2011-12 ACC Honors (BJD’s “Ballot” on Behalf of SFN)

I do this every year, and bubble fever has me enthused enough to do it again. But yes, I am still steamed about how the ACC promotes only the blues (and mangled l’affaire de Hess), and very much would like to join the SEC as soon as humanly possible. That said, here are my votes:

Coach of the Year: Mark Gottfried, NC State

Perhaps the happiest part of yesterday’s win is that it kept me from having to vote for Roy Williams. Although he had some raw talent to work with, Coach Gottfried undoubtedly inherited a hot mess. The most important thing he did was change the culture of selfishness, laziness, and losing (three factors that fed each other ravenously under Sidney Lowe). As I’ve said all year, wins are just gravy. 9-7 represents a whole lot of gravy. If you want a specific instance to use around the water cooler, it’s how expertly Coach Gottfried balanced carrots and sticks with Calvin Leslie, transforming a talented but aimless headcase into a hard-working dynamo and fan favorite. I never would have believed that if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

Player of the Year: John Henson, UNC

This vote doesn’t make me happy, as Henson is perhaps as big an asshole as you’ll find in the ACC. But, as with my vote for Toney Douglas a few years ago, defense counts when I cast my vote. It should count for everyone, but oh well. Henson elevated his offensive game this season, while unfathomably becoming an even better rebounder and interior defender. His first half performance against NC State (in Chapel Hill) was easily the most dominant individual effort I saw all season. Tyler Zeller will win this, but he’s no better than fourth on my ballot.

Rookie of the Year: Austin Rivers, Duke

Easiest vote on the ledger, I can’t imagine this being anything other than unanimous. Rivers is really good, and the only thing (well, along with referee protection) that keeps Duke from being a very average basketball team.

All-ACC (First Team):

John Henson, UNC
Kendall Marshall, UNC
Mike Scott, Virginia
Tyler Zeller, UNC
Calvin Leslie, NC State

Only one surprise here, but one which the uneducated might attribute to homerism. But Mike Scott and Austin Rivers both faded down the stretch, and Scott started in higher position. While those dual fades were in progress, Calvin Leslie was elevating his game to superhuman status. He was arguably the ACC’s best player the last three or four weeks. I gave Mark Gottfried significant credit for Leslie’s turnaround above…but remember, it takes two to tango. Calvin was challenged for maybe the first time in his young life, and he really, really responded (on offense, defense, and the glass). The other mild surprise is seeing Kendall Marshall listed second, but his gaudy assist and assist-to-turnover numbers are all-time great caliber. That impresses me more than raw scoring totals.

All-ACC (Second Team):

Austin Rivers, Duke
Harrison Barnes, UNC
Michael Snaer, Florida State
Kenny Kadji, Miami
Seth Curry, Duke

Kadji and Curry were very important players towards their respective teams’ success. Curry showed lots of poise, and had a penchant for making shots in really crucial situations. Again, that impresses me much more than raw scoring totals. Nothing else is the least bit surprising.

All-ACC (Third Team):

Terrell Stoglin, Maryland
Tanner Smith, Clemson
Ian Miller, Florida State
Lorenzo Brown, NC State
Bernard James, Florida State

Speaking of raw scoring totals…the ACC’s runaway scoring leader is on my third team. But he’s a one-trick pony, who relies on taking an unholy (and unhealthy) number of shots per game. He’s also a poor ballhandler and defender. So be lucky that I even list you first on the third team, Mr. Stoglin. Tanner Smith and Ian Miller are criminally underrated “glue guys” who do everything well, even if they don’t do any one thing great. Lo Brown is second in assists (albeit distant to Marshall, the ballhandling savant) during ACC play – not bad for a sophomore who played the two last season. Bernard James gets the last slot more or less by default – he was productive, though I think he’s fairly fungible.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

11-12 Basketball ACC Mark Gottfried On the Record Rankings & Lists

13 Responses to 2011-12 ACC Honors (BJD’s “Ballot” on Behalf of SFN)

  1. Rick 03/05/2012 at 8:32 AM #

    Hard to argue too much. I would put Zeller as POY. He is just so well rounded. He does everything well.
    I will be glad to these those two leave.

