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March 10, 2009

Lawson named ACC Player of Year

CHAPEL HILL ­--- University of North Carolina junior Ty Lawson is the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year, only the second point guard in ACC history to win the award and the first since UNC's
Phil Ford in 1978.

The United States Basketball Writers Association of America also named Lawson the District 3 Player of the Year. District 3 includes players from the states of Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

The Clinton, Md., native is the 12th Tar Heel to win ACC Player of the Year honors and the 13th selection overall for Carolina.

It marks the fourth UNC recipient in the last 12 years and second in as many seasons.

Teammate Tyler Hansbrough won the award in 2008.

The 2009 ACC Tournament quarterfinal will mark the first time in ACC history that two teammates who have won ACC Player of the Year honors are on the floor at the same time.

Hansbrough and Lawson mark the first time the Tar Heels have won ACC Player of the Year honors in consecutive seasons since Larry Miller won in 1967 and 1968. Lennie Rosenbluth and Pete Brennan won in 1957 and 1958, respectively.

Lawson leads the ACC in assists (6.5), assist-error ratio (3.32 to 1), three-point field goal percentage (.467), and tied for first in steals (2.10), is fourth in field goal percentage (.538) and 12th in scoring (15.9 ppg). He is third nationally in assist-error and eighth in assists per game.

Lawson scored in double figures in 23 of the last 25 games and has eight 20-point games.

A finalist for the Bob Cousy Award as the top collegiate point guard, Lawson's assist-error ratio is the third-best in ACC single-season history.

He has 196 assists and only 59 turnovers and has committed one or fewer turnovers 12 times and two or fewer in 21 of 30 games.

Lawson is averaging 15.9 points and shooting 53.8 percent from the floor, 46.7 percent from three-point range and 80.9 percent from the free throw line. He has the same number of steals (59) and turnovers.

Hansbrough finished in the top three in ACC Player of the Year balloting for the fourth time in as many seasons. The 2008 winner was second behind Duke's J.J. Redick in 2006, third in 2007 behind Boston College's Jared Dudley and Florida State's Al Thornton and third in 2009 behind Lawson and FSU's Toney Douglas.

Joining Lawson on the USBWA¹s District 3 Team were Hansbrough, Clemson's Trevor Booker, Davidson's Stephen Curry, Duke's Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler, Maryland's Greivis Vasquez, South Carolina's Devan Downey, VCU's Eric Maynor and Wake Forest's Jeff Teague.

Carolina's ACC Players of the Year include:

1957 ­ Lennie Rosenbluth
1958 ­ Pete Brennan
1960 ­ Lee Shaffer
1965 ­ Billy Cunningham
1967 ­ Larry Miller
1968 ­ Larry Miller
1976 ­ Mitch Kupchak
1978 ­ Phil Ford
1984 ­ Michael Jordan
1998 ­ Antawn Jamison
2001 ­ Joseph Forte (co-winner)
2008 ­ Tyler Hansbrough
2009 ­ Ty Lawson


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