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
It should not come as a surprise anymore that people who spend so much time doing one thing can be so terrible at it--the awards committee has been evaluating precisely such cases for eight years now--but every season we marvel at this category. The nominees are often dominated by guards, and this season we have that and a lot of youth, a combination that understandably can lead to some unfortunate numbers. Basketball is difficult, especially when you're surrounded by guys who are all taller than you, so this is really a bummer all around.
Adonis Filer is transferring from Clemson after a year in which he knocked down a mere 22 of his 80 field goal attempts, but he'll have some hardware to take with him.
The Quentin Thomas Award
For the most turnover-prone player during conference play
Nate Britt (UNC)
Over the years, we've managed to soften a bit on forwards who happen to be prone to mistakes. It's not their job to dribble, generally speaking, but many times they are put in a disadvantageous position where they have to try to dribble, which leads to a lot of bad outcomes. Sure, they deserve some blame for not being able to dribble more than three times in a row, but that skill ain't their meal ticket. They're on the floor to grab some boards, maybe throw down a dunk or two, and block Adonis Filer's errant shot-throws.
Madison Jones is a rare back-to-back winner, having claimed this award both last year and this year. Kid's got a future.
The Tunji Soroye Hole In The Lineup Award
Tyler Thornton (Duke)
|Corey Heyward (GT)
Something genuinely remarkable happened this season, but were any of us aware of it? No. The %Poss number barely cracks the surface with Corey Heyward, who won this award with ease because his %Shots figure is south of five. This is not a fellow who logged a minute or two here and there--he made 14 starts in 20 conference games and averaged more than 21 minutes per contest. He attempted 27 shots in 424 minutes, which comes out to around 2.5 field goal attempts per 40 minutes played.
If Brian Gregory had simply opted to play one of his shoes as his fifth man, the shoe would have ended up shooting more often. This is mainly because the players would forget there's a shoe on the court, and a bounce pass would carom off the shoe and hit the rim a few times every night. Gregory would also call plays specifically for the shoe "just for giggsies," as he often likes to say.
Corey Heyward cannot help the fact that he is not a shoe, and for this he will be forgiven ... eventually.
The Anthony Harris Award
For the most inefficient player during conference play
Charles Mitchell (UMD)
|Joey van Zegeren (VT)
The committee considers the Tony H to be the most significant honor it doles out each year, so it is with extra careful deliberation that decisions are made. We've been handing these things out for the better part of a decade and still haven't managed to come up with a decent name for the awards ceremony; that's how much we stew on this one. This year we had it relatively easy--Madison Jones' tour de force of a season made him really stand out. When you go out there and you put together a turnover rate higher than your field goal percentage, well, that's all we ever want. That's everything to us. That is this award.
The Impressively Short Tall Guy Award
For crummy defensive rebounding during conference play
Donnavan Kirk (Miami)
Tyler Cavanaugh (Wake)
Mike Tobey plays on the best defensive rebounding team in the ACC, which might be the problem. We bet it's like some Hunger Games shit down there in the paint when a UVA opponent shoots the ball. Everyone sprinting for the goodies, Malcolm Brogdon tossing spears about, Akil Mitchell coming at you with a big-ass sword. Tobey more often than not opted out of these violent confrontations, waiting instead to see what developed from the aftermath.
The Get Busy Shooting Or Get Busy Dying Award
Shamelessness is relative
|Davon Reed (Miami)
|Ben Emelogu (VT)
|Adonis Filer (Clemson)
|Jordan Roper (Clemson)
We were looking for a specific type with this award--namely, players who didn't log a huge chunk of minutes and who weren't obviously the go-to options on their respective teams. Jarell Eddie and C.J. Fair, for instance, were dreadful shooters with huge workloads, but their teams asked them to be significant contributors offensively.
(Fair being named to the first-team all-ACC squad goes to show how misleading per-game stats and inertia from preseason hype lead to absurdly bogus accolades, but we digress.)
Our nominees here, though ... ain't nobody ask for all these shots, men. Also we are beginning to grasp why Clemson's offense was so bad this season.
We're exceptionally impressed with Davon Reed, who averaged 13 shots per 40 minutes played, undeterred despite shooting about 33% both from three and from inside the arc. Concerns were raised regarding the number of his shots that may have been badly-aimed alley-oop tries, but that simply made this pick more fitting to all of us, for some reason.
The Whoops Didn't See Ya There Award
For fouling a whole heck of a bunch
Fouls committed per 40 minutes
|Tyler Thornton (Duke)
Rakeem Christmas (Cuse)
Does that number for Tyler Thornton seem low to you? It did to us. There were several occasions last season where he was literally carrying a club around on the floor. Two shooting guards from Florida Atlantic had to be hospitalized due to blunt force trauma following the Owls' game against Duke back in November, though we bet you never heard about it.