March 10, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame point guard Eric Atkins has become the first Irish player to earn all-conference honors from the Atlantic Coast Conference, as announced today by the league office. In Notre Dame's first year as a member of the ACC, Atkins copped third-team all-conference honors as voted upon by the 15 conference coaches and garnered honorable mention honors from ACSMA (Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association), a media organization.
The selection of Atkins to the all-ACC third team keeps alive the string of 14 consecutive seasons that Notre Dame has had at least one player earn all-conference honors.
The 6-2, 182-pound senior from Columbia, Md., who is the only three-time captain in the history of the Notre Dame men's basketball program, leads the Irish in scoring (13.9 ppg.), assists (4.8) and steals (1.3). Atkins has played in 96 straight games in a Notre Dame uniform (all of them starts). During his career, he has missed only two games and has played in 131 contests (104 starts). Atkins ranks third at Notre Dame in career games played and stands ninth in games started.
Atkins, who is averaging a team-best 38.1 minutes per game, has played every minute of a contest nine times this season and seven times during the conference regular season. In 18 ACC regular-season contests, he averaged 39.2 minutes per game. He was on the court all 50 minutes during Notre Dame's double-overtime victory over Clemson on Feb. 11 and played all 45 minutes in the overtime loss to Pittsburgh on March 1.
A two-time ACC player-of-the-week honoree in 2013-14, Atkins ranks fifth nationally and first in the ACC in minutes played per game (38.10) and second in minutes played (39.22) in conference games.
In Notre Dame's 18 conference games, Atkins was the Irish leader in points (14.4), assists (5.1), steals (1.1) and minutes per game (39.2). Atkins scored in double figures in 14 of 18 league contests. His 1,408 career points are the fourth-most among active ACC players, while his 582 career assists are the most by any current ACC player. Atkins recorded his first double-double of the season (and fifth of his career) when he tallied 19 points and dished off 11 assists versus Duke. The 11 assists are tied for the most for an ACC player in a league game this season.
One of just five players in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 points and dish off 500 assists, Atkins' 2.36 career assist-to-turnover ratio is fourth nationally among all active Division I players, while his 582 assists is 13th nationally.
Atkins has dished off 100-plus assists in each of his four seasons and is one of just four players in the program's history to have 100-plus assists in four consecutive seasons. The other three players are Chris Thomas (2001-05), Tory Jackson (2006-10) and David Rivers (1984-88).
Teammate Pat Connaughton (Arlington, Mass.) was an honorable mention selection all-ACC selection by the coaches.
Connaughton is averaging 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds and has scored in double figures in a team-best 24 contests. The 6-4, 215-pound junior forward has played in all 100 games during his Irish career and enters the ACC Championship having started 81 consecutive games..
He ranks 10th in rebounding (7.1) and 14th in scoring (13.9) in ACC play. Connaughton's 41 three-pointers during the ACC regular season ranks fifth in the league, while his 73 trey overall is fourth among all players.
Connaughton has pulled down 10 or more rebounds in seven games this season and has five double-doubles.