All-ACC Awards: Appreciating the Unsung

In which the numbers hate Wake.

With another thrilling depressing ACC season in the books, it's time for my annual look back/statistical review of the season. Two years ago, I got to make fun of the media's obsession with Austin Rivers; last year, it was sucking up my pride and acknowledging Mason Plumlee as ACC PoY.

This year? Well... let's just say that I'm a bit surprised at how things turned out. I suspect anyone who has followed the media's coverage of the ACC this season will also be surprised; I'm pretty sure that during Saturday's Duke-UNC broadcast Dick Vitale mentioned about 17 players who should be all-ACC. (Don't ask why I was listening to Dick Vitale talk when I had a working Mute button.) In any event, only 5 can make first-team all-ACC, and for ACC Player of the Year... well... as that one movie says, there can be only one.


First thing's first... a review of how I'm doing this. I've gone through all 8 9 12 15 ACC teams and looked at Win Shares for each player who has played more than 15 minutes per game (450 or 465 minutes, depending on number of games played by a team). Why Win Shares? For one, it's a pretty simple metric to use, but it incorporates a lot of nitty-gritty that adjusted efficiency data doesn't account for on an individual level. One win share is equivalent to one win produced over the course of the period in question. And indeed, the first category that I created was simply raw Win Shares - who has produced the most wins over the course of the season.

However, this method of valuation isn't as clear cut in its usefulness as it sounds. Since Win Shares is a counting stat at heart, it emphasizes playing time more than anything else. Hence the second category evaluating players: Win Shares per 40 minutes played (or Win Shares rate). This stat looks at players based on how much they produce while they're on the court in a per minute fashion (a per possession number would be ideal, of course, but the website I use hasn't produced those numbers, and I like you guys a lot but not enough to go through game logs for every team and do the math by hand).

Lastly, there's also something to be said for having value to one's team. If I play on a team of Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Dwight Howard, I can probably put up some pretty nice numbers just based on who I'm playing with. At the same time, I will definitely be the least important member of that team. So I also took every player's raw Win Shares and divided that number by the cumulative Win Shares of his team, creating a percentage of the total Win Shares that that player produced. Last season, Erick Green led the league by producing over 50% of Virginia Tech's Win Shares... there's nothing that outrageous this season. I call this statistic Value.

For the all-defense teams, I just took the defensive Win Shares and applied the same numerical contortions to produce Defensive Win Shares per 40 minutes and Defensive Value.

That's a lot of words. When do we get to the good part?

Hold on! I'm not quite finished explaining yet. I created lists of the top 15 players in the ACC in each of the three categories mentioned above, as well as top 5 freshmen and defensive players. Players receive 15 points for being the best in the conference at a category (5 for freshmen and defense teams), with second place receiving 14 (4 for freshman/defense), third place receiving 13, etc. I also have awarded bonus points based on the number of categories in which a player ranks: 2 bonus point for ranking in 2 categories, and an additional 3 bonus points for ranking in all 3. Thus, the maximum number of points a player can receive is 50 for the all-conference team (15 for each metric, 5 bonus points) and 20 for the all-freshman and all-defense teams (5 for each metric, 5 bonus points).

Ties are resolved by splitting points among players - a tie for first and second would create 14.5 points for each.

If there are ties for the last spot on a team, the tie will be broken by raw Win Shares (if possible).

Now I'm done.

Now can we please get to the good part?

Wait... one more thing: all stats are from Sports Reference. They are awesome and you should familiarize yourself with what they do.

2013-14 All-ACC Awards

ACC Player of the Year (tie): K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) and T.J. Warren (NC State)

ACC Freshman of the Year: Jabari Parker (Duke)

ACC Defensive Player of the Year: K.J. McDaniels (Clemson)

ACC Coach of the Year: Mark Gottfried (NC State)

2013-14 All-ACC Team

First Team

K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) and T.J. Warren (NC State) - 46.5 points

Lamar Patterson (Pitt) and Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia) - 33.5 points

Marcus Paige (North Carolina) - 31.5 points

Second Team

Jabari Parker (Duke) - 26.5 points

Rion Brown (Miami) - 21.5 points

Okaro White (Florida State) - 19.5 points

Daniel Miller (Georgia Tech) - 17 points

Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame) - 14 points

Third Team

Olivier Hanlan (Boston College) - 14 points

Rodney Hood (Duke) - 12 points

Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) - 11.5 points

Joe Harris (Virginia) - 11 points

Brice Johnson (North Carolina) - 10 points

Honorable Mention

Ryan Anderson (Boston College) - 10 points; Anthony Gill (Virginia) - 9 points; Talib Zanna (Pitt) - 8.5 points; Amile Jefferson (Duke) - 8 points; Trevor Cooney (Syracuse) and Travis McKie (Wake Forest) - 6 points

