An exciting, highly competitive 2006-07 ACC regular season is over. We wanted to get our thoughts on record prior to seeing the “official” media results. The following are my personal votes, and do not reflect the consensus view of SFN. I do have some data from other SFN bloggers, which I will also present.
Coach of the Year: Gary Williams, Maryland. Although I had pegged this as a Leitao/Greenburg race just a few weeks ago, it’s hard to ignore the fantastic job done by the always-sweaty GW. Coaching the kind of hard-nosed, blue collar team he likes, the Terps stormed back from a rough start to finish 10-6 (1 game out of first) and arguably the hottest team in the nation. Leitao lost my vote when his team gakked up the outright regular season crown by losing to Wake. Other SFN votes: Jeff also votes GW, Rick votes Greenburg.
Player of the Year: Jared Dudley, Boston College. Personally, this was the toughest vote of all – and there were lots of close calls in every category. Al Thornton is a very close second, and I wouldn’t object to anyone voting for Singletary or Dowdell. Maybe even Hansbrough, but I definitely think he was a half-click behind those four. Dudley carried his team, and performed well in every facet of the game. So did Thornton – but Dudley carried his team farther. Other SFN votes: Jeff also votes Dudley, Rick votes Thornton.
Rookie of the Year: Javaris Crittenden, Georgia Tech. I fully expect to be savaged in the comments, but I think Crittenden’s achievements merit the highest freshman honor. He is the best and most important player for a Yellow Jacket squad that had a great 2nd half, and has earned an NCAA berth. He was a true freshman PG in the ACC, and not only didn’t hit the wall, but actually continued to get better. Counting ACC games only, Crittenden finished 1st in assists, 3rd in steals, and 9th in scoring (one-tenth of a point behind Costner). The numbers speak for themselves, and subjective viewing makes him look even better. Go pro, young man! Costner and Wright are also extremely worthy candidates for the honor. Other SFN votes: Jeff and Rick vote Costner.
All-ACC, First Team
- J. Dudley, Boston College
- A. Thornton, Florida State
- S. Singletary, Virginia
- Z. Dowdell, Virginia Tech
- T. Hansbrough, North Carolina
No real arguments on these selections. It would be a shock and an outrage if this is not the official first team. The drop-off after these five is huge. Other SFN votes: Jeff is in complete agreement.
All-ACC, Second Team
- J.R. Reynolds, Virginia
- J. Crittenden, Georgia Tech
- D.J. Strawberry, Maryland
- T. Rice, Boston College
- B. Costner, NC State
Here is where the debates begin. Reynolds is the 2nd leading scorer in ACC play, so no real issue there. You can make a case for LOTS of changes among the others. Rice stepped up big to keep BC competitive (after the Williams suspension), Crittenden has great stats and led his team to a great second half, Strawberry is a very good all-around player (and the best for a team that’s firing on all cylinders). In the end, I chose Costner’s excellent overall numbers above Wright’s freakish athleticism and great “numbers per minute played.” Ultimately, Wright simply didn’t dominate and force Roy Williams to play him more minutes and always down the stretch. At their respective peaks, Wright was easily better – but Costner was more consistent. After POY, this was my toughest decision. Other SFN votes: Jeff agrees with Reynolds and Strawberry, but goes with Visser, McCauley, and McBob as his other three.
All-ACC, Third Team
- B. Wright, North Carolina
- J. Gordon, Virginia Tech
- J. McRoberts, Duke
- K. Visser, Wake Forest
- E. Ibekwe, Maryland
Honorable Mention: J. McClinton (Miami), T. Lawson (UNC), B. McCauley (NC State), G. Vazquez (MD), J. Mays (Clemson)
Jamon Gordon’s defensive excellence merits his selection (along with good overall offensive numbers). You might be surprised to hear that McBob only averaged 12.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in ACC play (and no, he is not in the Top Ten in assists, despite all you hear about his passing skills). My friends, those are 3rd team numbers unless you are a dominant defender (he’s not). Ibekwe is a decent scorer and very good rebounder and defender. Visser kept the Deacs from possibly being a 1 or 2-win team in ACC play. McCauley, Mays, and Lawson all would have made it (probably 2nd team, too) if the votes were counted at midseason.
Criticize me and submit your own rosters in the comments section below.