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The Denver Nuggets and Head Coach Michael Malone have agreed to a contract extension, Vice Chairman of KSE Josh Kroenke and President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced Tuesday.

According to ESPN, Malone’s extension runs through the 2022-23 NBA season.

Malone is coming off a season in which he led the Nuggets to a 54-28 record, their second-best overall record in franchise history, en route to the #2 seed in the Western Conference. The Nuggets also advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2008-09. Since Malone took over prior to the 2015-16 season, the Nuggets have improved on their win total by a total of 24 wins (+3 after first season, +7 after second, +6 after third and +8 after fourth), making Denver the only team in the NBA to increase their win total in each of the last four seasons. The Nuggets previously agreed to a contract extension with Coach Malone on Oct. 17, 2018.

According to the Denver Post, “as the Nuggets deal with their first year of real expectations, Malone has been noticeably more measured on the sidelines this season. He knows that his demeanor will be reflected in how his team plays, and it’s one area of tangible growth. On Monday, when the Nuggets showed composure in their riveting comeback win over the Suns, Malone tried to embody how he wanted his team to conduct itself.”

“This season and team has been about continuity, with Coach Malone being the first piece of that,” stated Josh Kroenke. “We are thrilled to continue to have him lead this promising young roster and are excited about what the future holds. Coach Malone has been pivotal in this organization’s success and will continue to be so.”

“We have been very fortunate to have Coach Malone lead our resurgence. His tireless work ethic and passion are clearly reflected in the continued improvement of our roster,” said Tim Connelly. “We are all extremely excited for him to continue to lead our team as we try to build a championship level organization.”

Through 357 games as Denver’s head coach, Malone has compiled a record of 194-163 (.543), ranking him fourth in franchise history in wins among head coaches.

“I would like to thank Josh, Stan and the entire Kroenke family, along with Tim Connelly and the front office, for continuing to believe and trust in me as their head coach,” Malone said. “None of this would be possible without the hard work, dedication and trust from our players as well as the entire coaching staff. I’d also like to thank the amazing fans in Denver who have helped make Pepsi Center one of the toughest places to play in the NBA once again. I look forward to continuing our ultimate goal of winning NBA Championships.”

LeBron James finally missed a game this season, as the Lakers fell to the Nuggets Sunday. Here’s the Denver Post reporting:

The Nuggets strode into the Staples Center and rocked the Lakers 128-104 on Sunday night, improving to 20-8 and stretching their winning streak to six. They’ll go for seven on Monday night in Phoenix against the Suns.

Though James was ruled out with a rib injury — the first game he has missed all season — the Nuggets put together a fantastic collective effort that might have won them the game had he been healthy.

Paul Millsap scored 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting, but his dogged effort on Lakers superstar Anthony Davis was arguably more valuable. Though Davis finished with 32 points, Millsap chased him around the court and hounded him as the Lakers fought fruitlessly to get back into the game.

And the OC Register:

Unlike his trademark unibrow, Anthony Davis does his best work in a pair.

That’s not to say that the 26-year-old’s 32-point, 11-rebound, four-block game on Sunday night didn’t make him look like a star. But the performance came without a win, which has become the ultimate bottom line in a Lakers (24-6) season with renewed championship aspirations.

It was telling that even as Davis checked back in to start the fourth quarter, the visiting Denver Nuggets (20-8) kept on pulling away. In a 128-104 loss — the Lakers’ third straight and the largest margin of defeat this season — it was clear that Davis sorely lacked his running mate, LeBron James.

The Lakers have gotten national attention all season — quite justifiably — but the Nuggets deserve big praise as well. They’re 20-8 this season and their win Sunday was their sixth straight victory.

They’re being led in scoring this season by Jamal Murray (17.5 ppg), Nikola Jokic (17.3 ppg), Will Barton (14.6 ppg), Paul Millsap (13.0 ppg) and Gary Harris (11.3 ppg). But defense is why the Nuggets are having an excellent year. They’re second best in the league in that department, only behind the Bucks.

 

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Nets stay hot, beat Nuggets 105-102

We’ll be writing about this ourselves later tonight, but for right now, here’s the Denver Post reporting:

Brooklyn guard Spencer Dinwiddie bullied his way to the rack twice in the final minute as the Nets hung on to beat the Nuggets 105-102. The loss dropped Denver to 14-7 and 1-2 on this road trip with a matchup at Philadelphia on Tuesday.

“They dominated the paint 66-22,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone. “That third quarter was a joke. … Seemed like it was layup lines out there. We took away the 3-point line, but there was no resistance at the rim.”

