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Louisville’s Harrell, Duke’s Okafor claim first honors of 2014-15 season
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Louisville junior Montrezl Harrell has been selected as the first Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Player of the Week, while Duke’s Jahlil Okafor was a unanimous selection as ACC Freshman of the Week. The honors were determined by a vote of a selected media panel.
Harrell scored a career-high 30 points in the Cardinals’ 81-68 season-opening win over Minnesota in the Armed Forces Classic. He added seven rebounds, two dunks, two steals and shot an impressive percentage in all facets – 9-of-12 on field goals, including 3-of-4 on 3-pointers, and 9-of-10 on free throws. Harrell saw 38 minutes of action in a game played in a very warm converted hangar on the US Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The Tarboro, North Carolina, preseason All-American’s previous scoring high had been 25 points against Memphis last season.
Okafor averaged 18.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 blocks per game as Duke opened the year with wins over Presbyterian and Fairfield. The Chicago, Illinois, native was nearly unstoppable from the field, going 17-of-20 (.850) in the two games. Okafor began his Duke career with a game-high 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting in 23 minutes of action in a 113-44 win over the Blue Hose. He added six rebounds, four assists (with no turnovers) and a block in the season opener. Okafor delivered 17 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal the following night against Fairfield. He was 8-of-10 from the field as Duke rolled to a 109-59 victory.