All-ACC Raw Win Shares Team

First Team

K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) and T.J. Warren (NC State) - 5.7

Lamar Patterson (Pitt) and Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia) - 5.3

Jabari Parker (Duke) and Marcus Paige (North Carolina) - 5.2

Second Team

Rion Brown (Miami) and Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) - 4.8

Rodney Hood (Duke) - 4.6

Trevor Cooney (Syracuse) - 4.5

Third Team

Joe Harris (Virginia) - 4.4

Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame) - 4.3

Okaro White (Florida State), Daniel Miller (Georgia Tech), and Talib Zanna (Pitt) - 4.2

All-ACC Win Shares Rate Team

First Team

K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) - .229

Jabari Parker (Duke) - .222

Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia) - .220

T.J. Warren (NC State) - .216

Lamar Patterson (Pitt) - .211

Second Team

Brice Johnson (North Carolina) - .198

Anthony Gill (Virginia) - .196

Amile Jefferson (Duke) - .191

Marcus Paige (North Carolina) - .190

Okaro White (Florida State) and Talib Zanna (Pitt) - .187

Third Team

Joe Harris (Virginia) - .185

Rodney Hood (Duke) and Kennedy Meeks (North Carolina) - .184

Jerami Grant (Syracuse) - .183

All-ACC Value Team

First Team

T.J. Warren (NC State) - 36.08%

Olivier Hanlan (Boston College) - 30.70%

Daniel Miller (Georgia Tech) - 29.17%

K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) - 28.22%

Rion Brown (Miami) - 27.27%

Second Team

Ryan Anderson (Boston College) - 26.14%

Marcus Paige (North Carolina) - 25.24%

Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame) - 24.86%

Okaro White (Florida State) - 22.11%

Travis McKie (Wake Forest) - 21.53%

Third Team

Lamar Patterson (Pitt) - 21.37%

Dez Wells (Maryland) - 20.99%

Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia) - 20.70%

Aaron Thomas (Florida State) - 20.00%

Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) - 19.75%


- A tie! How cool is that? I put this together over yesterday and today, and as of yesterday I was assuming that K.J. McDaniels would win. He had a sizable raw Win Shares lead over T.J. Warren and was sitting comfortably in the top 2 in all three categories. Of course, T.J. Warren then did what he does - 42 points, 13 rebounds against BC - and they end up tied. Go figure.

- The biggest name missing is probably the biggest surprise: no C.J. Fair. Truth be told, he's actually fourth in raw Win Shares on Syracuse despite playing the most minutes. As a result, his rate stat is not good and his value stat is nonexistent. Here's guessing the media will ignore all that (and the more deserving players elsewhere) to put him on the first or second team.

- None of the three ACC players (Ennis, Fair, Parker) among the 15 Wooden finalists made the all-ACC first team. I think that says a lot about the attention people give to narrative (and the attention ESPN gives to certain teams/players at the expense of others).

- Biggest surprise inclusion to me was Rion Brown, who has quietly had an excellent season. Daniel Miller and Okaro White probably also qualify to a lot of you, but Win Shares liked them last year as well (Miller made second team all-ACC, White made third team).

- Just looking at that list above, there are pretty clearly six players above the rest (Brogdon, McDaniels, Paige, Parker, Patterson, Warren). All six have legitimate arguments for a first team spot, but obviously someone is getting left out, and that's before the media puts one of Tyler Ennis/C.J. Fair on the first team just because. The moral, as always, is that the media is dumb.

All-ACC Freshman Team

Jabari Parker (Duke) - 19 points

Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) - 17 points

London Perrantes (Virginia) - 12 points

Kennedy Meeks (North Carolina) - 11.5 points

Michael Young (Pitt) - 4.5 points

Honorable Mention

Devin Wilson (VT) - 3 points

All-Freshman Raw Win Shares Team

Jabari Parker (Duke) - 5.2

Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) - 4.8

London Perrantes (Virginia) - 3.3

Kennedy Meeks (North Carolina) and Michael Young (Pitt) - 2.3

All-Freshman Win Shares Rate Team

Jabari Parker (Duke) - .222

Kennedy Meeks (North Carolina) - .184

Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) - .176

London Perrantes (Virginia) - .146

Michael Young (Pitt) - .133

All-Freshman Value Team

Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) - 19.75%

Jabari Parker (Duke) - 19.26%

Devin Wilson (Virginia Tech) - 13.64%

London Perrantes (Virginia) - 12.89%

Kennedy Meeks (North Carolina) - 11.17%


- Pretty straightforward, and I don't think anyone's really going to complain about Parker over Ennis at this stage.

