The All-ACC awards. Another chance for America to slight Elijah Hughes. I’ve got a bad feeling the ACC’s leading scorer is somehow left off the All-ACC 1st Team in the coming days, which might actually cause Syracuse to explode.
Let’s go through and fill out my ballot and discuss. Feel free to comment at the end with why you agree or why you disagree with any of these.
All-ACC 1st Team
G: Tre Jones (Duke)
G: Elijah Hughes (Syracuse)
F: Jordan Nwora (Louisville)
F: Vernon Carey Jr. (Duke)
F: John Mooney (Notre Dame)
Ok so obviously Hughes is a forward, but it’s foolish to get caught up in technicalities like that with this list. Honestly, I debated putting Garrison Brooks over Jordan Nwora. Brooks has been on an absolute tear lately: 25 points or more in his last four games and 20 points or more in his last six games. He has carried UNC all year long, while honestly I’ve never been that impressed with Nwora when I watch him. He has been inconsistent, benched at times and struggled in big moments. However, you can’t ignore his numbers and his teams record compared to Brooks.
I’d say Jones and Carey of Duke are locks to be on the first team. Jones mostly based on the other options at point guard and Carey because he has been the most dominant player in the conference although he can’t win player of the year (more on that in a second). Given that, the final three spots come down to Hughes, Nwora, Mooney, Vasell and Brooks. I’m scared they put Vasell over Hughes so the regular season champs are represented.
Devin Vasell: 12.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.6 APG, 53% FG, 41% 3PT, 74% FT
Elijah Hughes: 18.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.5 APG, 43% FG, 34% 3PT, 82% FT
I don’t think much more needs to be said on that then those numbers. Don’t mess it up, ACC.
All-ACC 2nd Team
G: Kihei Clark (UVA)
G: Markell Johnson (NCST)
F: Devin Vasell (FSU)
F: Garrison Brooks (UNC)
F: Aamir Simms (Clemson)
All-ACC Third Team
G: Trent Forsett (FSU)
G: Michael DeVoe (GT)
F: Landers Nolley Jr (VT)
F: Mamadi Diakite (UVA)
F: Oliver Sarr (WF)
Some of you might make the case for Buddy on the third team. Odds are he gets an honorable mention distinction. Given that it’s Syracuse though, I don’t see him making it. Critics will point to his inconsistency and they have a case there. I do think Buddy should win a different honor.
ACC Most Improved Player: Buddy Boeheim
The question going into the year was could he add a mid-range shot. Not only has he done that, but stats say Buddy is the best mid-range shooter in college basketball right now (and on the right wing). He took over stretches of games this year. Garrison Brooks, Aamir Simms and some others have cases. I doubt the award goes to Buddy, but it should.
ACC Player of the Year: Elijah Hughes
Let me just say that I would vote for Vernon Carey Jr. for this award 100 times out of 100. He is the ACC Player of the Year in my book. However, Duke nominated Tre Jones for the ballot. Therefore, rumor has he can’t win. Out of what is left, odds are it goes to Nwora because he was the preseason player of the year. That would be a mistake. Jones also doesn’t have the numbers. Don’t actually think Hughes is going to get this award, but based on who you can vote for, he absolutely should be in consideration.
ACC Coach of the Year: Leonard Hamilton (FSU)
ACC Freshman of the Year: Vernon Carey Jr.
ACC Defensive Player of the Year: Mamadi Diakite