The loss spoiled a strong 3-point shooting night from Jerami Grant, who poured in five of Denver’s 18 makes. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray combined for 45 points, but Brooklyn’s relentless inside attack undermined their productivity.

The Nets have looked like a blatantly better team with Spencer Dinwiddie running the show lately. Kyrie Irving isn’t set to return just yet, but once he does, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson will have some interesting decisions to make.

 

 

 

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Denver Nuggets rookie Bol Bol is signed to a two-way contract, which means he’ll be spending most of the 2019-20 season playing in the G League. The Nuggets, of course, get to decide whether or not to also let him get some actual NBA experience. But first, he must prove himself at a lower pro level, while wearing a Windy City Bulls uniform:

According to the Denver Post, “his defensive acumen, boosted by his timing and size, is already apparent. After logging four blocks in his G League debut last Friday, he’s averaging 2.7 per game in just over 17 minutes through three games. As a result of surgery on his left foot that limited him to nine games at Oregon, Bol is on a minutes restriction in the range of 15 to 20 per game. Any lingering effects from his injury weren’t noticeable over his first three games.”

Bol Bol’s full G League stats through three games are 11.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 17.3 minutes per outing.

The Nuggets through Thursday are 10-3 this season, which ties them for the fourth best record in the league.

The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Brandon Goodwin to a two-way contract and have waived guard/forward DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell.

Goodwin, 6-2, 180, was previously signed by Denver on Nov. 29 with the injury hardship relief exception granted by the NBA. He has yet to appear in an NBA game, but has played in 10 games this season for the Memphis Hustle of the NBA G League and averaged 23.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.70 steals on 52.0% shooting.

The Norcross, GA native went undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft after spending his first two years of college at the University of Central Florida and his final two seasons at Florida Gulf Coast University. Goodwin was named the 2018 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, was an AP All-American Honorable Mention in 2018 and named Atlantic Sun First Team All-Conference in both 2017 and 2018.

Akoon-Purcell, 6-5, 200, was a member of the Denver Nuggets 2018 Las Vegas Summer League Entry and signed a two-way contract with the Nuggets heading into this season. He appeared in seven games with Denver, averaging 1.0 points in 3.1 minutes per game. He has appeared in two games for the Delaware Blue Coats of the NBA G League, averaging 24.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.00 steals in 29.0 minutes per game.

 

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The Nuggets are 17-7, which is the second best record in the entire league, and they’re truly doing it as a team, with incredibly balanced scoring. One thing that sets them apart is their best passer and play-maker is center Nikola Jokic, who is averaging 7.8 assists per game this season to go with his 16.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per outing. He’s having a fantastic, All-Star level season. Here’s the Denver Post reporting:

Jokic’s 9.9 assists per game in Denver’s seven-game winning streak are tied with Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry for second-most in the NBA during that span. The next nine players on the list are all point guards.

His ability to control a game with his passing isn’t new, but it has been the catalyst for the Nuggets’ longest winning streak since the 2013-’14 season.

Jokic, who averaged 6.1 assists last season and ranks eighth alongside only point guards with his 7.8 dimes so far this season, has been an anomaly since he joined the league.

“I think last 15 games, we’re No. 1 in the league in assists per game at over 30,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “That’s when we’re at our best when we have player movement, ball movement, guys cutting and getting high percentage looks. I think that’s what allows Nikola to be the player that he is. He may not be shooting the best percentages in the world, but he can still contribute and dominate a game with his playmaking, his rebounding and other areas.”

Full article

Nuggets sign guard Brandon Goodwin

Nuggets sign guard Brandon Goodwin

The Denver Nuggets have been granted an injury hardship relief exception from the NBA and will use that exception to sign guard Brandon Goodwin of the G League.

Goodwin, 6-2, 180, has played in nine games with the Memphis Hustle this season, averaging 23.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.67 steals in 33.7 minutes per game.

Goodwin transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University after spending two seasons at the University of Central Florida. In two seasons with Florida Gulf Coast, Goodwin averaged 18.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.28 steals in 32.5 minutes per game. In 2018, Goodwin was selected as the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, an AP All-American Honorable Mention and to the NABC All-District (3) First Team.

He will wear #6 for the Nuggets.

