Duke's Rivers Is ACC's Unanimous Rookie of the Year

March 6, 2012

GREENSBORO, N.C. (ACSMA) — Duke’s Austin Rivers, the seventh freshman to earn first-team All-ACC honors, added a distinction on Tuesday when he became the second unanimous Rookie of the Year in the award’s 37-year history.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Winter Park, Fla., a nine-time Rookie of the Week choice, received all 62 votes from members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. He joins North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough (2006) as an undisputed honoree.

“It is an honor to receive this award,” said Rivers. “Working hard throughout the season and having great teammates and coaches has really helped me and I am going to share this award with them. Individual awards are great, but at the same time we are all focused on winning championships as a team and that is what I want to win.”

Rivers is averaging 15.3 points per game for the Blue Devils and is on track to become the first freshman to lead the team in scor-ing since Johnny Dawkins did so in 1982-83. He played 35 or more minutes in 10 of his team’s final 12 regular-season ACC games and went 17-for-37 from the 3-point line in a five-game midseason stretch.

His best statistical output came in a win at North Carolina on Feb. 8 in which he made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to cap a 29-point personal effort and conclude his team’s comeback from a 10-point deficit in the final 2:20 of play. Rivers’ point total is the highest by a Duke freshman in the histo-ry of the series with the Tar Heels, which now numbers 235 games.

Duke’s ACC Rookies of the Year
Austin Rivers, 2012
Kyle Singler, 2008
Chris Duhon, 2001
Gene Banks, 1978
Mike Gminski, 1977
Jim Spanarkel, 1976

Rivers is the sixth Blue Devil to be named Rookie of the Year.

The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association is an organization of journalists dedicated to fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between the news media and the institutions and administration of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The group serves as a liaison to decision-makers.