DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Just a year ago, many basketball minds and scouts noted that Duke point guard Tre Jones needed to improve from the perimeter, especially if he had his sights set on being a lottery pick in the NBA Draft.
What a difference a year makes.
Not only did Jones raise his three-point percentage, but it also skyrocketed a whole 10 percentage points (26% to 36%).
That hard work and dedication are just one of the many reasons he is the 2019-20 ACC Player of the Year. Jones is also the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year and took home first-team All-ACC honors.
Jones, an honorable mention All-ACC pick last season, becomes just the second player in conference history to win Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, joining Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon in 2015-16.
Duke has boasted the ACC Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons (Marvin Bagley III in 2018, Zion Williamson in 2019), and all-time, the program’s 18 selections are the most in conference history — 14 coming under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Jones has been the floor general all season long for the No. 12 Blue Devils, who enter this week’s ACC tournament as the No. 4 seed with a 25-6 overall record and 15-5 conference mark.
The sophomore team captain, who is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award and the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, is sixth in the ACC in scoring (16.2), second in assists (6.4), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (+2.4), sixth in steals (1.8) and 11th in field goal percentage (.423). He is the only player ranked in the league’s top 11 in each of those categories.
Other postseason honors for Duke, UNC and N.C. State
Highly-touted Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr. was named the ACC’s Freshman of the Year and joined Jones on the first-team All-ACC list. Carey was also named to the ACC’s All-Freshman team.
A semifinalist for the Citizen Naismith Trophy and finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, Carey is the only player ranked in the ACC’s top 10 in scoring (third, 17.8), rebounding (fourth, 8.8), field goal percentage (first, .577) and blocked shots (sixth, 1.6).
The freshman from Miami, Fla., has posted 15 double-doubles this season, which is ranked second among NCAA freshmen and second in the ACC. Ten of his double-doubles have been 20-10 performances, while 14 have come as 15-10 games.
Carey is second nationally among freshmen in scoring, third in field goal percentage and fourth in rebounds.
Classmate Cassius Stanley joined Carey on the All-Freshman team.
Stanley ranks third on the Blue Devils this season in scoring (12.6) and second in rebounding (4.9). Duke was the only school with two players selected to the All-Freshman squad.
Junior forward Garrison Brooks and freshman point guard Cole Anthony earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors.
Brooks was a second-team All-ACC selection and was voted the league’s Most Improved Player. Anthony was voted to the third team and the All-Freshman team.
Brooks is the third Tar Heel to earn Most Improved Player honors in the seven years the award has been given. Marcus Paige (2014) and Luke Maye (2018) also won the award. No other school has won the award more than once.
The LaFayette, Ala., native is averaging 16.7 points and 8.8 rebounds and has 12 double-doubles, 11 20-point games, including two 30-point games, and is on a four-game run in which he has scored 25 or more points. He is the first Tar Heel to accomplish that since Antwan Jamison in 1998.
Brooks led the ACC in scoring in conference games at 18.8 points per game and was second in rebounding and field goal percentage. He is the fifth Tar Heel to lead the league in scoring in conference play since 1988 and the first to do so since Tyler Hansbrough in 2008 (Jamison in 1998, Joseph Forte in 2001, Rashad McCants in 2004, Hansbrough in 2008 and Brooks in 2020).
Brooks averaged 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 73 games over his first two college seasons.
Anthony is the 22nd Tar Heel to earn All-Freshman team honors since 1994 (the 13th to play for Roy Williams).
Anthony leads the Tar Heels in scoring at 19.6 points per game, best in the country among freshmen, and on pace to set the UNC single-season record for a freshman.
N.C. State senior point guard Markell Johnson was selected to the second-team All-ACC squad.
Johnson led the ACC in assists for the second time in his career after doing the same as a sophomore. Johnson also finished with 13 points and 4.4 rebounds in his final campaign with the Wolfpack.
Johnson helped lead the Wolfpack to a 19-12 (10-10 ACC) regular-season record.
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke, 367
Jordan Nwora, Louisville, 359
John Mooney, Notre Dame, 351
Tre Jones, Duke, 348
Elijah Hughes, Syracuse, 305
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia, 234
Devin Vassell, Florida State, 212
Garrison Brooks, North Carolina, 209
Trent Forrest, Florida State, 200
Markell Johnson, NC State, 101
Kihei Clark, Virginia, 98
Jose Alvarado, Georgia Tech, 87
Aamir Simms, Clemson, 79
Cole Anthony, North Carolina, 69
Olivier Sarr, Wake Forest, 63
Landers Nolley II, Virginia Tech, 58
Michael Devoe, Georgia Tech, 48
Brandon Childress, Wake Forest 44
Chris Lykes, Miami, 32
M.J. Walker, Florida State, 22
Braxton Key, Virginia, 16
Dwayne Sutton, Louisville 15
Steffon Mitchell, Boston College, 11
ACC Player of the Year
Tre Jones, Duke, 34
Jordan Nwora, Louisville, 17
John Mooney, Notre Dame, 11
Elijah Hughes, Syracuse, 7
Trent Forrest, Florida State, 4
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia 2
Freshman of the Year
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke, 70
Landers Nolley II, Virginia Tech, 2
Cole Anthony, North Carolina, 2
Patrick Williams, Florida State, 1
Tre Jones, Duke, 64
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia, 55
Trent Forrest, Florida State, 55
James Banks III, Georgia Tech, 34
Steffon Mitchell, Boston College, 30
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke, 75
Cole Anthony, North Carolina, 55
Landers Nolley II, Virginia Tech, 54
Cassius Stanley, Duke, 36
Patrick Williams, Florida State, 29
Coach of the Year
Leonard Hamilton, Florida State, 62
Tony Bennett, Virginia, 12
Chris Mack, Louisville, 1
Defensive Player of the Year
Tre Jones, Duke, 45
Trent Forrest, Florida State, 18
Steffon Mitchell, Boston College, 8
Kihei Clark, Virginia, 3
Manny Bates, NC State, 1
Most Improved Player
Garrison Brooks, North Carolina, 17
Olivier Sarr, Wake Forest, 16
Devin Vassell, Florida State, 16
Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse, 10
Aamir Simms, Clemson, 6
Moses Wright, Georgia Tech, 6
Prentiss Hubb, Notre Dame, 2
DJ Funderburk, NC State, 1
Jay Huff, Virginia, 1
6th Man of the Year
Patrick Williams, Florida State, 35
Malik Williams, Louisville, 28
Dane Goodwin, Notre Dame, 9
Isaiah Wong, Miami, 3
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