The ACC released their all-conference selection yesterday, wherein Virginia had precisely zero players named to either the First, Second, Third, All-Defense, or All-Freshman teams. Given this, you would think UVA had finished dead last in the conference, but no. That would be Wake Forest, and even they have one man in Travis McKie. Since the all-conference accolades were announced, there's been a lot of buzz by UVA fans that Cavalier freshman Joe Harris was snubbed by the 75 voting members of the media.
There's no doubt that Harris has been nothing short of a savior this season for a Virginia squad that spent much of this year with injured players, an anemic offense, and an unsettled starting rotation. Certainly, Harris has earned his spot in that rotation at Virginia. But the question is, is he All-ACC caliber?
Some of his numbers are certainly impressive. Harris has risen to second in the UVA annals for three pointers made by a freshman, at 64, behind only Virginia great Curtis Staples (who went on to hit 413 threes over his career). Former Cavalier Sean Singletary had just 34 his freshman year.
How does that compare to the rest of the ACC? This season, Harris leads all the ACC freshmen in three pointers made. Here's what the ACC All-Freshman Team looks like
|North Carolina||Harrison Barnes||F||45-140|
|Wake Forest||Travis McKie||F||17-55|
|North Carolina||Kendall Marshall||G||13-34|
|N.C. State||CJ Leslie||F||7-28|
By comparison, Harris went 64-154, and for those of you doing some quick math at home, that is a 41.6% three-point field goal percentage. And yes, that is indeed the best out of any current ACC freshman, and puts him fourth-best of any class year in the conference. In fact, 41.6% puts him better than any other ACC freshman since 2000.
Keep reading after the jump.
The slate of freshmen that were chosen have all had impressive seasons. When I started writing this post today, I thought the answer I'd come up with would be in the negative. I had a hard time believing that Harris, who can be a little slow and stiff on the court, could compare with the five freshmen who received the honor. After taking a look again, I think I'm back on the fence. Here's a look at the stats:
Harris, while certainly comparable with the competition, looks like he's just shy of their numbers, with the exception perhaps of Marshall, a true point guard. Marshall has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.51 -- second-best in the league. Harris's is 0.75.
It's obviously a bit tough to make a fully educated vote on this, considering most media will (a) watch their own team play and (b) to the extent they're watching another ACC team, it'll likely be Duke or Carolina. So a lot of this likely came down to looking at the numbers and trying to make a semi-educated guess from there.
By the way, each of the All-Freshman members were recognized as ACC Rookie of the Week three times this season, except for Maryland's Stoglin, who was recognized twice near the end of the season (Feb 21, 28). Harris never earned these honors.
There's no magic formula to figure out who the "best" rookie is. Is it the one who produced the top conference numbers? If so, Harris might not belong on that list. Is it the one who proved to be most valuable to their team? If so, Harris deserved serious consideration, as Virginia likely would not have finished close to a 7-9 record without his contributions (whereas Carolina without Marshall or N.C. State without Leslie may still have had similar results).
So what do you think? Was Joe Harris of Virginia snubbed of ACC All-Rookie honors, and if so, who does he replace? Or was the competition simply to stiff? Leave your comments below.