Last year, Joe Harris made ACC First-Team and had a good case for Player of the Year. So we all just assumed that he'd make it this year, but the balance of this squad has made that increasingly unlikely. Still, a team that is looking like it'll compete for a conference championship must have somebody worthy of post-season recognition.
What Hoos will win end-of-season awards (first/second/third team, all-rookie, defensive, coach of the year), and who should win those awards?
Paul Wiley: London may get pushed out of the all-rookie team by Tyler Ennis, but I think the better team would have them both (Ennis as more of a SG to London's pure PG). Akil should be first-team all-defense: ask Jabari Parker about it. Justin should be in the all-defense conversation for his transition blocks if nothing else, but it's a crowded conference at the wings.
Malcolm may have played his way into 2nd team all-ACC but 3rd is more likely. I think Joe will get some love for last year/career overall and maybe get slotted a team higher than he should based on pure numbers; then again, Carolina writers are stupid (looking at you, Caulton Tudor) so who knows. And if the season ends today, I think Bennett runs away with Coach of the Year; if we finish with only one or two more losses, I think he's still a prohibitive favorite.
Brian Schwartz: At this point, it seems the first-team may be devoid of Hoos, another testament to the squad's much-discussed balance. Jabari Parker, Lamar Patterson, and CJ Fair would all be locks for my squad. As of now, I would add Tyler Ennis and TJ Warren; though Malcolm Brogdon has made a strong case thus far, and at the end of the year I'll probably be arguing for him to nab that last spot, he's still got work to do. Today, I'll say that both he and Joe both deserve to be on the second team, but I expect that Harris may be bumped to third team because of his low usage and pacism. I bet that McAdoo and his 48% eFG% (lower than Justin Anderson, who is a better defender and rebounder with similar usage) will somehow make the cut for 3rd team all-ACC, and that will piss me off.
Perrantes should be on the all-rookie team, unless voters are reluctant to vote two PGs (Ennis), which is silly, but possible.
I agree that Akil Mitchell should be a lock for the all-defense team, but voting on that is pretty unpredictable. I'd like to see Justin on there as well, but don't expect that to occur. And it definitely seems like Tony Bennett will finally notch an ACC Coach of the Year award, barring a really rough second half.
Paul Guttman: If Brogdon keeps playing the way he's playing, and putting up highlight reel dunks and game winning treys, he may get on the first-team even with a ppg of only 12ish. It helps that he's averaging over 5 boards per game as a shooting guard and over 2 dimes and nearly 2 steals per game as well. If not first team, Brogdon should be 2nd team.
Joe may get 3rd team unless he turns it on over the last month or so of the season. A big game on national TV, like his 36 against Duke last year would help. 36 against Cuse maybe? If the season ended right now, I'm not sure Joe would even get 3rd team. His numbers are down across the board from last year. His minutes are too, but voters probably won't look at something like that.
The all-defense teams are more likely to be made up of guys who have stats to back it up. Steals and blocks. Akil doesn't get a ton of either. It'll be interesting to see if he does get it. Justin actually has better stats. So does Brogdon. If Tony doesn't win COY, they should just disband the conference.
Schwartz: I know we're all probably in agreement on this, but while Joe's "numbers are down" across the board (i.e. fewer ppg, etc.), he's an even more efficient player than last season. The fact that this he's just playing less and shooting less will be completely ignored by the voting media. It's not completely unreasonable to penalize somebody for a lower usage - (A hypothetical player who shoots every possession and makes 45% of his threes is definitely more valuable and impressive than a player who shoots on 25% of possessions and makes 50%)...but it's something that most just won't even consider.
Wiley: The fact that that dude from Great Falls who "doesn't watch much basketball" gets an AP vote, and that Caulton Tudor still gets to publish words, make me doubt the ability of the voting media to understand basic logic much less usage-related math.
Caroline Darney: It's hard to say. I would still take Joe Harris on my first team, but his numbers just aren't flashy enough. I think he will end up second team because voters hate to admit that someone they touted isn't "as good" as they said the year before (happens alllll the time in lacrosse voting), despite Joe's increased efficiency. Keep in mind that teams still (rightfully) regard him as the biggest threat, as evidenced by the decoy play that opened it up for Hollywod.
I think Malcolm definitely deserves AT LEAST second team, but realistically he may end up third. His ACC play has been phenomenal, but even with his stats he's not an 'in your face' type of player in terms of pizazz and flare. I mean his reaction to hitting the game winner was "I've never done this before! What do I do?".
Can we just have Virginia as the All-ACC Defense team? I've been very impressed with Joe, Malcolm, Akil, and even London on the defensive end, and Justin is just a beast. I hope Akil gets the recognition he deserves because he's been grinding it out.
Tony Bennett for ACC COY for sure. How is there a question after the Tennessee Turnaround (#TTT)? Also, he quotes Emerson.