Duke junior Wendell Moore Jr., was named the ACC Player of the Week and freshman Paolo Banchero was tapped the ACC Freshman of the Week after leading the No. 1 Blue Devils to a pair of wins over The Citadel and then-No. 1 Gonzaga.
Moore averaged 21.0 points on .583 field goal shooting to go with 7.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists in the two games. He kicked off the week by nearly recording his second triple-double of the season, posting 22 points, eight boards and nine assists in Monday’s win over The Citadel. The Charlotte, N.C., native followed up with another all-around performance to help the Blue Devils come away with an 84-81 victory over the No. 1 Zags, earning Continental Tire Challenge MVP honors. He finished 6-of-10 from the floor and 7-of-10 from the free throw line for 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and a career-high six steals.
Sixteen of Moore’s 20 points against Gonzaga came in the second half, including a 5-of-6 rate at the free throw line in the game’s final 90 seconds. For the week, he turned the ball over just three times while dishing out 15 assists.
This marks the first career ACC weekly honor for Moore, who has scored 20+ points in three consecutive games for the first time as a Blue Devil. He is one of only two players nationally – and the only power conference player – averaging 17.0+ points, 6.0+ rebounds, 5.0+ assists and shooting .500+ from the field this season. The junior continues to establish himself as a facilitator as well as scorer, as his 5.7 assists lead the ACC and rank 21st nationally.
Banchero picks up his second ACC Freshman of the Week nod this season after back-to-back 20-point efforts of his own. He netted a career-high 28 on Monday against The Citadel, while pulling down eight rebounds and handing out a career-best six assists. The Seattle, Wash., native helped Duke shoot out to a halftime lead against Gonzaga, as 20 of his 21 points came in the opening period before the freshman dealt with cramping issues in the second half.
For the week, Banchero had 13 rebounds, eight assists, one turnover and three steals. After recording one assist and 10 turnovers over the first three games this season, he has 13 assists to two turnovers in the last four contests. He finished 18-of-36 (.500) from the field in the two wins and went 8-of-9 (.889) at the free throw line.
Banchero is fifth in the ACC in scoring and leads all NCAA true freshmen with his 18.3 points per game.
Duke has boasted the ACC Freshman of the Week in all three weeks this season, as Banchero earned the honor on Nov. 15 and AJ Griffin received the recognition on Nov. 22. Over the last eight-plus seasons, Duke has had an ACC Freshman of the Week in 67 of a possible 139 weeks. Twenty different Blue Devils have won the award at least once in that time.
No. 1 Duke (7-0) faces another marquee test away from home on Tuesday night when the Blue Devils travel to Ohio State for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tipoff is set for 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.