Justin Jackson named 2017 ACC Player of the Year
Jackson is the 14th Tar Heel to win the ACC Player of the Year honor and the first since 2012.
He joins a short list of North Carolina players to win the award under Roy Williams. In 2008, forward Tyler Hansbrough earned ACC Player of the Year honors. A year later, guard Ty Lawson took home the award. Finally, Tyler Zeller won in 2012.
“It’s an honor and a blessing by my God,” Jackson said in a press release. “My teammates are a huge part of this award, and I can’t thank my coaches and them enough.”
Jackson is still in the running for a number of national awards, including the Wooden Award, the Naismith Trophy and the Julius Erving Award.
This season, Jackson has averaged 18.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He leads the Tar Heels in made 3-pointers (85) and is setting career highs in scoring average, 3-point percentage, 3-pointers and rebounds.
This honor in Jackson’s breakout junior campaign comes after a quieter sophomore season. In the 2015-16 season, Jackson ranked fourth among the Tar Heels in scoring with 12.2 points per game and shot 29.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Jackson was also named to the All-ACC first team along with Duke’s Luke Kennard, Wake Forest’s John Collins, Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson and Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell.
UNC placed one other player on an All-ACC team, as guard Joel Berry earned second team honors. Berry was named National Player of the Week twice and ACC Player of the Week four times this season.
“I’m just ecstatic for Justin, Joel and our team,” head coach Roy Williams said in a press release. “Justin and Joel have been outstanding for us the entire season. They’re a big reason why we’ve been able to reach the first of our goals — to win the ACC regular-season championship.”
North Carolina is 26-6 this season, including a 14-4 record in league play. The team capped off its 31st regular season ACC title with a 90-83 win over Duke on Saturday and will open ACC Tournament play at noon on Thursday against the winner of Syracuse and Miami.