Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr. has been named ACC Player of the Week and ACC Freshman of the Week after averaging 26 points and 15 rebounds in leading the Blue Devils to conference wins over Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
Carey scored 26 points in both victories, shooting 11-of-17 from the field with 13 rebounds and a career-high four assists in Tuesday night's win over Pitt. At Syracuse on Saturday night, he grabbed a career-best 17 boards and went 9-of-14 from the field and 8-of-10 at the free throw line. Carey's 17 rebounds against the Orange matched Adonal Foyle and Patrick Ewing as the most by a visiting player at the Carrier Dome.
The native of Miami, Fla., now has 10 double-doubles this season, with each having been 15-10 games and eight 20-10 efforts. The eight 20-10 performances trail only Iowa's Luka Garza (10) for the most by major conference players.
Carey currently leads the ACC in field goal percentage (.597) and is the only player ranked in the top five in the ACC in scoring (third, 17.8), rebounding (fourth, 8.9) and field goal percentage.
The honors mark the second ACC Player of the Week (11/25) and fourth Freshman of the Week (11/25, 12/9, 12/23) recognitions for Carey. Over the last six-plus seasons, Duke has had an ACC Freshman of the Week in 60 of a possible 121 weeks. Fifteen different Blue Devils have won the award at least once in that time.
The Blue Devils continue their three-game road on Tuesday, February 4, when they take on Boston College at Conte Forum at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. - Duke Sports Information
One of the key performers in the Duke win over Pittsburgh last evening was Vernon Carey Jr. The big freshman tallied a team-high 26 points to go with 13 rebounds but he also had a career-high 4 assists. Carey now has nine double-doubles this season and he has scored 20 points or more and grabbed 10 or more rebounds in eight games. Blue Devil Nation caught up to Carey for a brief post-game chat.
It seemed like they wanted to get the ball into you early and often. Was that part of the plan against Pitt?
That was our gameplan coming in, to look inside early and just kind of play through me and I feel like we did a pretty good job of that as a team.
You have come into Duke and had a good shot from day one. What kind of work did you do in the offseason and here for that to happen?
I have always worked inside-out game or post and perimeter. We just work on screens and pops and just everything really.
The team was a little sluggish early after the break and you allowed them to make a comeback in the second half.
We came out a little sluggish and they cut the lead to three and just need to be more poised and turn the ball over less and get more stops.
You get to play in that [Carrier] Dome next. Have you ever played a game in a dome before and are you looking forward to it?
No, I have not played in one yet. I am looking forward to it.
DURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr., was named the ACC Freshman of the Week and also earned Co-Player of the Week honors after leading the Blue Devils to the 2K Empire Classic title last week.
Carey totaled 51 points and 22 rebounds for No. 1 Duke, which defeated Cal and Georgetown last week at Madison Square Garden to claim the 2K Empire Classic crown. Carey extended his streak of double-doubles to four, including a monumental 31-point, 12-rebound, 4-block effort against Cal in the semifinals, and was named the MVP of the 2K Empire Classic.
A native of Southwest Ranches, Fla., Carey scored 31 points in 22 minutes, marking the fewest minutes played in a 30-point game in Duke history -- surpassing Shane Battier's 31 points in 24 minutes against Davidson on 12/21/99. It was just the sixth 30-10-4 game in Duke history, and third by a freshman, joining Marvin Bagley III and Zion Williamson. In Friday's Empire Classic title game, Carey scored 20 points with 10 rebounds as the Blue Devils held off Georgetown, 81-73.
Carey, who was 19-of-32 from the field (.594) for the week, ranks fifth the ACC in scoring (18.3) and is tied for fourth in rebounding (9.2), while his .609 shooting percentage is tied for the ACC lead. Georgia Tech's Michael Devoe earned ACC Player of the Week honors, along with Carey.
The Blue Devils (6-0) host Stephen F. Austin (4-1) Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game can be seen live on the Regional Sports Networks, including Fox Sports South.