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Hypothetical All-ACC Ballot

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Though I no longer actually submit a ballot – stupid adulthood responsibilities – I still can’t keep away from the allure of debating All-ACC awards. So below is my hypothetical 2015 ballot had  I chosen to fork over a couple of bucks and re-upped with the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

  • There are no specific instructions on the ballot other than ‘regardless of position’ for the various teams. Here are the general criteria I use to determine my nominations.
  • These are individual awards, not team awards. I admit that I do factor in team performance as something of a tie-breaker however.
  • Defense matters, but is ultimately harder to evaluate on an individual level so I tend to weigh offense more heavily. But defense can certainly move the scales.
  • I do not care about per game statistics. I live in a per possession world because that’s how games are won and that’s how performance should be evaluated.
  • I do not care about out of conference play. These are ACC awards and how you played in Nov/Dec does not impact my decision-making

Ultimately, this is one man’s opinion. I trust stats more than my own eyes and for a variety of reasons watched far fewer games than I normally do. And, like everyone else, I bring my own biases to the table that I’m probably not even consciously aware of having.

Player of the Year – Olivier Hanlan, Boston College

Read the first and fourth bullet points above, and that’s basically my explanation for Hanlan. Based on the criteria I use, and have consistently used each year, Hanlan is the best player. Here’s a glance at the numbers.

Player MP eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORTG
Jahlil Okafor 540 0.652 15.7 18.7 17.3 9.4 1.3 3.8 17.2 25.9 118.9
Jerian Grant 701 0.52 0.9 7.3 4.3 36 3.4 1.7 15.4 24.5 118.3
Olivier Hanlan 699 0.571 1.5 12.2 6.9 28 1.1 0 11.4 30.4 117

I think you could justify voting for Grant if you really believe he’s a substantially better defender than Hanlan, or if you think the better assist rate is a product of Grant’s ability and not his teammates also being good offensive players. I admit its razor thin, but I’m taking Hanlan here. I think Okafor will get a lot of votes despite playing almost four less games (in terms of minutes) than his two competitors and being a distant third in this race after the final few games. That should matter, in my opinion.

Rookie of the Year – Jahlil Okafor, Duke

Moving on…

Defensive Player of the Year – Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Virginia’s defense was historic this season – like ‘best in the KenPom era (2002 to now) and probably further back than that’ historic. So yeah I’m giving this award to a Virginia player, and Brogdon was the most consistent shutdown perimeter defender on the squad. Again, not a particularly hard decision for me but I imagine some shot blockers will get votes like Christmas, Harrell and apparently Anya because wait what?!

(Brogdon was not on the ballot, because #goacc I guess, so most people went with Gill over him. I have no issues with that on a Brogdon-absent ballot.

Coach of the Year – Tony Bennett, Virginia

Not exactly a tough decision.

1st Team All-ACC

Jahlil Okafor, Duke
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Olivier Hanlan, Boston College
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
Quinn Cook, Duke

2nd Team All-ACC

Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
Jamel Artis, Pitt
Sheldon McClellan, Miami
Terry Rozier, Louisville

3rd Team All-ACC

Trevor Lacey, NC State
Marcus Georges-Hunt, Georgia Tech
Brice Johnson, UNC
Anthony Gill, Virginia
Marcus Paige, UNC

That last spot was kind of a dart throw, but I think Paige separates himself slightly from Michael Young & Justise Winslow with his defense. But those three and probably a dozen other players have claims to a 3rd team slot honestly.

All-Defense

Malcolm Brodgon, Virginia
Anthony Gill, Virginia
Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
Montrezl Harrell, Louisville
London Perrantes, Virginia

Again, historic Virginia defense. And they bludgeoned the league with it to a degree that you could put UVA’s starting line-up on here and not be wrong. Louisville had the second best defense in the conference and Harrell was at the center of that, while Syracuse was once again a very solid defensive team with Christmas supporting the middle of the zone.

All-Freshman

Jahlil Okafor, Duke
Justice Winslow, Duke
Tyus Jones, Duke
Xavier Rathan-Mayes, FSU
Justin Jackson, UNC

First four are sorta obvious, but Jackson was a pretty consistent starter in ACC play and I think he had a sizable lead on the rest of the competition for the 5th slot.