CBS Sports is looking back at several of the defining college basketball players of the past and their Citizen Naismith Player of the Year seasons. This edition of the series, sponsored by Citizen, stars current New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick -- a former Duke icon.
Among the many prolific scorers at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski, none had a single season like JJ Redick's 2005-06 season.
The Blue Devils here the headliners throughout college basketball that season and Redick, a first-team All-America pick as a junior the season before, was the face of the program on a national level. The bar was set high from the start, and Redick raised his game as well with a season that entered Naismith Player of the Year honors.
The team's 32-4 record -- never ranked lower than third in the country and No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament after an ACC Tournament title -- was a credit not only to Redick but a roster that included Shelden Williams, the two-time national defensive player of the year, and major freshman year contributions from Josh McRoberts and Greg Paulus. Plus, you know, the winningest coach in the game's history Hall of Famer Coach K probably helped too.
Duke's 2006 season ended with disappointment in a Sweet Sixteen loss to LSU, but Redick's presence over the entire sport that year was undeniable. His ability to score in bunches and heat up from behind the arc allowed him to take control of games, chasing off even the tightest defense to get off shots with a quick and sharp release. Duke fans adored him and opponents couldn't stand him. Redick was a phenomenon.
In his National Player of the Year campaign, Redick had the most prolific scoring season in Duke history (964 points) and took hold of the top spot as the ACC's career scoring leader. His 26.8 points per game led the ACC and ranked No. 2 nationally, and the many accolades have contributed to why his No. 4 is one of just 13 retired jerseys in Duke's storied history.
Redick's ability to deliver on a big stage hinted at what has become a successful NBA career. The 15-year vet and his game fit perfectly with the modern emphasis of space, pace and threes. Mostly a bench player for the beginning of his career, Redick's been consistent contributor for the Clippers, 76ers and now the Pelicans..