BROOKLYN The postseason honors continue to roll in for players from North Carolina and Duke.Two members from each team have been named as finalists for major national awards sponsored by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.UNC’s Justin Jackson, the newly minted ACC Player of the Year, and Duke’s Jayson Tatum are two of the five players in contention for the Julius Erving Award, symbolic of the top small forward in college basketball.The Tar Heels’ Joel Berry is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s best point guard while the Blue Devils’ Luke Kennard is a finalist for the Jerry West Award as the nation’s best shooting guard.Jackson is averaging 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting a career-best 38.5 percent from 3-point range heading into the postseason. Tatum, a third-team All-ACC and All-Rookie team selection, averages 16.3 points and 7.3 rebounds while his .870 free throw percentage would rank third in the league if he had enough attempts to qualify.The other Erving Award finalists are Dillon Brooks of Oregon, Josh Hart of Villanova and Josh Jackson of Kansas.Berry, a finalist for the Cousy Award, is averaging 15.5 points, 3.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game while shooting a career-best 42.6 percent on 3-pointers. He is is vying to become the fourth Tar Heel point guard to win the Cousy Award. Raymond Felton won the honor in 2004-05 and Ty Lawson was the choice in 2008-09, followed by Kendall Marshall in 2011-12.The other four finalists are UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Villanova’s Jalen Brunson, Kansas’ Frank Mason and Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss. Kennard, meanwhile, leads Duke in scoring at 20.1 points per game while averaging 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting a sizzling .450 from 3-point range on his way to first-team All-ACC and second-team All-American honors.His competition for the West Award are Bryce Alford of UCLA, Marcus Foster of Creighton, Peter Jok of Iowa and Malik Monk of Kentucky.The winners of all three awards, along with the Karl Malone Award for power forwards and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award for centers will be announced in April as part of a made-for-television awards show following the season.
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PHOENIX — Roy Williams hopes to get the best of his friend Mark Few on Monday when their teams play one another at University of Phoenix Stadium with college basketball’s national championship on the line. […]