March 6, 2018
ATLANTIC 10 MEN'S BASKETBALL AWARDS
PITTSBURGH - Duquesne junior guard Tarin Smith (Ocean Township, N.J./St. Anthony) was named the Atlantic 10 Sixth Man of the Year and freshman swingman Eric Williams Jr. (New Haven, Mich./New Haven) earned a spot on the conference’s All-Rookie Team, as part of league-wide postseason awards announced today. Honorees were selected by a vote of the A-10’s head coaches.
Smith is just the second player in school history to win the sixth man award, joining Kevin Forney who earned sixth man honors in 2003.
The second-year Nebraska transfer, who has scored 20 or more off the bench four times, is averaging 12.5 points and 3.2 assists in just under 29 minutes per game. Smith, who entered this season with 21 3-pointers in 63 career games, has 39 3-pointers in 31 games while seeing his 3-point percentage jump from .212 to .342 this season. Smith has hit three or more 3-pointers in a game five times, a feat he accomplished once in his first two seasons.
Williams Jr., a four-time A-10 Rookie of the Week, is in the midst of one of the top freshman seasons in school history. The versatile G/F, who has a DU freshman record-tying 11 double-doubles, already owns the school freshman mark for 3-pointers (66). He has set DU single-game freshman records for points (34 vs. George Mason) and rebounds (16 vs. Stetson) and ranks seventh among Division I freshmen in rebounds per game & tied for eighth in double-doubles.
Williams Jr., who took over the team scoring lead (14.5 ppg.) with his team-high 19 points on Feb. 21 at St. Bonaventure, also leads DU in rebounding (8.9 rpg.). He is bidding to become just the second freshman in school history to lead the Dukes in both categories, joining Wayne Smith (16.6, 6.2) who accomplished the feat in 1998-99.
Williams Jr., who ranks fourth on DU’s freshman total points list (450), needs 17 to pass record holder Smith (466 in 1999). His 276 rebounds are 15 shy of passing Dick Ricketts (290 in 1952) for most by a DU freshman.
Tenth-seed Duquesne (16-15) faces seventh-seeded Richmond (11-19) in the second round of the 2018 Atlantic 10 Championship on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. The game will be televised by NBCSN.