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Duke's Jahlil Okafor voted ACC player, rookie of year; Virginia's Bennett wins coaching award

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GREENSBORO, North Carolina — Duke's Jahlil Okafor is the first freshman in Atlantic Coast Conference history to win the league's player of the year award.

Okafor on Sunday also was announced as a unanimous selection both as ACC rookie of the year and to the all-conference first team. The ACC announced its award winners following a vote of 64 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

Okafor and Notre Dame's Jerian Grant were the unanimous picks to an all-ACC first team that also included Syracuse's Rakeem Christmas, Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon and Boston College's Olivier Hanlan.

Virginia's Tony Bennett was selected as coach of the year for the second straight season after once again leading the Cavaliers to the No. 1 seed in the league tournament.

PHOTO: North Carolina's Brice Johnson, left, guards Duke's Jahlil Okafor (15) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
North Carolina's Brice Johnson, left, guards Duke's Jahlil Okafor (15) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Okafor received 44 votes for the player of the year award to 14 for Grant.

Okafor ranks second in the ACC in scoring (18.2) and third in rebounding (9.2) and has scored in double figures in every game but one for the third-ranked Blue Devils.

Virginia's Darion Atkins was picked as the defensive player of the year while Christmas was chosen most improved and North Carolina State's BeeJay Anya was the sixth man of the year.

Two players from ACC newcomer Louisville — Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier — made the second team along with Duke guard Quinn Cook, North Carolina State's Trevor Lacey and Virginia's Justin Anderson.

Three Duke players — Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow — comprise the all-freshman team along with Florida State's Xavier Rathan-Mayes and North Carolina's Justin Jackson.

Bennett received 52 votes for the coaching award to six for Notre Dame's Mike Brey and five for Duke's Mike Krzyzewski.

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