Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My All-ACC team

The media announced the All-ACC selections for 2008 yesterday and the selections went mostly as you would expect. I would have put Greivis Vasquez on the first team in place of a one the dimensional Jack McClinton but I think Vasquez's antics probably rubbed some media types the wrong way. It likely cost him enough votes to relegate him to 2nd team. I also feel that Bambale Osby should have been on the defensive team instead of James Gist. Gist is a very good shot blocker but he isn't a great low post defender and over the last few games his defense has been atrocious.

My All-ACC team

1st Team
Tyler Hansbrough North Carolina
Sean Singletary Virginia
Tyrese Rice Boston College
Greivis Vasquez Maryland
DeMarcus Nelson Duke

2nd Team
James Gist Maryland
James Johnson Wake Forest
Jack McClinton Miami
Kyle Singler Duke
Toney Douglas Florida State

3rd Team
AD Vassallo Virginia Tech
Ty Lawson North Carolina
Cliff Hammonds Clemson
Greg Paulus Duke
Wayne Ellington North Carolina

The player of the year should clearly go to Hansbrough. He is by far the most dominant player in the ACC and should be considered among the best players in the last decade for the conference. Lawson may have missed a large portion of the season but it was clear how much better North Carolina is with him at point guard when they went to Duke and won last week. What is striking is how few great post players there are in the league right now. Johnson and Gist like to float outside often and Singler is hardly a low post player. Others like James Mays, Trevor Booker and JJ Hickson are solid players but just not productive enough.

My coach of the year was Oliver Purnell. Only the third time in Clemson history that they have won 10 games in an ACC season. He lead the Tigers through injuries to both James Mays and Trevor Booker while losing to North Carolina twice in overtime. Only late losses to Georgia Tech and Florida State kept them from contending for an ACC title. The ACC media Coach of the Year award is a joke as evidenced by them awarding it to Seth Greenberg again. Greenberg has won the award twice for going 8-8 and 9-7 and likely a second NIT trip. That deserves coach of the year?

I also want to give some credit to the unsung players who do the dirty work for the good of their team. They won't get much notice but their effort and hustle are essential to their teams. I call it my All-Grunts team.

Bambale Osby Maryland
Raymond Sykes Clemson
Jon Scheyer Duke
D'Andre Bell Georgia Tech
Ben McCauley NC State
Lars Mikalauskas Virginia

Now for some fun. What I like to call my All-Weasel team and this year is an excellent collection. In the fine tradition of Makhtar Ndiaye, Dahntay Jones, Juluis Hodge and Vytas Danelius I present my selections of the dirtiest bunch of cheaters and jerks in the ACC.

Deron Washington Virginia Tech
I'll miss his flopping antics and attempts to bait other players into retaliating after he puts his arm in their huddle. Washington's collection of embarrassing antics against Duke this season even got him a montage of shame on ESPN. How can we forget he got suspended for trying to wipe his shoe on Lee Melchionni's face a few years ago?

Jeff Allen Virginia Tech
Another Hokie who got suspended by the league for on the court misdeeds. Has any recent team had two players with that distinction? Allen bumped an official after a call he didn't like. What a start for a freshman. I guess I shouldn't be too hard on Allen. He does have the brain of the 12 year old.

Chas McFarland Wake Forest
A chippy little jerk who tends to let his emotions get the better of him. He hacked his way to six disqualifications this season. In the mold of Danelius whose nickname was Thugalius for his free flying elbows.

Gerald Henderson Duke
The hard edge to Duke's team of finesse players. Last year I thought his "sweep the leg" moment in which he broke Hansbrough's nose was an accident. Watching him delight in trying to dunk on people to show them up and then preening for the crowd has made me change my mind.


Free said...

Yet again the ACC writers prove they know next to nothing. Let's not forget this is the group that picked NCST to finish 3rd, UVA to finish 5th and Miami to finish 12th in the preseason.

Matthew said...

First time on the blog.... very nice. I enjoyed your analysis of the upcoming BC-MD game over on the eagle in atlanta blog. Very fair and thought out.

I wish you guys the best of luck... obviously, I am pulling for BC. But I LOVE Gary Williams and respect the way his teams play. Heck, you guys need wins right now more than we do.... so I'll be able to deal with a loss to you guys I guess, if it comes to that.

Esquire said...

Thanks for the kind words. It would be a shame for Rice's career to end with a loss in the first round of the ACC tournament if he decides to declare for the NBA draft. It has been a tough season for Al Skinner after phenomenal success since joining the ACC. I'm sure he'll have the Eagles back after a short while.

Anonymous said...

You should add vasquez to the weasel team for whining like a soccer player about every call while he pushes off and travels. but then you would have to be unbiased

Esquire said...

Well, he doesn't bait other players into fouling, kick them in the face, bump officials, foul someone with the intent to injure them or gotten suspended by the ACC. I did consider putting him on the list but his antics don't rise to the level of the other players on that list. If whining and pushing off qualified to make my list about half of the ACC would be there. Unfortunately that kind of preening is common place in college basketball these days. Even Tyrese Rice was "jersey popping" during the game last night. He doesn't make the list either.

Anonymous said...

a little bitter about losing to miami 3 times over the last two seasons?

1. no mention of Frank Haith for coach of the year, despite his team finishing 7 spots ahead of where they were picked

2. no mention of jimmy graham on the all-grunts team

3. saying jack mcclinton did not deserve all-acc honors - did you happen to catch his first round NCAA tournament game? he carried the team over the 2nd half of the season

Esquire said...

Not bitter, just resigned to the fact that the Maryland program has sunk to the level where it regularly losses to a school that didn't even have a basketball team in recent memory.

I don't really think much of Frank Haith as a coach. His teams have probably underachieved if you consider his talent but I guess there are worse in the ACC. I would have given him the coach of the year award over Greenberg but I though Oliver Purnell did a much better job than either of them.

Jimmy Graham is certainly a tough and physical player but he isn't as fundamentally sound on either offense or defense as the other players on the list. He seems more interested in making blocks that might get him on a highlight reel than on playing sound defense. He also seems to lose focus and commit dumb fouls too often.

I didn't write that McClinton didn't deserve All-ACC honors, only that he wasn't a 1st team level player. He is a chucker. Only one player who was All-ACC had as low a shooting % (0.400) in ACC games as McClinton did and that was Greg Paulus, who was the last player to make the All-ACC voting. He isn't a noteworthy defender, rebounder or assist maker. He doesn't do much else besides shoot the ball. That isn't a 1st team All-ACC player.