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Syracuse Basketball: Rakeem Christmas Named First Team All-ACC, All-ACC Defensive Team, ACC's Most Improved Player

Christmas reaped a lot of honors Sunday.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse Orange men's basketball center Rakeem Christmas earned All-ACC first team and All-ACC defensive team honors, the conference announced Sunday. He was also named the ACC's Most Improved Player.

Christmas finished third in voting for the All-ACC first team behind Duke's Jahlil Okafor and Notre Dame's Jerian Grant, both of whom were unanimous selections. Christmas received the most votes for the All-ACC defensive team.

Joining Christmas, Grant, and Okafor on the All-ACC first team were Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon and Boston College's Olivier Hanlan. Brogdon, Virginia's Darion Atkins, Miami's Tonye Jekiri, and NC State's BeeJay Anya rounded out the All-ACC defensive team. Christmas finished second in ACC Defensive Player of the Year voting behind Atkins.

Christmas finished ahead of Jekiri by 10 votes in the Most Improved Player voting. After averaging just 5.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season, the big man averaged 17.5 and 9.1 rebounds per game in 2014-15.

No other Syracuse player received any All-ACC honors, including junior Michael Gbinije. Gbinije, it's worth noting, averaged 15.4 points per game and shot 42.2 percent from 3-point range in ACC play.

Each of the six All-ACC teams (first team, second team, third team, honorable mention, defensive, and freshman) are listed over at