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The 2016 BTP Awards: Recognizing the finest in ACC basketball underachievement

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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.

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Nominees:

Player (School) eFG%
Devin Wilson (VT) 
32.9
Darryl Hicks (BC) 34.9
James Robinson (Pittsburgh) 39.8
Trey Lewis (Louisville) 40.7

The Awards Committee here at BTP has been mulling a name change for this award, as it seems increasingly to showcase the worst cases of Short Guy Struggle. All of our nominees this year are guards, and all of them were very very bad at making two-point shots this season. The best of the bunch was Lewis, who made 40.7% of his twos in league play (and only 27.1% of his threes -- eeeew).

The trophy this year goes to James Robinson, who played a ton of minutes at Pittsburgh, and has posted identical 37.1 two-point shooting percentages in the last two seasons. The man has been trying to solve this problem through four solid years of shot-hoistin', and it is our fear that this will become less a basketball problem, and more an existential one. We are praying for you, James.

The Quentin Thomas Award

For the most turnover-prone player during conference play.

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Nominees:

Player (School) TO%
Darius Thompson (UVA) 28.2
Montay Brandon (FSU) 25.4
Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville) 25.4
Devin Wilson (VT) 30.9

Much to the Committee's dismay, this category is growing mundane, because turnover rates across college basketball continue to decline. This year, the national average was the lowest it's been since at least 1993. And so there is less comedy to be had here, which is alarming indeed.

We even must grudgingly credit Onuaku for shrinking his turnover rate to 25.4, down from a far more hilarious 32.4% in 2015. IT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS, DARN IT.

So we applaud Devin Wilson's efforts to keep things the way they were. The way we all were. God we had fun.

The Tunje Soroye Award

Free lunches.

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Nominees:

Player (School) %Poss
Lennard Freeman (NCSU) 10.2
Ben Lammers (GT) 11.3
BeeJay Anya (NCSU)
11.5
Rex Pflueger (ND) 10.0

Not everybody can be the focal point of an offense in college basketball, and that's okay. Sometimes the players we find in this category are efficient contributors, but maybe they have the awareness of their limitations that others lack. And then there's other times where the workload is low because the player is obviously not any good at basketball things. But they are tall, and doggone it, that can be helpful in some ways, theoretically, which is why they are on a basketball team in the first place.

This year, Lennard Freeman gets the nod thanks to his incredibly infrequent shot attempts. He accounted for only 6.8% of NC State's FGAs while he was on the floor, easily the lowest number among the 109 award-eligible players. He attempted 34 shots in 334 minutes during league play, which comes out to four shots for every 40 minutes played.

The Anthony Harris Award

For the most inefficient player during conference play.

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Nominees:

Player (School) ORTG
Ervins Meznieks (BC) 65.4
Jerome Robinson (BC) 83.7
Eli Carter (BC) 82.7
Darryl Hicks (BC)
68.2

Last year at this time, when we gave this award to the entire Georgia Tech team, we said it'd probably be the first and last time that happened. What fools we all were then. Because of course, waiting in the wings, was a Boston College team that would try to set a world record for ineffective basketball doings.

Georgia Tech averaged 0.94 points per possession in ACC games in 2015. This past season, BC averaged 0.86. That is incredibly, impressively bad. It's like they weren't trying to score, but rather merely hold and appreciate the basketball for 30 seconds and then give the ball to the other team because they appreciate it so much.

Really we should have seen this coming when Jim Christian announced during the preseason that his offensive philosophy was to "get the big round basketball puck to the net, to get shots at the net, and hopefully we can get a few past the metal circle." Unfortunately, that metal circle stood on its head against the Eagles all year. It's best if we don't get into the specifics.

The Impressively Short Tall Guy Award

For crummy defensive rebounding during conference play.

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Nominees
:

Player (School) DR%
Montay Brandon (FSU) 10.7
Ryan Luther (Pitt) 11.9
John Collins (Wake) 14.2
Jaylen Johnson (Louisville) 11.8

We are always amused by players who rebound well at the offensive end but can't seem to translate that to the defensive end. Granted, we are talking about two different skills, but on the other hand, it ain't like you got shorter at the defensive end, pal! What is your deal, huh? You don't want the rebound unless it can end in a couple of points for you, is that it? Well hey it's a free country, you don't have to grab defensive boards or do some other things you may find distasteful, but we don't have to like it!

Anyway, good job, Ryan Luther. You grabbed 11.1% of the boards at the offensive end, which is a really good number, and a mere 11.9% at the defensive end, which is not even close to a decent number. Several guards were better at this end than Luther, including BC's Eli Carter, who is only 6'2.

The Get Busy Shooting Or Get Busy Dying Award

Shamelessness is relative.

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Nominees
:

Player (School) %Shots eFG%
Trey Lewis (Louisville) 22.1 40.7
Maverick Rowan (NCSU) 22.7 43.6
Jalen Hudson (VT) 28.8 44.4
Dwayne Bacon (FSU) 30.8 43.3

Hey, we get it, you've been the best player on your team since middle school, coach tells you to run the show, you run the show, you score a lot of points, and it's not particularly challenging. Then you hit college and the competition is completely different, but you've never changed your mindset, never faced a challenge requiring that sort of introspection. And then the numbers above happen.

Dwayne Bacon is a great talent, and also a leech, draining the vitality out of countless possessions. He averaged 18 field goal attempts per 40 minutes during the regular season, never deterred by the fact that he couldn't even crack 30% from three-point range. In ACC play, he made a quarter of his 63 three-point attempts, and 45.1% of his 175 two-point tries.

The Whoops Didn't See Ya There Award

For fouling a whole heck of a bunch.

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Nominees
:

Player (School) Fouls committed per 40 minutes
DaJuan Coleman (Syracuse) 7.3
Sidy Djitte (Clemson)
7.9
John Collins (Wake)
7.4
Isaiah Hicks (UNC) 7.2

Rules changes often will come at somebody's expense. This past season saw an increased emphasis on contact, in the effort to establish a more free-flowing game. Fouls were called more frequently, and our nation's very tall people often bore the brunt of it. Last year, there were nine award-eligible ACC players who averaged  five fouls or more per 40 minutes. This year, there were 18.

Sidy Djitte fouled out of three ACC contests, and on two occasions he didn't even need 20 minutes to do it.