UNCs Berry, States Smith earn ACC weekly awards

Joel Berry of the Tar Heels was named the leagues Player of the week while the Wolfpacks Dennis Smith Jr. earned Rookie of the Week honors for their performances over the past seven days

Bob Donnan—X02835
Jan 8

The head-to-head matchup between star guards Joel Berry of North Carolina and Dennis Smith Jr. of NC State didn’t live up to its advance billing on Sunday thanks to the Tar Heels’ runaway victory. Both players still managed to come away winners, though, when the ACC handed out its weekly awards a day later. Berry was named the league’s Player of the week and Smith earned Rookie of the Week honors for their performances over the past seven days. Smith had the most eye-popping performance by recording only the second triple double in Wolfpack history in Wednesday’s 104-78 win against Virginia Tech. The freshman point guard hit for 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds while also adding five steals to become the first rookie in ACC history to post double-figure totals in three different statistical categories. He followed that up by scoring a team-leading 11 points with five assists and three steals in State’s lopsided loss in Chapel Hill. Berry, meanwhile, put together two more consistent efforts in earning his third Player of the Week award this season. The junior guard scored a career 31 points, including 23 in the second half and overtime, while hitting seven of 10 3-pointers to lead UNC to a come-from-behind victory at Clemson on Tuesday. He added 19 points. five assists and five rebounds in just 23 minutes of action to catapult the Tar Heels to a historic 106-57 rout of their neighboring rivals. Berry made six of his 10 field goal attempts, including three 3-pointers in the Tar Heels’ biggest win ever against the Wolfpack.