Fresh off two straight games with 20+ points, junior guard Jeremy Roach has been named Co-ACC Player of the Week and is joined by freshman forward Dereck Lively II, who was named ACC Rookie of the Week for the first time in his career.
Roach logged his third and fourth games of at least 20 points this season in games against Wake Forest and North Carolina last week, the first time in his career he’s eclipsed 20 points in back-to-back games. Against the Demon Deacons, the Leesburg, Va., native scored 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting. He scored 17 first-half points, a new career-high, and matched his career-high for field goals made. Against the Tar Heels, Roach played all 40 minutes and scored the first five points and eight of the team’s final 10 en route to a game-high 20.
This is Roach’s first Player of the Week recognition of his career. It’s Duke’s 146th all-time Player of the Week selection, trailing North Carolina by only three, and the first for the Blue Devils since Trevor Keels was named Player of the Week last season on Feb. 14, 2022.
Lively has found his stride as of late, averaging 5.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 22 blocks (3.1) over the last seven games. Against Wake Forest, he scored seven points, secured six boards and blocked four shots in 20 minutes of action. On Saturday night, in his first game against North Carolina, the Philadelphia, Pa., native had a monster game with eight blocks and 14 total rebounds along with two key put-back dunks in the second half. The eight blocks were the most by any Duke player against the Tar Heels, and two shy of the program’s single-game record for blocked shots (set by Cherokee Parks and Sheldon Williams). The strong defensive effort by Lively helped Duke hold North Carolina to a season-low 57 points in the Blue Devils’ victory.
Lively’s honor is his first of his career and marks Duke’s ACC-leading 154th all-time Rookie of the Week selection. Over the last 10 seasons (since the start of 2013-14), Duke has had an ACC Rookie of the Week in 82 of a possible 166 weeks (49.3%). Twenty-three different Blue Devils have won the award at least once in that time. The Blue Devils’ 154 all-time Rookie of the Week awards lead the ACC by 57.
Duke (17-6, 8-4) returns to action on Monday night as a part of ESPN’s Big Monday slate, taking on No. 19 Miami (18-5, 9-4) at 7 p.m., inside the Watsco Center. The game is broadcast on ESPN.