The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced Duke junior Wendell Moore Jr., as the 2022 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year.
Named after Class of 1993 Hall of Famer and 16-year professional basketball player Julius Erving, the annual honor in its eighth year recognizes the top small forwards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in November, which was narrowed to 10 candidates in late January and five finalists in March.
Moore is the first Blue Devil and the first player from an ACC program to win the award.
The Charlotte, N.C., native has established himself as one of the nation’s top all-around performers this season. He enters Saturday’s national semifinal game averaging 13.5 points on .508 field goal shooting, 5.2 rebounds and a team-leading 4.4 assists per game. Moore is one of two players nationally – and the only power conference player – shooting .500+ from the field, .400+ from three-point range and registering 5.0+ boards and 4.0+ assists. Among the ACC, he ranks fourth in assists, fourth in assist/turnover ratio and 15th in steals.
A second-team All-ACC selection, Moore has 13 games this season with 10+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists – the fourth-most such stat lines nationally and most among power conference players. He was also tapped to the ACC All-Defensive Team and is holding opponents to .356 field goal shooting and .313 from three-point range as the primary defender.
In the postseason, Moore is averaging 15.4 points on .507 shooting from the floor, .417 from behind the arc and .963 (26-of-27) at the free throw line. The NABC and USBWA All-District pick has scored in double figures in each of Duke’s four NCAA Tournament wins, highlighted by a 15-point, four-assist performance in the Round of 32 versus Michigan State on March 20.
Moore and the Blue Devils (32-6) take on North Carolina (28-9) in the national semifinal Saturday at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. The game tips at approximately 8:49 p.m. ET on TBS.