After a season of carrying the Tar Heels to an outright ACC regular season championship, Justin Jackson has been awarded the ACC Player of the Year. It seemed like the award would come down to Jackson and Duke’s Luke Kennard as the regular season came to a close, but Jackson received 24 votes.
Kennard didn’t even finish in second place with Wake Forest’s John Collins following Jackson with 15 votes. Jackson joins Collins, Kennard, Bonzie Colson, and Donovan Mitchell on the All-ACC first team. Joel Berry II is on the second team and Kennedy Meeks was an honorable mention.
Jackson scored 20 or more points in 16 games for the Tar Heels this season. He made at least four three-pointers in 11 games and finished seventh in the ACC in scoring. His play helped propel UNC to the regular season title and the #1 seed in this week’s ACC Tournament in a season that is widely regarded as one of the toughest the conference has seen.
Roy Williams finished second for ACC Coach of the Year to Georgia Tech’s Josh Pastner. Pastner received 24 votes to Williams’ eight. The Yellow Jackets were not expected to win a single ACC game this year before going on to be quite a surprise in conference play. Pastner winning seemed a long time coming, even though Williams had a very strong argument for why it should be given to him instead.
With Jackson’s award, his jersey will be added to the honored jerseys in the Smith Center rafters alongside Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson from last season. It seems like this may very well be Jackson’s last season at Carolina, and if it is, he’ll join the ranks of the best to ever wear the uniform.