Duke basketball players earn high honors despite disappointing year

Duke basketball sophomore Matthew Hurt (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball sophomore Matthew Hurt (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team saw a handful of players honored by the ACC for their performances. 

Despite the disappointing regular season, the Duke basketball program still had several players named to the top honors in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

As expected, Matthew Hurt led the Blue Devils, being named to the All-ACC First Team as well as being named as the ACC’s Most Improved Player.

Hurt averaged 18.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game in the regular season while shooting 56.0-percent from the floor and 43.7-percent from three-point range.

As a freshman, the Minnesota native posted 9.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game with a 48.7-shooting percentage and 39.3-percent clip from downtown.

Grayson Allen is the only other player to ever win ACC Most Improved Player under Mike Krzyzewski.

Hurt was also the 75th player in program history to be named as an All-ACC First Team selection as Duke has put a player on the team for 14 consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in the conference.

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Freshman guard DJ Steward was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team as he was the conference’s leading rookie scorer with 13.0 points per game.

Steward also posted 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 42.9-percent from the floor.

The Chicago, Illinois native is the 31st All-Freshman selection in Duke history, once again extending its ACC record.

Senior point guard Jordan Goldwire was selected to the ACC’s All-Defensive Team after he averaged 2.3 steals per game, the second most in the conference.

Goldwire also extends a Duke record as the 19th selection to the ACC All-Defensive Team, the most in ACC history.

Duke basketball does see some streaks end

Moses Wright of Georgia Tech became the first non-Duke player to be named as the conference’s top player since North Carolina’s Justin Jackson in the 2016-17 season.

Florida State’s Scottie Barnes was named as the ACC Rookie of the Year, the first non-Blue Devil to win the award since Dennis Smith Jr. of North Carolina State, also in the 2016-17 season.

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Prior to Barnes’ honor, Duke has produced the ACC Rookie of the Year in six of the last seven seasons.

The Blue Devils (11-11, 9-9 ACC) will return to the court in the First Round of the ACC Tournament on Tuesday, March 9 against the Boston College Eagles (4-15, 2-11 ACC) at 4:30pm EST (ACC Network).

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