Each day from December 19th-December 29th, GoDuke.com will profile its top 11 stories of 2011. On the final day, a special edition of GoDuke Weekly will feature video highlights of all 11 stories.
6. Seven ACC Player of the Year Honorees
Seven Blue Devils – Kellie Catanach (volleyball), Lindy Duncan (women’s golf), Ryan Finley (men’s soccer), Abby Johnston (women’s diving), Nick McCrory (men’s diving), Nolan Smith (men’s basketball) and Andrew Wenger (men’s soccer) – garnered ACC Player of the Year honors in their respective sports.
Catanach earned the ACC’s top honor as the Blue Devils went 27-7 on the year and advanced to the national quarterfinals before losing to eventual NCAA champion Penn State. She led the ACC in assists (1,419) for the second time in three seasons and also received third team All-America recognition from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Duncan, who placed eighth individually at the NCAA Championships, posted the eighth-best single-season stroke average (72.62) in Duke history. She also earned first team All-America accolades for the second straight year.
Finley matched the school’s single-season record for goals with 17 en route to earning the league’s Offensive Player of the Year accolade. His teammate, Wenger, received the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Johnston and McCrory both received ACC Diver of the Year honors after capturing first place in both the one- and three-meter disciplines at the conference’s championship meet.
Smith became Duke’s 12th ACC Player of the Year honoree in men’s basketball. Also a first team All-America selection and the MVP of the ACC Tournament, he averaged 20.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game as Duke went 32-5 on the year.