Duke's Williamson, UVa's Bennett earn individual ACC awards

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Duke freshman Zion Williamson is both The Associated press player and newcomer of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Virginia's Tony Bennett is the coach of the year for the second straight year.

Williamson is the third player in ACC history to sweep player and rookie honors, joining Duke predecessors Jahili Okafor (2015) and Marvin Bagley III (2018).

Hunter claimed defensive player of the year and Florida State's Mfiondu Kabengele is the sixth man of the year while Louisville's Jordan Nwora was named most improved player. Only the North Carolina Tar Heels, this season, matched UVa's 16 wins during this era.

Duke (26-4, 14-3 ACC) is 3-2 in the almost five full games without Williamson, who is averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds as he's made himself a candidate to be national player of the year and the No. 1 overall NBA draft pick. Barrett won the ACC scoring title, averaging 23.4 points while pulling down 7.5 rebounds per game.

R.J. Barrett finished second in the voting to Williamson for the Player and Rookie of the Year Award, but Barrett was placed on the All-ACC First Team along side Williamson with 346 votes, four votes shy of being an unanimous selection.

Virginia's Kyle Guy and North Carolina's Coby White lead a second team that also includes Luke Maye of the Tar Heels along with Clemson's Marcquise Reed and Virginia Tech's Kerry Blackshear Jr.

Ty Jerome, Virginia, 6-5,195, Jr., New Rochelle, New York.

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UNC coach Roy Williams on Thursday said the Tar Heels (25-5, 15-2) were preparing as if Williamson would play, but "why worry about that part of it?"

Hunter is joined on the all-defensive team by Williamson, Duke's Tre Jones, Georgia Tech's James Banks and Clemson's Elijah Thomas.

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White's emergence means that teams can not simply try and lock down Johnson on the outside or double Maye in the paint, a huge development for North Carolina's postseason chances.

Five coaches received votes in the coach of the year race.

Bennett received eight votes for the coaching award after leading the Cavaliers (28-2) to a share of first place with North Carolina in the final standings and their second straight No. 1 seed in the league tournament. Florida State has the fourth bye.