ACC Basketball: Players of the Week Announced

Syracuse’s Christmas, Duke’s Okafor are recognized

ACC Players of the Week Presented by Havoline

GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – Syracuse center Rakeem Christmas has been selected as the Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Player of the Week in a vote by a select media panel, while Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor was voted the ACC Rookie of the Week.

The ACC Player of the Week honor is the second of the season for Christmas, while Okafor was chosen the ACC Rookie of the Week for the seventh time this season and the third week in a row.

In two games last week, the Orange’s Christmas averaged 28.0 points and 9.5 rebounds while shooting .676 (23-of-34) from the floor. In an overtime win against Wake Forest, the 6-foot-9 graduate student from Philadelphia had a career-high 35 points (13-of-21 from the floor, 9-of-12 from the line) with nine rebounds, two assists, a block and two steals while playing all 45 minutes. Christmas hit two free throws with 1:41 left in regulation to help force overtime and scored eight points in the extra session. He was 6-of-6 from the line in overtime. In this past Saturday’s loss at Clemson, Christmas scored a game-high 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor with 10 rebounds in 40 minutes.

Okafor averaged 16.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per game in a pair of contests for the Blue Devils. He was 14-of-23 (.609) from the field and 5-of-7 (.714) from the free throw line on the week. The Chicago native recorded his fifth double-double of the year with 15 points and 15 rebounds, including eight offensive boards in Tuesday’s loss to visiting Miami. He followed up with 18 points, seven rebounds and a block as Duke posted an impressive 63-52 road win over No. 6 Louisville. Okafor was 8-of-10 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line, while anchoring a defense that limited Louisville to just 29.5 percent (18-of-61) shooting for the game.