Williams and Nelson Honored

Shelden Williams was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year Tuesday in a vote by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Williams earned 91 of a possible 121 votes for the award and was also a unanimous selection to the All-Defensive team. DeMarcus Nelson was named to the All-Freshman team, as well.

The announcement comes on the heels of the All-ACC teams released Monday. Williams and teammate J.J. Redick were named first team All-ACC as Redick was the only unanimous selection to the squad.

"He's got to be a candidate for National Player of the Year," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Williams Tuesday before the announcement in a press conference. "He's the best shot blocker I've coached. With this team in particular, he's the main reason we are a really good defensive team."

Williams is the only player in the NCAA to rank in the top seven nationally in rebounding and blocked shots. His 11.1 rebounds per game average is the highest in the Coach K era at Duke and he's on pace to be just the third player in Duke history to lead the ACC in rebounding. He also leads the league in blocks, offensive and defensive rebounding. In ACC play, he ranks eighth in the ACC in steals at 1.81 per game and he's the only post player ranked in the top 10.

Nelson has had a solid year for the Blue Devils and has played in every game and averaged 19 minutes per game and 6.6 points per game. One of the better rebounding guards in the ACC, he averages 4.6 rebounds per game despite playing just under a half of the time and he's also hitting on 34.2 percent of his long range shots. He had his best outing of the season against North Carolina in Durham on February 9 when he scored 16 points and had three assists to go with his four steals defensively. He was matched up for a majority of the game against Rashad McCants, who was held to 11 points in 33 minutes for the Tar Heels in Duke's 71-70 victory.

Williams, Nelson and the rest of the Blue Devils head to Washington, DC for the 2005 ACC Tournament. The third seed, Duke will play at 9 p.m. Friday and face the winner six seed Miami and 11 seed Virginia, who face off Thursday night in the first round.

Defensive Player of the Year
Shelden Williams, Duke

ACC All-Defensive Team Shelden Williams, Duke*
Chris Paul, Wake Forest
Anthony King, Miami
Jackie Manuel, UNC
Jamon Gordon, Virginia Tech

Honorable Mention
Raymond Felton, UNC
Sharrod Ford, Clemson

ACC All-Freshman Team
Marvin Williams, UNC*
Sean Singletary, Virginia
Cliff Hammonds, Georgia Tech
DeMarcus Nelson, Duke
Deron Washington, Virginia Tech

Honorable Mention
Andrew Brackman, N.C. State

*-Denotes Unanimous Selection

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