Hurt, Goldwire, Steward Garner All-ACC Honors

Jordan Goldwire, Matthew Hurt, and DJ Steward | Photo: Duke Athletics

Duke sophomore Matthew Hurt has been named the 2021 ACC Most Improved Player and was selected to the All-ACC First Team, while DJ Steward was tapped to the All-Freshman Team and senior Jordan Goldwire earned All-Defensive Team honors as the conference’s men’s basketball postseason awards were announced Monday.

Hurt becomes the second Blue Devil to claim the ACC Most Improved Player award, joining Grayson Allen in 2016. He is Duke’s 75th All-ACC First Team selection, which ranks second in conference history, and the 50th player to have earned first-team status under head coach Mike Krzyzewski — the most such honors in the ACC in the Coach K era.

Duke has now had at least one All-ACC First Team pick in 14 consecutive seasons – the longest active streak in the conference and the second longest in ACC history.

A native of Rochester, Minn., Hurt was one of the ACC’s elite offensive performers in 2020-21, finishing the regular season as the league’s scoring leader at 18.7 points per game while also ranking first in conference-only scoring (18.6). Hurt shot 155-of-277 from the field (.560), which ranked second in the ACC and 36th nationally, while his 2.36 made three-pointers per contest were fifth-most in the league. On Feb. 27, he poured in a career-high 37 points on 15-of-21 shooting against Louisville – the highest scoring game in the conference this season. Hurt was tapped the ACC Player of the Week twice and named Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week in late January.

Of all returning ACC players, Hurt’s points per game improvement of +9.0 from last season (9.7 to 18.7) is second-best in the league. He also increased his field goal percentage from .487 as a freshman to .560 this year, while his three-point accuracy rose from .393 to .437 and his rebounding numbers nearly doubled from 3.8 as a freshman to 6.2 this year.

This season, Hurt is one of four players nationally – and one of two from power conferences along with Iowa’s Luka Garza – averaging better than 50 percent from the field, better than 40 percent from three-point range and making 7.0+ field goals per game.

The ACC’s leading freshman scorer this season at 13.0 points per game, Steward becomes Duke’s 31st All-Freshman selection. The Blue Devils have the most All-Freshman picks in conference history, followed by North Carolina, which increased its all-time total to 23 with Caleb Love and Day’Ron Sharpe on this year’s team.

Steward reached double figures in scoring 16 times during the regular season, including in 15 of the final 19 games. He was twice named the ACC Freshman of the Week (Dec. 21, Jan. 11), and he enters the ACC Tournament with at least one three-pointer in 19 consecutive games. The Chicago native is aiming to be the seventh Blue Devil in the last eight seasons and eighth in the last 10 to lead the league’s freshman in scoring. Duke has had an ACC All-Freshman selection in each of the last 10 years.

Goldwire led the ACC in assist/turnover ratio during the regular season (+2.76), while ranking second in steals (2.32) and seventh in assists (4.1). A tenacious on-ball defender, the senior from Norcross, Ga., had 19 multi-steal games – the second-most nationally this season, while ranking 15th nationally in steal percentage (KenPom). Only Georgia Tech senior Jose Alvarado, who was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, has more steals over the last two seasons than Goldwire’s 98. With a 2.32 steals average in 2020-21, Goldwire is on pace for a top-10 steals-per-game season in Duke history.

He becomes Duke’s 19th selection to the ACC All-Defensive Team, the most in league history. A Blue Devil has been named to the All-Defensive squad in three consecutive seasons, with Goldwire following Zion Williamson (2019) and former backcourt mate Tre Jones (2019, 2020).

Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright was recognized as the ACC Player of the Year, while Florida State’s Scottie Barnes took home both ACC Freshman of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year — snapping Duke’s streaks of three straight ACC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year winners. Virginia Tech’s Mike Young was selected Coach of the Year.

Hurt was joined on the All-ACC First Team by Wright, Louisville’s Carlik Jones, Virginia’s Sam Hauser and Pittsburgh’s Justin Champagnie. The All-Defensive Team included Goldwire, Alvarado, Wright, Virginia’s Jay Huff and NC State’s Manny Bates. In addition to Steward, Sharpe and Love, the All-Freshman Team was comprised of Barnes and Louisville’s Jae’Lyn Withers.

The voting for the league’s annual awards was done by the ACC’s head coaches and a panel of media that cover the conference.

2021 ALL-ACC TEAM FIRST TEAM
Moses Wright — Georgia Tech — 344 pts
Justin Champagnie — Pitt –343
Carlik Jones — Louisville — 327
Matthew Hurt — Duke — 310
Sam Hauser — Virginia — 281

SECOND TEAM
Keve Aluma — Virginia Tech — 277
Jose Alvarado — Georgia Tech — 244
Jay Huff — Virginia — 214
M.J. Walker — Florida State — 200
Aamir Simms — Clemson — 176

THIRD TEAM
RaiQuan Gray — Florida State — 167
Isaiah Wong — Miami — 102
Quincy Guerrier — Syracuse — 55
Prentiss Hubb — Notre Dame — 42
Armando Bacot — North Carolina — 41
Scottie Barnes — Florida State — 41

HONORABLE MENTION
Michael Devoe — Georgia Tech — 35
Kihei Clark — Virginia — 31
Alan Griffin — Syracuse — 29
David Johnson — Louisville — 22
Nate Laszewski — Notre Dame — 18
Jericole Hellems — NC State — 13
Tyrece Radford — Virginia Tech — 10
Note: All-ACC Team points are determined on a 5-3-1 system (five points for first team, three points for second team, one point for third team).

ACC PLAYER OF YEAR
Moses Wright — Georgia Tech

ACC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Scottie Barnes — Florida State

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jose Alvarado — Georgia Tech

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
Matthew Hurt — Duke

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
Scottie Barnes — Florida State

COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike Young — Virginia Tech

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
Jose Alvarado — Georgia Tech
Manny Bates — NC State
Jay Huff — Virginia
Jordan Goldwire — Duke
Moses Wright — Georgia Tech

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Scottie Barnes — Florida State
DJ Steward — Duke
Day’Ron Sharpe — North Carolina
Jae’Lyn Withers — Louisville
Caleb Love — North Carolina

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