Nuggets have lost 6 of last 7 games

The Denver Nuggets through Tuesday’s games are 10-7, which puts them in the thick of a very tight and crowded set of good Western conference teams. But they’ve been in a general slump lately, and have some things to work out. Here’s the Denver Post on the situation:

The Nuggets have lost two in a row and six of seven heading into Wednesday night’s against the Timberwolves, who recently upended their core by trading Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia. Denver’s defense, ranked as the NBA’s best prior to their slump, is down to seventh overall, and their poor late-game execution has been exposed. They are now a team searching for an identity.

“We’re probably not a team that is 9-1 every 10 games, and I know we’re not a team that’s 1-6 in the last seven games,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said at the team’s shootaround here Wednesday. “The answer is somewhere in between. We’re trying to find out who we are.”

They had some of those answers over the final seven games last season, when they reeled off six consecutive, high-pressure wins before dropping the final game 112-106 to Minnesota. Harris and Paul Millsap said they can glean confidence from that stretch to end the season.

Next up for the Nuggets are are matchups with the Timberwolves tonight, the Magic Friday and the Thunder Saturday.

Denver Nuggets hire Sue Bird

The Denver Nuggets have added current WNBA Champion Sue Bird to their front office staff as a Basketball Operations Associate.

“We are very excited to have Sue join our organization,” said Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly. “Her resume certainly speaks for itself and as a still active player she will offer an extremely unique perspective.”

Bird recently wrapped up her 16th season in the WNBA which saw her earn her 11th All-Star bid and third WNBA Championship, all with the Seattle Storm. The New York native attended the University of Connecticut where she won two National Championships before being selected first overall by Seattle in the 2002 WNBA Draft. Bird was named to the WNBA All-Decade team in 2006, has been All-WNBA First Team five times and All-WNBA Second Team three times and currently ranks first in the WNBA in career games (508), first in career minutes played (16,173), first in assists (2,831), third in points (6,154), third in made three-pointers (855) and fifth in steals (652).

“I’m really excited to join the Denver Nuggets organization. I’m thankful for the opportunity and look forward to learning from some of the best,” said Bird.

The Nuggets are off to a great start this season, but their first loss came courtesy of a LeBron James triple-double fueled Lakers squad. Here’s the Denver Post reporting:

The Nuggets were up 106-98 with 6:11 left in the game before the Lakers closed on a 23-8 run. LeBron James’ triple-double helped, as did Lonzo Ball’s clutch step-back 3-pointer, but give Lance Stephenson credit. He had a personal run of eight straight, including back-to-back 3-pointers that energized the Staples Center crowd with Kobe Bryant sitting courtside.

“Six minutes is a lifetime on the road with a guy like LeBron James,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said.

Veteran Paul Millsap, who struggled from the floor with just six points, put the onus on the Nuggets.

“Something we haven’t been all year, got a little rattled, little rattled down the stretch. Forced a few shots. We didn’t stay poised like we normally do,” he said…

Monte Morris finished with a career-high 20 points, seven assists and three steals as the third Nugget to notch at least 20 points (Nikola Jokic 24, Jamal Murray 22).

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Denver Nuggets begin new NBA season 4-0

It’s never wise to jump to any wild conclusions based on a few games at the start of a new season. But it’s certainly fair to recognize who has come out of the gate playing well and who hasn’t. The Nuggets and Raptors have both begun the season 4-0. Here’s the Denver Post discussing the former:

Whereas last year Tuesday’s game – sandwiched between Golden State and the Los Angeles Lakers – would have been rife for a letdown, the Nuggets never trailed and trounced the Kings 126-112.

At 4-0, it’s their best start since the 2009-10 season, when they began 5-0. Though the defense snapped its franchise streak of holding opponents to under 100 points, the dormant offense came alive.

The Nuggets were up 112-87 with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter and cruised from there. It was a dominant performance on the offensive end – more like last season’s Nuggets than this year’s version, which entered Tuesday with the league’s best defense. The Nuggets pounded the paint with 72 points and found their mark with a season-high 11 3-pointers.

Eight players, including four of five starters finished with double-digit nights, and Denver’s bench produced for the second consecutive game. Perhaps most encouraging was that Jamal Murray, who has been battling nagging ankle injuries, had 14 of his team-high 19 in the third quarter and found his offensive rhythm. Murray knocked down two 3-pointers without hesitation after his 0-of-9 shooting performance in Sunday’s win over Golden State.

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Will Barton out after surgery

Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton has undergone surgery to repair core and hip muscle injuries. The procedure was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, PA.

Barton’s status will be re-evaluated in six weeks.

According to the Denver Post, “Nuggets coach Mike Malone said Torrey Craig, Juan Hernangomez and Trey Lyles were the most likely candidates to fill Barton’s minutes for the time being.”