  2. Wulfpack 03/05/2012 at 8:38 AM #

    Agree for the most part as well. I’d also make Zeller the POY. And I do think Hamilton will receive a good many votes for COY, but my vote is likewise, for Gott. Not really sure why Roy would be in the running. They were the odds on favorite to start with.

  3. BJD95 03/05/2012 at 8:41 AM #

    Ol’ Roy is my runner-up for how he got his team’s head straight after embarrassing themselves in Tallahassee and choking against Duke.

    He would have been the winner by default

  4. wolfie91 03/05/2012 at 8:48 AM #

    Zeller gets my POY vote. I think he’s been a key to UNC’s success. But a lot of that is subjective because I don’t watch their games as carefully as I do ours. Leslie has played like 1st team recently, but no way he gets that. I am not sure about Brown for 3rd team either. Not sure who will get COY.

  5. Dr. Wolf 03/05/2012 at 8:58 AM #

    Rivers gets first team over Calvin b/c 1) shot to beat UNC, 2) Blue

  6. BJD95 03/05/2012 at 9:03 AM #

    Remember, I’m not predicting, just “voting.” Looking at the numbers, Henson scores almost as much as Zeller, and out-rebounds him. Zeller’s an ok defender, whereas Henson is a game-changer.

    After my first 13, I didn’t feel that strongly about anyone. Lo and James had solid overall numbers and contributions to pretty good teams.

  7. coach13 03/05/2012 at 9:43 AM #

    I just like true big men, and Zeller fits that bill. Plus to me, Zeller is just big and good. He doesn’t seem to exude the cockiness/mouthiness of most UNC players. he just diligently does his thing. He would be my POY

  8. Ed89 03/05/2012 at 10:22 AM #

    I like the lists, but Rivers will get 1st team over Calvin. Hopefully, Calvin will make the second team. If he stays, and keeps improving, he could be POY next year.

  9. Hungwolf 03/05/2012 at 10:28 AM #

    Gottfried or Leonard Hamilton should get COY.

  10. xphoenix87 03/05/2012 at 2:29 PM #

    There’s no way Roy should win CoY. He’s got the most talented team in the country. They won the league, but they didn’t run away with it like they should have.

    Like I said in my forum post about this, I think UNC deserves 4 on the 1st team. Putting Rivers or anyone else on the 1st team instead of Barnes/Henson just seems like people trying to find a way to not put all 4 UNC guys on the 1st team. Barnes has had a better year than Rivers. He’s had a better year than Calvin. He’s had a better year than Stoglin. I don’t like it any more than you guys do, but all 4 of them deserve to be there. (It’s not going to happen though, Rivers is going to get in almost entirely on the strength of that first UNC game)

    Scott isn’t going to win PoY, and it’s absolutely criminal. He’s a wicked efficient scorer even though he’s the only real offensive option on his team. The degree of difficulty on his scoring is WAY higher than Zeller (or any of the UNC guys), but he’s still the most efficient scorer in the ACC. His numbers would be even more impressive if Virginia didn’t play such a glacially slow pace, and he’s a big part of one of the top 10 defensive teams in the country. I don’t see how you can say he “faded down the stretch”. Obviously, he didn’t play well in the UNC game (course, we know why that is), but the other games at the end of the season? 25-7 vs Maryland, 20-9 @VT, 28-10 vs FSU (one of the country’s best defensive front lines) and 35-11 @Maryland (and he shot >50% in each one of those games). He’s actually been better here at the end of the year.

  11. state73 03/05/2012 at 4:23 PM #

    I strongly disagree with xphoenix87. Barnes did not have a better year than Calvin Leslie!

  12. GotNCState 03/05/2012 at 5:15 PM #

    I would still vote (squeeze in somehow) Lorenzo Brown to 2nd team. BJD does such fine work.

  13. BJD95 03/05/2012 at 6:50 PM #

    Because Roy and K are well-established coaches with significant institutional advantages…they don’t get graded on a curve for their talent on hand. So between those two, there’s no way I reward the 2nd place finisher over #1.

    That rule starts kicking in generally for coaches starting in their third year. Thus, I don’t think Tony Bennett did much better than, say, Mark Turgeon.

    I do take the quality of the job into consideration, though.

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