There are a lot of great basketball players in the ACC, and as each season concludes they are properly recognized and rewarded. But why should those guys hog the attention and the hardware just because they have talent? Hardly seems fair.
The Ekene Ibekwe Award
For hideous shooting during conference play.
|T.J. Sapp (Clemson)
|Shane Larkin (Miami)
|DeShawn Painter (NCSU)
|James M. McAdoo (UNC)
The awards committee has seen it year after year--it's difficult to be a short person and shoot a good percentage, especially when the short person in question is an underclassman. Like 80% of the guys on the floor are taller than you, and to top it all off, there's some clown in a speedo waving a giant Regis Philbin head at you from behind the basket--and the backboard is transparent! Talk about a nightmare. All the committee is saying here is when a 5-11 guy goes 2-10 on shots inside the arc, try to have a heart, okay?
DeShawn Painter, however, is not 5-11. And if we may add-- hold on, hold on ... we're hearing Princeton's head coach has just launched himself into a wood chipper. (We had those odds at 5-1.)
The Quentin Thomas Award
For the most turnover-prone player during conference play.
Nick Faust (UMD)
|Pe'Shon Howard (UMD)
Dennis Clifford (BC)
|Ty Walker (Wake)
Here we have the young guards up against the coordination-challenged tall dudes. How one leans here really depends on the perceived entertainment value of one group versus the other, which of course is all relative. We don't even know where we were going with that. Pe'Shon Howard had a higher turnover rate than shooting percentage in conference play, which is as deserving of recognition as anything else we can imagine.
The Tunji Soroye Hole In The Lineup Award
|Bryan Narcisse (Clemson)
|Tyler Thornton (Duke)
Gabriel Moton (BC)
Mychal Parker (UMD)
We've always sympathized with the nominees in this category since they are often of the coach-yells-at-you-if-you-take-an-open-jumper variety. Except when they make it, and in that case his coach knew it all the time, man. Tyler Thornton earns the nod here for his meager 5.4 field goal attempts per 40 minutes played. It takes a special type of player to shoot so infrequently and post a horrible eFG% at the same time. But when you take a bunch of jump shots and you are not actually a vaguely decent jump shooter, it does make some sense.
The Anthony Harris Award
For the league's most inefficient player during conference play.
Nikita Mescheriakov (Wake)
|Jason Morris (GT)
Robert Brown (VT)
Sammy Zeglinski (UVA)
The interesting--or bizarre--thing about these nominees is the fact that they each earned significant playing time. Zeglinski was on the floor 85% of the time for UVa during conference play, and they made the NCAAs! Mike Scott is probably not human. Role has much to do with both explaining the numbers above and the extent of their damage, but we aren't interested that stuff because we got after-parties to plan.
Nikita Mescheriakov was the standout in this category because it seemed like he often tended to be doing way more than he had any right to. And on Wake Forest, that's saying something. Some kids don't understand their own limitations, or if they do, there's always the "this time could be different!" factor. We have no idea what's going on in Nikita's case. He probably doesn't either.
The Impressively Short Tall Guy Award
For rebounding like a girl during conference play.
Catalin Baciu (Clemson)
Kenny Kadji (Miami)
Julian Royal (GT)
|Nikita Mescheriakov (Wake)
On one hand, it's easy enough to understand why a seven-footer might have trouble rebounding. On the other, the Zoubeks and Cliffords and Reggie Johnsons of the world haven't had much trouble, and it takes them a fortnight to move laterally three feet. So Catalin Baciu, our hats are off to you, sir. Do not despair, for Ty Zeller took this category last season and did a fine job on the defensive glass in 2012. It's never too late for self improvement, even though you are out of college eligibility.