Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram take home ACC media honors, but how did Allen miss out on Most Improved Player?
With the regular season finally over, the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA) released their basketball season awards and All-ACC selections for the 2015-16 season. Two Blue Devils were honored in the ACC media awards for their performances with Duke Basketball this year.
Freshman Brandon Ingram was named the ACC Freshman of the Year earning 48 of 51 votes, becoming the third straight Blue Devil to win the award. Ingram averaged 16.7 points and 6.8 rebounds in his first year with Duke Basketball and has played an even more important role since Amile Jefferson went out with a foot injury. The 6-9 forward was also selected on the All-ACC Second Team and was a unanimous selection for the All-ACC Freshman Team.
After a stellar season with the Blue Devils, Grayson Allen was named to the All-ACC First Team after leading Duke with 21.5 points per game. We wrote earlier about how it was unlikely for Allen to win ACC Player of the Year, and he finished in 4th place with 1 vote with the award going to Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon.
One award everyone was sure Allen would win was the ACC Most Improved Player of the Year award, however somehow he finished 2nd in the voting and Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame was named the most improved player. The Tigers did have a surprising season this year beating the likes of Duke, Syracuse, Louisville, Pitt, etc. and Blossomgame finished 3rd in the conference in scoring, but Allen finished 2nd scoring and showed significant improvement in almost every statistical category from last season to this year including averaging over 17 more points per game.
Another thing to note is that center Marshall Plumlee earned 1 vote for the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award, which also went to Brogdon, and freshman guard Luke Kennard earned 7 votes to finish 3rd in the ACC Sixth Man of the Year voting, which went to UNC’s Isaiah Hicks. Additionally, Coach K didn’t receive any votes for ACC Coach of the Year but probably should have been considered with the way he’s led this Duke team despite their lack of depth and the significance of Jefferson’s injury.
Duke Men’s Basketball will look to rebound from their loss to UNC and will start preparing for the ACC Tournament coming up this week in Washington, D.C. The Blue Devils will face a familiar foe in the second round, playing the winner of the NC State vs. Wake first round match-up with Duke already defeating both of those teams two times each already this season. We’re also hoping for another a third Duke-UNC game this season, which is a possibility in the ACC semifinals if North Carolina wins their first match-up and Duke can also defeat Notre Dame in the quarterfinals.