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Blue Devils’ Parker picks up third ACC Rookie of the Week honor
GREENSBORO, N.C. – North Carolina sophomore guard Marcus Paige is the unanimous choice as the Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Player of the Week, while Duke forward Jabari Parker earned his third ACC Rookie of the Week honor of the young season.
Paige scored a combined 58 points in wins over Richmond and third-ranked Louisville as UNC won the Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament in Uncasville, Conn. The Marion, Iowa native established a career scoring high with 26 points in semifinals against Richmond, then broke that mark with 32 points in the championship game vs. Louisville.
Paige, who received the vote of every member of the ACC Player of the Week media panel, became the first Tar Heel with 25 points in consecutive games since Harrison Barnes in 2011. He combined to shoot of 15-of-25 from the floor, 9-of-14 from 3-point range and 19-of-20 from the free-throw line. Against Richmond, Paige broke a 56-all tie with a 3-pointers and added two more 3s in the final seven minutes to lead UNC to victory. Paige scored 17 first-half points and 15 in the second half against Louisville. His efforts helped North Carolina shoot better than 50 percent from the floor in both halves versus the defending national champion Cardinals.
Duke’s Parker was named the ACC Rookie of the Week after he scored 20 or more points in all three Duke games on the week to become the first freshman since Eric Gordon (Indiana) in 2007-08 to top the 20-point mark in the first six games of his career. Parker averaged 22.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.7 blocks and 1.3 steals per game in guiding the Blue Devils to wins over UNC Asheville, East Carolina and Vermont. He shot 57.4 percent (27-of-47) from the field and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds in the three contests.
The Chicago native opened the week with a double-double (21 points, 10 rebounds) against the Bulldogs. He followed up with 21 points, nine rebounds, two assists and six blocked shot in the win over East Carolina. Parker came up with three key blocks in the final five minutes of play against the Pirates to help secure the win for the Blue Devils. In Sunday’s win over Vermont, Parker scored a game-high 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while adding nine rebounds (five offensive boards) and two steals. He was at his best during a tight second half, scoring 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting.