As the Blue Devils prepare to compete for one trophy, the team captain has a new addition to his personal trophy case.
Junior forward Wendell Moore Jr. was announced as the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Julius Erving Award winner as the nation’s best small forward Saturday afternoon.
Moore, a captain of this year’s team, has been one of the top contributors to Duke’s success, as the Charlotte native was key to running the country’s top offense and providing a sturdy defensive leader on the other end. He is Duke’s second-leading scorer behind freshman Paolo Banchero and leads the team in assists and steals.
The 20-year-old also added to the Duke history books earlier this season with his Nov. 12 triple-double against Army and was a key factor in the Blue Devils’ neutral-site victory against Gonzaga that same month, with his 20 points, six assists and six steals. He also had a career year from the 3-point line, shooting at 41.1%—a full 11 percentage points higher than last season.
Thus far in the NCAA tournament, Moore has averaged over 33 minutes, scoring 13.5 points and 3.5 assists per game. Moore’s presence has been crucial for the Blue Devils to continue their run toward the Final Four, and the award further cements his national recognition as one of the game’s top wings.
Moore beat out Davidson’s Hyunjung Lee, Rutgers’ Ron Harper Jr., Julian Champagnie of St. John’s and Jaime Jaquez from UCLA to claim the award, and becomes the first-ever ACC player to win the award, which was first given out in 2015.
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Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity junior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.