Duke basketball could put three on ACC All-Freshman Team

Duke basketball (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /
3 of 4

ACC All-Freshman Team candidate: Duke basketball center Mark Williams

Granted, Duke basketball freshman Mark Williams is averaging only 4.6 points and 3.8 rebounds this season. That said, there is arguably no one in the country who has enjoyed a bigger leap from the early stages of the season to the present. In several recent games, there have been moments when the former five-star’s arsenal in the post looked like the No. 1 game-changer on the floor.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting the absolute prowess of Williams as an instinctive rim protector on defense. Yes, the high-IQ 7-footer from Virginia is blocking 4.6 shots per 40 minutes, which ties the 2005-06 senior-year mark of Duke’s all-time swatter, Shelden “The Landlord” Williams.

And again, it’s definitely important to mention his February rise.

Mark Williams has started at center the past six games, averaging 8.3 points, 5.5 boards, and 2.3 blocks in that span despite playing only seven minutes against Virginia. Against Syracuse, he tallied his first double-double as a collegian, seeing career-highs with 18 points and 11 rebounds to go along with two blocks and a 9-for-11 shooting clip from the field in 25 minutes of action.

Mark Williams’ chance of making the ACC All-Freshman Team? 40 percent