The Nuggets are off to a 3-0 start this NBA season. they came extremely close to making the playoffs last year and look excellent early on. It’s a shame they’ll be without Barton for a while.

The Denver Nuggets and Head Coach Michael Malone have agreed to a contract extension, Vice Chairman of KSE Josh Kroenke and President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Malone led the Nuggets to a 46-36 record in 2017-18, their best overall record since 2013. Since Malone took over prior to the 2015-16 season, the Nuggets have improved on their win total by a total of 16 wins (+3 after first season, +7 after second and +6 after third), making Denver one of three teams in the NBA to increase their win total in each of the last three seasons (Minnesota and Boston).

With Malone at the helm, the Nuggets have become one of the top offensive teams in the NBA. Denver finished the 2017-18 season with the sixth best offensive rating, including being ranked first overall from February 1st through the end of the season. It also marked the second straight season with a top-six rated offense after finishing 20th in 2015-16. The team also set a new franchise record for made three-pointers in a season (940) during the 2017-18 campaign. They ranked sixth in the NBA in made three-pointers per game and seventh in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage. The Nuggets have also finished top-five in assists per game in each of the last two seasons.

Through 247 games as Denver’s head coach, Malone has compiled a record of 120-127 (.486), ranking him fifth in franchise history in wins among head coaches. He holds a career regular season record of 159-194 (.450) over five seasons with Denver and Sacramento.

Nuggets sign DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Emanuel Terry

The Denver Nuggets have signed rookie free agent DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell to a two-way contract and rookie free agent Emanuel Terry to a training camp contract.

Akoon-Purcell, 6-5, 200, most recently appeared in four games for the Nuggets’ Las Vegas Summer League team, averaging 12.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.00 steals in 19.3 minutes per game. Akoon-Purcell went undrafted in 2016 out of Illinois State University and has spent the last two seasons playing for the Bakken Bears of the Danish league.

The Orlando, Florida native averaged 18.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.65 steals in 49 games (45 starts) for the Bakken Bears in 2017-18. He appeared in 53 games (43 starts) during the 2016-17 campaign, posting averages of 20.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.89 steals while being named both the Danish League MVP and Finals MVP.

Terry, 6-9, 220, also played for the Nuggets’ 2018 Las Vegas Summer League team, appearing in all five games while averaging 7.4 points and 5.0 rebounds on .607 shooting from the field in 17.6 minutes per game. The Birmingham, Alabama native went undrafted in 2018 after spending four years at Lincoln Memorial University.

Terry started all 31 games as a senior in 2017-18, averaging 16.9 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.19 blocks while shooting .711 from the field. He was named the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year as well as earning SAC All-First Team, SAC All-Tournament Team and NABC Division II All-American Team honors that season.

The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Monte Morris to a multi-year contract.

Morris, 6-3, 180, spent the 2017-18 season on a two-way contract with the Denver Nuggets. He appeared in 37 games (35 starts) for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League, averaging 17.8 points, 6.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 47.2% from the field. Most recently, Morris appeared in four games for the Nuggets 2018 Las Vegas Summer League team, posting averages of 17.5 points, 6.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 28.1 minutes.

The 23-year-old was drafted by Denver with the 51st pick in the 2017 NBA draft after playing four seasons at Iowa State University. Morris appeared in 140 career games (121 starts) for the Cyclones and was named All-Big 12 First Team as a senior in 2017 after setting the NCAA single-season record with a 5.17 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The Denver Nuggets signed rookie center Thomas Welsh to a two-way contract today.

Welsh, 7-0, 255, appeared in two games for the Nuggets Las Vegas Summer League team, averaging 6.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 31.3 minutes per game.

Welsh was selected by Denver with the 58th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He played four seasons at UCLA where he averaged 9.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting 53.7% from the field. He was one of five finalists for the 2017-18 Kareem Abdul-Jabar award, given to the nation’s top center, and finished his Bruins career ranked third in career rebounds (1,035), third in blocks (143) and sixth in career double-doubles (37). As a senior the California native posted averages of 12.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 40.7% from three (45-of-112 3FG) and 82.8% from the free throw line. His 10.8 rebounds per game was UCLA’s highest per game average since David Greenwood in 1977-78.

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired forwards Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur, along with a protected 2019 first round draft pick and a 2020 second round draft pick, from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for guard Isaiah Whitehead.

According to the New York Post, “the Lin trade erases his $12.5 million expiring deal from the books.”

