Good morning, all. I almost decided to be lazy and not post these this year, but we need to pass the time until Buckets rightly gets honored.
Player of the Year: TJ “Buckets” Warren, NC State
Until the last two weeks, this was an item for lively debate, with logical cases to be made all around. After the last week of play especially, you have to be a complete fool or a Dave Glenn/Barry Jacobs/Jay Bilas caliber Blue fluffer to vote for anyone else. You don’t see true greatness come around every day, and you should really stop to appreciate what Buckets is doing. He’s the best offensive player in the league by a longshot, a top 10 rebounder, and easily deserves first team all-defense honors. The only thing you can possibly hold against him is not having a twin, which would have made NC State a national title contender.
Coach of the Year: Tony Bennett, Virginia
The Cavaliers clinched sole possession of the regular season “title” more than a week before the season ended, unleashing a blitzkrieg of epic proportions on poor Syracuse. Only questionable calls down the stretch kept them from winning in Cameron, and their only other setback was a road OT loss against a fired-up Maryland squad closing out its ACC regular season history. UVA did this WITHOUT a real first-team contending player (more below), and despite their best player (Joe Harris) suffering a substantial decline on production. That spells COY, in any language.
Rookie of the Year: Jabari Parker, Duke
Duh. Not much more to add here. Also my prediction for ACCT MVP honors (see tomorrow’s ramblings).
First Team All-ACC:
TJ “Buckets” Warren, NC State
Marcus Paige, *NC
Jabari Parker, Duke
KJ McDaniels, Clemson
Lamar Patterson, Pitt
You will notice how many voters reach to put a Cavalier on this list, because a 16-2 conference champ “should” be represented. But that team is greater than the sum of its parts, and I don’t see how you bump ANY of these five with a straight face. McDaniels is widely regarded as the favorite for DPOY, and is 5th in scoring (conference games only). Defense counts in all-ACC voting, too – or at least it should.
Second Team All-ACC:
Olivier Hanlan, Boston College
Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
CJ Fair, Syracuse
Rodney Hood, Duke
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
Hanlan is going to be short-changed on a lot of ballots…but not mine. Great player on a putrid team. Next are the Syracuse twins (in terms of production, and inconsistency which kept them off the first team), Duke’s second killer option and finally, your first Cavalier. Yeah, I got all the way to 10 before I even seriously considered one. I spit coffee every time I read a ballot with McAdoo on the second team. He f-cking sucks.
Third Team All-ACC:
Dez Wells, Maryland
Daniel Miller, Georgia Tech
Aaron Thomas, Florida State
Okaro White, Florida State
Joe Harris, Virginia
Here’s where it gets difficult. There’s a HUGE dropoff in quality after #10, and you can make an argument for an endless number of players for the third team. But I’m going with these schmucks, and I believe my picks are quasi-defensible.