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Anthony Chiusano | | April 7, 2019

Zion Williamson wins Naismith Trophy as 2019 most outstanding men’s college basketball player

Duke's Zion Williamson on expectations, motivations — and wanting a title

Duke freshman Zion Williamson was announced the winner of the 2019 Naismith Trophy on Sunday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The national award is handed out annually to the most outstanding men's college basketball player.

Williamson is the eighth player out of Duke to win the Naismith Trophy. He edged out fellow finalists Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga), Grant Williams (Tennessee) and Ja Morant (Murray State) for the honor.

Williamson finished with 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game in 33 games played. He was a unanimous first-team AP All-American and swept ACC top honors as the conference's Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. The two-way star also earned All-ACC defensive honors.

player Points per game rebounds per game assists per game blocks per game steals per game  
Zion Williamson 22.6 8.9 2.1 1.8 2.1  
Rui Hachimura 19.7 6.5 1.5 0.7 0.9  
Grant Williams 18.8 7.5 3.2 1.5 1.1  
Ja Morant 24.5 5.7 10.0 0.8 1.8  

The 6-7, 285-pound freshman returned from injury to lead the Blue Devils to an ACC tournament title — where he was named tournament Most Outstanding Player with 27 points per game — and the top overall seed in the 2019 NCAA tournament. Duke advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to Michigan State.

In four NCAA tournament games, Williamson averaged 26 points and 8.5 rebounds. He posted 32 points in a narrow victory over UCF in the second round, marking his fifth 30-point performance of the season.

Williamson is the 51st winner of the Naismith Trophy, which has been awarded to representatives from 31 different schools since debuting in 1969. He is the first winner out of Duke since J.J. Redick took home the trophy in 2006.

Below is the complete history of past winners of the men's Naismith Trophy:

2019 Zion Williamson Duke
2018 Jalen Brunson Villanova
2017 Frank Mason III Kansas
2016 Buddy Hield Oklahoma
2015 Frank Kaminsky III Wisconsin
2014 Doug McDermott Creighton
2013 Trey Burke Michigan
2012 Anthony Davis Kentucky
2011 Jimmer Fredette BYU
2010 Evan Turner Ohio State
2009 Blake Griffin Oklahoma
2008 Tyler Hansbrough North Carolina
2007 Kevin Durant Texas
2006 J.J. Redick Duke
2005 Andrew Bogut Utah
2004 Jameer Nelson Saint Joseph's
2003 T.J. Ford Texas
2002 Jay Williams Duke
2001 Shane Battier Duke
2000 Kenyon Martin Cincinnati
1999 Elton Brand Duke
1998 Antawn Jamison North Carolina
1997 Tim Duncan Wake Forest
1996 Marcus Camby UMass
1995 Joe Smith Maryland
1994 Glenn Robinson Purdue
1993 Calbert Cheaney Indiana
1992 Christian Laettner Duke
1991 Larry Johnson UNLV
1990 Lionel Simmons LaSalle
1989 Danny Ferry Duke
1988 Danny Manning Kansas
1987 David Robinson Navy
1986 Johnny Dawkins Duke
1985 Patrick Ewing Georgetown
1984 Michael Jordan North Carolina
1983 Ralph Sampson Virginia
1982 Ralph Sampson Virginia
1981 Ralph Sampson Virginia
1980 Mark Aguirre DePaul
1979 Larry Bird Indiana State
1978 Butch Lee Marquette
1977 Marques Johnson UCLA
1976 Scott May Indiana
1975 David Thompson N.C. State
1974 Bill Walton UCLA
1973 Bill Walton UCLA
1972 Bill Walton UCLA
1971 Austin Carr Notre Dame
1970 Pete Maravich LSU
1969 Lew Alcindor UCLA

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