The league announced its 2011-2012 ACC Player of the Year today, and Mike Scott was not it. North Carolina's Tyler Zeller won by quite the landslide, receiving 45 of 62 possible votes, while Scott garnered only 14. Two other Tar Heels, Harrison Barnes (2) and John Henson (1), received the remaining votes.
The league also announced the Coach of the Year, awarded to Florida State's Leonard Hamilton, whose Seminoles finished 21-9, 12-4 in the regular season.
I certainly didn't expect Zeller to win by such a landslide, but had somehow convinced myself that if Scott didn't take Player of the Year honors, Bennett would be Virginia's consolation prize, with a Coach of the Year nod. After all, Virginia finished 22-8 (9-7 ACC) as the most shallow team in the conference, losing its big man less than two and a half games into conference play.
That's not to say Hamilton doesn't deserve COY honors -- the Noles did, after all, take two victories, however slim the margin, over Virginia. And to have only four losses in conference is a pretty impressive feat. Nor is this to say that Zeller doesn't deserve POY honors -- I happen to disagree, but I see where reasonable minds could differ (emphasis on reasonable). But I sort of expected the media to vote for Bennett on account of (1) Scott being left off POY ballots and (2) how scrappy the rest of Virginia's team is, compared to Florida State and the rest of the ACC's top.
Hamilton received 21 votes, while Duke's Coach K received 20. Bennett finished third with nine votes.
The Wooden Award Finalists were also announced today, and Mike Scott's name was nowhere to be found in the list of fifteen. ACC is represented by Zeller and Duke's Austin Rivers. Scott was, however, named to the Sporting News All-American Third-Team. Zeller was named to the second-team, while Barnes also received third-team honors.