- Four clear choices for this team, with Michael Young's bonus points for placement in two categories vaulting him in front of Wilson. I think this is the right result (sorry Hokies).

- We can see here why Parker didn't make first team all-ACC: his value number is relatively low. Duke had the highest cumulative win shares of any team this season, and it wasn't particularly close (more on that later). Even though Parker put up a great season, it doesn't look supernova when compared to his teammates, three of whom also produced 3+ win shares (and Rasheed Sulaimon just missed that mark).

All-Defense Team (aka Virginia's entire roster)

K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) - 16 points

Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia) - 9 points

Akil Mitchell (Virginia) - 6.5 points

Daniel Miller (Georgia Tech) - 6.25 points

some random dude in John Paul Jones Arena

Honorable Mention

Ryan Anderson (Boston College) - 5 points; T.J. Warren (NC State) - 3 points; C.J. Fair (Syracuse) 2.5 points; Justin Anderson (Virginia) and Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame) - 2 points; Mike Tobey (Virginia) 1 point; Tyler Ennis (Syracuse), Joe Harris (Virginia), and London Perrantes (Virginia) - .25 points

All-Defense Raw Win Shares Team

K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) - 2.8

Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia) - 2.6

C.J. Fair (Syracuse) and Akil Mitchell (Virginia) - 2.2

Daniel Miller (Georgia Tech), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse), Joe Harris (Virginia), and London Perrantes (Virginia) - 2.0

All-Defense Win Shares Rate Team

K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) - .112

Akil Mitchell (Virginia) - .111

Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia) - .109

Justin Anderson (Virginia) - .098

Mike Tobey (Virginia) - .098

All-Defense Value Team (this team is a joke)

Ryan Anderson (Boston College) - 66.67%

Daniel Miller (Georgia Tech) - 33.33%

T.J. Warren (NC State) - 22.73%

Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame) - 22.64%

K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) - 21.37%


- By my count, that's six Virginia players and seven non-Virginia players, three of whom were on the value team solely because their respective teams put up hilariously low cumulative defensive Win Shares. Ryan Anderson had 0.4 defensive Win Shares, but because his team collectively put up 0.6, he earned that top spot. I refuse to actually include anyone from the tire fire that was BC's defense on this team though, hence why the slot was just given to some random dude hanging around JPJ. (It should probably go to C.J. Fair.)

- Those six Virginia players? Only seven Cavaliers hit the minute requirement, and poor Anthony Gill is the lone man out... although he would've been sixth on that WS rate list. Think Tony Bennett can coach some defense?

ACC Coach of the Year Top Five

Determining the Coach of the Year is tricky. I've said in the past that voting on this basically comes down to personal taste: some people think that the coach who best overachieves should win, some people think the coach who best manages high expectations should win, and some people think that the coach who put together the best team should win. I personally fall into the former camp, and as such I evaluated coaches based on their actual win total compared to the expected win total of the cumulative Win Shares of their team over the course of the season, both in terms of raw wins added/lost and as a percentage of the teams' actual record. Coaches were then placed in order from highest to lowest in each category and given appropriate point totals.

1) Mark Gottfried (NC State) - 30 points

2) Roy Williams (North Carolina) - 27 points

3) Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) - 26.5 points

4) Jeff Bzdelik (Wake Forest) - 24.5 points

5) Brian Gregory (Georgia Tech) - 22 points


- Well, that's pretty self-explana-wait

4) Jeff Bzdelik (Wake Forest) - 24.5 points


4) Jeff Bzdelik (Wake Forest) - 24.5 points

that's gotta be a typo let me run the math again

4) Jeff Bzdelik (Wake Forest) - 24.5 points

Get the fuck out.

So here's the dirty little secret to this season for Wake fans - the Deacs actually outperformed their underlying statistics. This is supported by both Win Shares - wherein the Deacs finished with 16 wins against an expected total of 14.4 wins - and KenPom - wherein the Deacs finished as the 71st most overachieving team in the country. Now, since I'm sure people have already started typing with utmost rage below, let me assure you that 1) I don't agree with this, and 2) there is no way in fucking hell that Bzdelik is actually making my top 5 coaching ballot. So let's see what we can do to tweak the situation, shall we?

