Pack Pride's All-ACC Ballot

Pack Pride writer Austin Johnson has submitted his all-conference picks to the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Here is a glimpse at Austin's ballot with the teams expected to be announced today.

Before we get to the ballot, I think it's important to understand the criteria I use to vote.

The ACSMA gives no criteria for the voting process, leaving it to each individual voter to establish his own. Mine is simple – I focus almost entirely on league play since these are league awards.

I do not care about a player's talent or draft projection or anything that wasn't his actual offensive and defensive production on the floor. I mostly ignore team record – it's simply the 15 most productive players in the league regardless of position or placement in the standings.

And finally, I pay almost no attention to counting stats – those are a product of team tempo and individual volume and not an accurate reflection of a player's actual production.

1st Team
Erick Green, Virginia Tech
Mason Plumlee, Duke
Joe Harris, Virginia
Richard Howell, NC State
Shane Larkin, Miami

Not much to debate here, except perhaps whether Seth Curry should take Shane Larkin's place on the first team. I wound up leaving Larkin in the fifth spot due mostly to his defense at the point. The other four, to me at least, are no-brainer selections.

2nd Team
Seth Curry, Duke
Reggie Bullock, North Carolina
Kenny Kadji, Miami
Lorenzo Brown, NC State
Durand Scott, Miami

Again, the top four seem like no-brainers here in Curry, Bullock, Kadji and Brown.

I know there's a big belief that Brown is still the best point guard in the ACC, and perhaps he is, but the three games his missed and his shooting drove down his overall value to NC State and thus his place on the All-ACC pecking order.

Scott moves up from my the third team to the second team based on his defense, though I think there are a number of other guys who could slot in at the last 2nd team slot.

3rd Team
Akil Mitchell, Virginia
P.J. Hairston, North Carolina
Ryan Anderson, Boston College
Quinn Cook, Duke
Michael Snaer, Florida State

Hairston is in the final five because despite averaging under 30 minutes a game in league play he managed to be one of the league's most efficient scorers and proved to be a quality defender even when put at the four spot.

This team is probably more noteworthy for who isn't on here – James Michael McAdoo and C.J. Leslie – than the players who are actually listed.

I fully expect both players to end up on the 3rd team when the final ballots are counted, but for me they are both simply volume players who – at least on offense – are a drain on the overall productivity of their teams. Both have the worst offensive rating of any player in their teams' starting five and both are turnover machines who generate their high counting stats by virtue of being on the court and taking a lot of shots.

In a game that's increasingly about maximizing each possession, you cannot waste as many possessions as those two did and be one of the 15 most productive players in the league.

All-Freshman
T.J. Warren, NC State
Olivier Hanlan, Boston College
Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke
Marcus Georges-Hunt, Georgia Tech
Marcus Paige, North Carolina

Three easy selections – Warren, Hanlan and Sulaimon – followed by a slew of potential candidates for the last two spots. I went with Georges-Hunt, the one offensive bright spot on a terrible offensive team in Georgia Tech and Paige, who rebounded from a rough start to the season to be a key part of Carolina's second-half surge.

All-Defensive
Michael Snaer, Florida State
Durand Scott, Miami
Alex Len, Maryland
Daniel Miller, Georgia Tech
Akil Mitchell, Virginia

Tough to choose this team, as there are maybe a dozen guys who will end up getting votes with all them deserving of recognition.

Snaer is the only player I chose who wasn't on an excellent defensive team, but his individual play certainly merits the vote. Scott has been a lockdown defender for the best defensive team in the conference while Len, Miller and Mitchell are all key cogs in the top defenses in the conference.

Player of the Year - Erick Green, Virginia Tech
The only player in the last decade to come close to matching Green's combination of usage percentage and offensive efficiency is J.J. Redick in 2006. That year the Duke guard took home about every individual award – both in the league and nationally – that you can imagine.

Green is actually more efficient and being used at a higher rate than Redick, but because of his teammates he's not even necessarily a shoe-in to win the ACC Player of the Year award.

Coach of the Year - Jim Larranaga, Miami
Won the regular season title, easy call.

Freshman of the Year – T.J. Warren, NC State
He topped all ACC freshmen in FG% and offensive rating with a usage rating just shy of 20 percent. He also picked up his rebounding and defense, his two major weaknesses early in the year, once he moved into the starting line-up late in the season.

Sulaimon had this award locked up, thanks to his superior defense, but his poor play down the stretch opened the door for Warren.

Defensive Player of the Year – Durand Scott, Miami
He was responsible for some of the worst performances of the season for Reggie Bullock and Seth Curry while helping the Miami defense rank first in defensive efficiency during league play.

His defensive play is a big reason why the Canes are celebrating their first ever regular season title.


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