award (Most Valuable Player): RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson
Dr. Deryl Hart Award (Top Scholar-Athlete): Jack White
Pagliuca Family Coach’s Award (Commitment and Values): Javin DeLaurier
Glenn E. “Ted” Mann Award (Contribution to Team Morale): Antonio Vrankovic
Iron Duke Award (Most Minutes Played): RJ Barrett
Bill Krzyzewski Captains’ Award: Javin DeLaurier, Jack White
Best Field Goal Percentage: Zion Williamson
Best Free Throw Percentage: Cam Reddish
Best Rebound Average: Zion Williamson
Most Assists Award: Tre Jones
Best Defensive Player: Tre Jones
Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award: David Karamardian, Mike McAloon
Harry Rainey Spirit Award: Billy Gist
Charles Hogan Memorial Band Award: Kendall Liang

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