Oregon shooting guard Chris Duarte has been named the top shooting guard in the nation. The winner of the 2020-2021 Jerry West Award, Duarte is the first to do so from the Pac-12 in the history of the award.
As one of the most experienced players on the roster he was the heart and soul of the Oregon basketball team. The Dominican Republic native played in 26 games this season, but missed a bit of time in COVID-19 protocols and with an ankle injury.
His play this season was stellar to say the least, and the team could turn to him whenever it needed a bucket. Duarte's latest accolade is just one of a long list of distinctions from his final season in Eugene.
Other notable achievements
-AP Pac-12 player of the year
-All Pac-12 First Team
-Pac-12 All-Defensive Team
-Sports Illustrated second-team All-America
-Associated Press third-team All-America
-2021 collegiate International Player of the Year by NetScouts Basketball
He spoke about what it means to him to win the award.
"It is an honor to win this award,” Duarte said in a press release Saturday. "It’s an amazing feeling. This was one of the goals that I worked for this year and it feels good to have that hard work pay off."
Jerry West was a very diverse player in his day, and Duarte's versatile game certainly mirrors that.
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"I found out that Jerry West played the one, played the two; he did so many different things really well in his career and that’s how I’d like to be known someday too,” he said. "I’d like to thank my family, my teammates and my coaches for all their help and support. I couldn’t have done this without them.”
Duarte's final stats for the 2020 season: 17.1 PPG (445 total), 53.2% total FG percentage, 42.4% 3PT FG, 1.9 SPG.
Duarte was the only player in major college basketball to average 17 points per game, 1.9 steals, and shoot above 50% from the field.
His attention now turns to the NBA Draft set for July 29.
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