Here's the list of Wins Added by coach according to Win Shares:

Mark Gottfried (NCSt): +3.2 wins (+20.25%)

Jim Boeheim (Cuse): +2.7 wins (+11.11%)

Roy Williams (UNC): +2.4 wins (+11.65%)

Jeff Bzdelik (Wake): +1.6 wins (+11.11%)

Brian Gregory (GT): +0.6 wins (+4.17%)

Tony Bennett (UVA): -0.6 wins (-2.34%)

Leonard Hamilton (FSU): -1.0 wins (-5.26%)

Mark Turgeon (MD): -1.1 wins (-6.08%)

Brad Brownell (Clem): -1.2 wins (-5.94%)

Jim Larranaga (Miami): -1.6 wins (-9.09%)

Jamie Dixon (Pitt): -1.8 wins (-7.26%)

James Johnson (VT): -2 wins (-18.18%)

Mike Brey (ND): -2.3 wins (-13.30%)

Mike Krzyzewski (Duke): -3.0 wins (-11.11%)

Steve Donahue (BC): -3.4 wins (-29.83%)

Here's the list of KenPom's luck rating, which ostensibly measures how "lucky" a team is via under- or over-achieving relative to its expected win total:

28) NC State (+.078)

69) Syracuse (+.050)

71) Wake Forest (+.049)

137) North Carolina (+.020)

148) Virginia (+.016)

182) Clemson (+.000)

192) Georgia Tech (-.004)

238) Florida State (-.030)

263) Duke (-.038)

276) Pitt (-.043)

298) Miami FL (-.052)

312) Maryland (-.060)

313) Notre Dame (-.060)

320) Boston College (-.066)

328) Virginia Tech (-.073)

Win Shares also lets you split into conference stats, which normalizes the SoS data to decent degree. Here's how that looks:

Jim Boeheim (Cuse): +1.8 wins (+14.75%)

Roy Williams (UNC): +1.1 wins (+9.24%)

Mark Gottfried (NCSt): +0.9 wins (+11.11%)

Tony Bennett (UVA): + 0.1 wins (+0.63%)

Brad Brownell (Clem): -0.5 wins (-4.76%)

Mike Krzyzewski (Duke): -1.0 wins (-7.14%)

Brian Gregory (GT): -1.2 wins (-16.67%)

Jeff Bzdelik (Wake): -1.2 wins (-16.67%)

Mike Brey (ND): -1.4 wins (-18.92%)

Leonard Hamilton (FSU): -1.5 wins (-14.29%)

Mark Turgeon (MD): -1.6 wins (-15.09%)

Jamie Dixon (Pitt): -1.8 wins (-14.06%)

Jim Larranaga (Miami): -2.4 wins (-25.53%)

Steve Donahue (BC): -2.7 wins (-40.30%)

James Johnson (VT): -4.4 wins (-54.55%)

That looks a lot more reasonable, although I'm sure I'll still hear it from you lot down in the comments about how Bzdelik's too high. Now all that's left is formulating the revamped top five ballot:

1) Mark Gottfried (NC State)

2) Jim Boeheim (Syracuse)

3) Roy Williams (North Carolina)

4) Tony Bennett (Virginia)

5) Brad Brownell (Clemson)

That looks okay to me.


- It really cannot be stressed enough just how intangible coaching is. Every single Wake fan - myself included - knows that Bzdelik is a bad coach, but when it comes time to quantify it, things get murky. This has been one of the main debates had on BSD for the past month or so. Hopefully it'll be over soon.

- To me, there's a clear-cut top 3 in terms of in-season coaching: Gottfried, Boeheim, and Roy in some order. Similarly, Donahue and James Johnson (poor James Johnson) rate pretty darn poorly by these metrics. You have to feel bad for Johnson in particular; he's basically in Year 2 of a multi-year rebuild and there's not really any light at the end of the tunnel. Given where Wake has been recently, it's pretty easy to commiserate.

- It's interesting to me to see that Duke has underachieved this season. I think this fits with how most of us view them, and it should be noted that their 27.0 Win Shares as a team is the highest in the conference - Virginia has 25.6, Syracuse has 24.3, and North Carolina is slumming it at 20.6 (those plucky overachieving Heels). The fact that Duke and Carolina finished tied in the standings says a lot about the respective coaching jobs from K and Roy (and also that unbalanced scheduling can go eat all the dicks, Swofford).


Anyway, thanks for reading. Please leave comments below, including any and all Bzdelik hate. Who did I miss? Why did I short change your player? Why is your coach overranked in my metric? I'm happy to post any individual player or overall team stats or placement from the numbers I've run; just let me know!

Edit: All-ACC teams announced, and... yep. The media dun screwed it up.

The content of FanPosts is not necessarily the opinions, thoughts or beliefs of Blogger So Dear.

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