More from the Post: “Nets get Faried, and his $13.8 million expiring salary, as well as Darrell Arthur to get a 2019 first-round pick (protected 1-through-12) and a 2020 second-rounder.”

“DA is one of the best guys I have ever come across in all my time in the league,” said Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly . “When we traded for him, he and his amazing wife Niecy instantly impacted our community. They have done so much to help those in need, and almost all of it was done with no fanfare. As a player his toughness, ability to guard multiple positions and stretch the floor will be sorely missed. As a person it’s hard to quantify what he has meant to our team. Brooklyn is getting one of the league’s true gentleman.”

“There aren’t many players in the league who play with more energy or passion than Kenneth Faried,” stated Connelly. “To watch him develop as a player and a man in Denver has been a joy to watch. Last season he handled a diminished role like a consummate professional. I’m excited for his next opportunity, but he will certainly be missed.”

Faried (6’8”, 228) averaged 5.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game over 32 games for the Nuggets during the 2017-18 season. The Newark, N.J., native played seven seasons for Denver, registering averages of 11.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per contest through 441 career games. Selected with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Nuggets, Faried earned All-Rookie First Team honors following his inaugural season. The Morehead State product was a two-time Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and three-time OVC Defensive Player of the Year.

Arthur (6’9”, 235) played in 19 games for the Nuggets during the 2017-18 season, averaging 2.8 points in 7.4 minutes per contest. The Dallas, Texas, native has posted career averages of 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game in 503 career games over nine NBA seasons with Denver (2013-18) and Memphis (2008-13). Arthur was selected with the 27th pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by New Orleans. He spent two years at the University of Kansas, where he earned All-Big 12 First Team honors as a sophomore and helped lead the Jayhawks to the 2008 National Championship.

Whitehead played in 89 games for Brooklyn over the past two seasons, recording averages of 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 20.5 minutes per game. He was selected with the 42nd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by Utah and was acquired by Brooklyn in a draft-night trade.

Nuggets sign Torrey Craig

The Nuggets signed free agent forward Torrey Craig to a multi-year contract today.

“We are thrilled to have Torrey back on our roster. His journey to the NBA was an atypical one and this contract is a testament to his tremendous work ethic and drive,” stated Connelly.

Craig, 27, was signed to a two-way contract with Denver during the 2017-18 season where he averaged 4.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 39 games (five starts) for the Nuggets. He also appeared in 15 games (12 starts) for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of G League last season, averaging 22.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.00 blocks and 1.13 steals in 5.0 minutes per game. He also shot .477 from the field and .386 from three for the Skyforce.

The South Carolina native went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft and prior to joining the Nuggets he spent three seasons starring in the Australian National Basketball League. He played for the Brisbane Bullets during the 2016-17 season where he was named both the Australian NBL Defensive Player of the Year and the Most Improved Player while earning All-NBL Second Team honors. He played collegiately at the University of South Carolina-Upstate for four years, earning NABC All-District First Team honors three times and was named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year as a sophomore.

The Denver Nuggets have traded forward Wilson Chandler and a future second round draft pick to Philadelphia in exchange for cash considerations.

“We want to thank Wilson for seven years in Denver,” said Connelly. “As good as a player as he is, he’s an even better person. He will be a great addition in Philly and we will certainly all be rooting for him.”

Chandler, 31, spent seven seasons with Denver, averaging 13.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 357 games (267 starts). Overall he has appeared in 590 career games (447 starts) with New York and Denver, averaging 13.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.

Nuggets sign rookie Michael Porter Jr

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Michael Porter Jr. to his rookie contract.

All players selected in the first round of the draft, as Porter Jr was, are guaranteed to receive a contract. Therefore, this signing is standard and was expected.

Porter Jr., 6-10, 215, was selected by the Nuggets with the 14th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft out of the University of Missouri. He began his collegiate career as the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit as a high school senior out of Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington. Porter Jr. averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior while leading Nathan Hale to a perfect 29-0 record en route to the Washington Class 3A State Championship, the first-ever state title for the school.

The native of Indianapolis was named the MVP of the McDonald’s High School All-American Game as well as winning both the Naismith and Gatorade National Player of the Year awards, joining Dwight Howard (2004), LeBron James (2003), Chris Webber (1991) and Alonzo Mourning (1988) as the only players to ever accomplish the feat. Porter Jr. was named a 2017-18 consensus preseason All-American, the 2017-18 preseason ESPN National Freshman of the Year and the 2017-18 preseason SEC Co-Player of the Year.

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