Jayson Tatum wins two Rookie of the Week awards

First full week of college ball earns Tatum ACC and national recognition

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
Duke Blue Devils forward Jayson Tatum (0) comes up with a defensive rebound in the first half of the college basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham

Jayson Tatum had to wait longer than most freshmen to make his college debut, but he’s making up for lost time. Three games into his Blue Devils career, the Duke forward has earned a pair of Rookie of the Week awards. Tatum missed the first eight games of the season, recovering from a sprained foot suffered in preseason practice. He made his debut Dec. 3 against Maine, scoring 10 points and pulling down eight rebounds in 20 minutes. That game didn’t count in the Rookie of the Week evaluation, which ran from Dec. 4 to Dec. 10.In his second collegiate game, against Florida at the Jimmy V Classic, Tatum had 22 points and another eight rebounds. He followed that with a 13-point, five-rebound outing at UNLV, giving him averages of 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks for the week. Tatum shot .522 from the field and hit all 10 of his free throws. The performance earned Tatum ACC Rookie of the Week honors. He became the second Duke player to win the honor this season, following Frank Jackson, who was honored for the opening week of the season. Tatum was also named National Freshman of the Week by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), in conjunction with the Waymon Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award. It’s the fourth straight year that a Duke player has won the USBWA National Freshman of the Week Award at least once. Tatum follows Brandon Ingram last year, Jahlil Okafor in 2015 and Jabari Parker in 2014. Parker and Okafor also won the Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award. It’s the third straight year Duke has had two freshmen win the ACC weekly honors. Jackson and Tatum join Ingram and Luke Kennard, who were honored last season, and Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, who each won it in 2015.