All-Everything ACC…Halfway Home

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Over at Raycom Sports, Charles from The Great Blog of Virginia was kind enough to put together a first half awards for our beloved ACC conference (who says nothing good comes out of Virginia?). Of course I participated and got to name the All-ACC First & Second Teams, as well as All-Freshman, Player of the Year, Defensive POY, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year.

Below are the results, as well as who I picked.

All-ACC FIRST TEAM:

"G Greivis Vasquez (Maryland)G Jon Scheyer (Duke)G Malcolm Delaney (Virginia Tech)F Trevor Booker (Clemson)F Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest)"

BIG DUKE BALLS: I nailed it. Picking the three guards was pretty easy. It came down to a five-man race between the three guards above and Sylven Landesberg/Nolan Smith. Obviously I had to take Scheyer. Jon is top-five in six offensive categories, including a still solid 3-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Delaney may not be the best player in the ACC, but he’s certainly the most important to his team. Right now, he leads the league in scoring at 20.3ppg. After a slow start to the season, Vasquez has probably been the best player in ACC play. He’s currently fifth in scoring and first in steals.

Picking the big men was also pretty damn easy. Aminu is the only player in the ACC who averages a double-double (16/11). He’s also surprisingly 10th in steals. Booker remains a man among boys (when the Clemson guards decide to dump it inside). He’s 9th in points, hitting 52% of his shots (4th best) and he’s fifth in rebounds. And just for fun, he’s sixth in steals and 7th in blocks.

Second Team All-ACC:

  • G Sylven Landesberg (Virginia)
  • G Nolan Smith (Duke)
  • F Kyle Singler (Duke)
  • F Gani Lawal (Georgia Tech)
  • F Tracy Smith (NC State)

BIG DUKE BALLS: I got four out of five of the second-team players. The only difference, I didn’t have Kyle Singler. Maybe I’m trying too hard to not look bias, but his numbers just aren’t second-team worthy. Sure he’s scoring 16+ a game, but he’s only hitting 41% from the floor and 36% from three.

Instead I went with Ed Davis. Despite battling injuries, he’s put up a decent 14ppg,  grabbed nearly 10 rebounds per game (leading the conference in defensive rebounds) and is tied for first in blocked shots). If he had better guards, his offensive numbers would be 3-4 points better.

At the guard spots, Smith and Landesberg are no-brainers and you could argue having either as first team players. Landesberg has so much potential, so it’s not surprising the impact he is having in Virginia. He’s scoring 18.1ppg and his 45% shooting percentage is the second best among guards (behind only Nolan Smith). Nolan has averaged 18.1 per game as well, shooting a solid 44% from three.

At forward, one can argue that Tracy Smith has really been the best big man in the ACC. He’s sixth in scoring, sixth in rebounding and his 56% shooting percentage is the league’s best. Down in Atlanta, Favors may get the press, but Gani Lawal has produced the numbers (14ppg, 9rpg). Yet he does tend to disappear in some games (twice against FSU and in the Duke rematch), which keeps him off the first team.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:

"Greivis Vasquez and Jon ScheyerAlso Receiving Votes: Al-Farouq Aminu, Sylven Landesberg"

BIG DUKE BALLS: There was a tie between Vasquez and Scheyer. I actually picked Jon Scheyer, although I have no problems if anyone picked Vasquez, Aminu or Landesberg. They’re all deserving.

To me, Scheyer has been the best player on the best team and his stats don’t lie. He’s 2nd in scoring (18.9), 9th in field goal percentage (.441), he’s 4th in assists (5.6), 1st in free throw percentage (.907), 9th in steals (1.5), 5th in three-point percentage (.395), 1st in threes made per game (2.7) and first in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.1/1). He’s also tied for first in minutes played (36.5).

Now Vasquez’ numbers are nearly equal in all categories and are actually better if you just include ACC games, but the difference is, percentages. Scheyer’s FG, 3P and FT percentages are all higher.

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM:

"G CJ Harris (WF)G Durand Scott (Miami) (5)F Derrick Favors  (GT) (10)F Jordan Williams (MD) (9)F Scott Wood (NCSU) (8)"

BIG DUKE BALLS: Overall, it’s a pretty weak freshman class and just like the first-team picks, we nailed them all. These five have all stepped into starting roles and contributed nicely, although none have been overwhelming. Only Favors looks like a future NBA play maker right now (although Jordan Williams might prove me wrong). Speaking of Favors though…

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:

"Derrick Favors (GT)"

BIG DUKE BALLS: Heading into this season, I said Derrick Favors would not only be the best big man in the ACC, he’d be the best freshman big man in the nation. So far, I’ve been wrong on both accounts. He’s not the best in the ACC and he’s not the best freshman big man (Kentucky’s Cousins is). Hell, he’s not even the best big man on his own team.

Having said that, he’s certainly held his own in the middle. He scores 11.5ppg and grabs 8.5 rebounds per game (4th best in the ACC). He also averages two blocks a game, behind only Ed Davis and Alabi.

At the beginning, I would have bet you anything he was a one-and-done, now I can see him coming back for one more year.

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM:

"G Ishmael Smith (WF)G Andre Young (Clemson)F Chris Singleton (FSU)F Solomon Alabi (FSU)F Al-Farouq Aminu (WFU)/Ed Davis (UNC)"

BIG DUKE BALLS: I actually forget to submit this, but I would have to agree with the selections. Although Trevor Booker is top-10 in both steals and blocks, so he might deserve a slot. Also, we might have picked Jeff Allen over Andre Young.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:

"Chris Singleton (FSU)"

BIG DUKE BALLS: Singleton was the clear choice (getting half the votes). It’s easy to understand. He’s been a headache for a lot of players trying to score this season. He’s first in steals (despite being a forward) and sixth in blocks.

In the end though, I picked Ed Davis. The Tar Heels are struggling, especially stopping the ball, but not because of this guy. He’s first in block shots in the ACC  (2.6 per game), but more importantly, he leads the conference in defensive rebounding (6.8rpg). For the record, Davis was runner-up in voting.

COACH OF THE YEAR:

"Tony Bennett (UVA)"

BIG DUKE BALLS: What Bennett has done is pretty amazing, but in the end, we didn’t pick Bennett (and it appears I’m the only one who didn’t). I went with Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg. Why? While we’re impressed with how Bennett has transformed Virginia. Yet, we still think the Cavs are going to miss the tournament because of some early season loses. Don’t forget, they’re still only 14-7. For us, the Hokies are 18-4 and Greenberg is on the verge of turning Tech into a tournament team.

Of course, I’ve always had a soft spot for Seth back when he was at South Florida, so there’s that.