Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor was named one of 14 finalist for the 2015 Oscar Robertson Trophy, as announced by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association on Thursday.
The list of contenders for this year’s award was selected by the association’s board of directors.
Okafor has showcased an impressive ability to score efficiently for No. 4 Duke (25-3, 12-3 ACC), and ranks as one of the top players in the ACC in a myriad of categories. The Chicago native currently sits atop the conference in field-goal percentage (.665) and offensive rebounds (4.15), while also ranking in the top 10 in rebounding (9.4, third), blocked shots (1.44, sixth) and defensive rebounds (5.26, eighth).
Nationally, Okafor owns the second-best shooting percentage in the country, and the seventh-best offensive rebounds per game average in the nation this season.
The ACC leads the way with four representatives named to the finalist list: Okafor; Malcolm Brogdon, guard, Virginia; Rakeem Christmas, forward, Syracuse; and Jerian Grant, guard, Notre Dame. Okafor and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell are the only two freshman on the list.
The other finalists: Ron Baker, guard, Wichita State; Willie Cauley-Stein, forward, Kentucky; Frank Kaminsky, forward, Wisconsin; Georges Niang, forward, Iowa State; Kevin Pangos, guard, Gonzaga; Bobby Portis, forward, Arkansas; D’Angelo Russell, guard, Ohio State; Seth Tuttle, forward, Northern Iowa; Kyle Wiltjer, forward, Gonzaga; and Delon Wright, guard, Utah.
The award is to be presented to the national player of the year at the College Basketball Awards on April 14 in Oklahoma City.
Duke: Senior Elizabeth Williams was selected to the 2014-15 Capital One Academic All-America team for Division I, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced Thursday. A psychology major, Williams has a 3.43 GPA over her Duke career. One of the top post players in the nation, Williams is averaging 14.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 2.4 assists for the 16th-ranked Blue Devils.
North Carolina: Junior guard Marcus Paige was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I second team for the second consecutive year, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced Thursday. Paige leads the Tar Heels in scoring (13.3 ppg). He also has a 3.39 GPA while double-majoring in history and journalism and mass communication.
North Carolina: Winter weather has caused the relocation of UNC’s weekend series against Rhode Island, and the two teams will now play at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C. The series will begin with a doubleheader Friday at 11 a.m., with the final game set for 7 p.m. Saturday.
Campbell: The Camels will host the Fighting Camel Classic, which will also feature Furman, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Miami (Ohio). The tournament begins Friday with UMES (1-5) and Furman (3-4) at 1 p.m. at Jim Perry Stadium. Campbell (5-2) will play Miami (1-4) at 4:30 p.m.
East Carolina: The Pirates (2-4) will host Albany this weekend in a three-game series at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium starting Friday at 4 p.m. Thursday’s wintry weather forced the cancellation of the third annual USA Baseball-Irish Classic in Cary.
Duke: The women’s team opens ACC play at home this weekend, against Virginia Tech and Louisville. The Blue Devils look to end a five-match skid, as well as extend a home-match win streak of 17 straight that dates back to last season.
N.C. State: A women’s doubleheader scheduled for Friday at 3 and 7 p.m., has been postponed due to inclement weather. The matches against Louisville and James Madison have been moved to Saturday inside J.W. Isenhour Center, with the first match starting at 11 a.m. and the second match at 4 p.m.
• The men’s team will play a doubleheader Friday against Virginia Commonwealth (10 a.m.) and Howard (3 p.m.) at Richmond, Va. The Wolfpack will host UNC-Wilmington at 1:30 p.m. Monday.
Duke: The men’s team opens the spring season Friday at the three-day John Hayt Collegiate Invitational at Sawgrass Country Club. The field also includes Alabama, Central Florida, Coastal Carolina, Furman, East Carolina, Jacksonville, Louisville, North Florida, North Texas, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas, UAB and UCLA.