Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr., has been named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week as selected by the United States Basketball Writers Association.
Carey, who was also honored as the ACC Freshman and Co-Player of the Week, put up monster numbers in leading the top-ranked Blue Devils to the 2K Empire Classic last week at Madison Square Garden. The freshman poured in 51 points and 22 rebounds in wins over Cal and Georgetown en route to Empire Classic MVP honors.
A native of Southwest Ranches, Fla., Carey had 31 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes against Cal, marking the fewest minutes played in a 30-point game in Duke history — surpassing Shane Battier‘s 31 points in 24 minutes against Davidson on 12/21/99. It was just the sixth 30-10-4 game in Duke history, and third by a freshman, joining Marvin Bagley III and Zion Williamson. In Friday’s Empire Classic title game, Carey scored 20 points with 10 rebounds as the Blue Devils held off Georgetown, 81-73.
Carey, who was 19-of-32 from the field (.594) for the week, ranks fifth the ACC in scoring (18.3) and is tied for fourth in rebounding (9.2), while his .609 shooting percentage is tied for the ACC lead. He is riding a streak of four consecutive double-doubles, with the last three being 20-10 efforts.
Awarded since the 2009-10 season, Carey becomes the fourth Blue Devil to win the Oscar Robertson Player of the Week joining Mason Plumlee (2/10/13 and 1/29/12), Nolan Smith (2/13/11) and Jon Scheyer (12/20/09). Former Blue Devil Zion Williamson won the Oscar Robertson National Player of Year trophy last season.