We are about a quarter of the way through the ACC schedule, so let’s take a look at some of the ACC award races after the jump.
ACC Player of the Year:
Now the official description says that the award is given to the most outstanding player in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but I like to take that and add in a factor for team success. Basketball is one of the sports where one player can carry a team (see: Lebron James his whole career) so I like to add in team success into my decisions. Not a huge factor and definitely the last piece of the puzzle, but definitely an important one for me so keep that in mind.
#5: Trevor Booker
Booker is putting in yet another solid season, currently averaging15.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He has been a key figure in Clemson’s offense each year, averaging at least 20% possessions used, peaking at 25.2% this season, 10th in the ACC. Other players have been slow to step up and Booker will need to put Clemson on his shoulders to take them far this season. The good news is they are effective when he is on the court, as he has an ORtg of 112.6, compared to 108.1 for the team ORtg.
#4: Malcolm Delaney
For my money, Delaney has to be one of the most underrated players in the major conferences (for the second year in a row). He goes about his business of scoring rather quietly but he is quite effective at it. He is leading the ACC in scoring at 19.5 points per game but what is impressive is his 40.9% FG% and his 51.2% eFG% (which is fairly solid for a jump shooter of his volume). Add in his 115 ORtg and this shows that he is not sacrificing offensive continuity to pad his statsheet. Virginia Tech is a dangerous team this year and it has to do with what Delaney brings on the offensive end.
#3: Al-Farouq Aminu
The race for the #2 spot right now is tight but I put Aminu at the #3 spot because I believe he has more talent around him than my #2 player. The jump that Aminu has made from last year to this year has been all that Wake fans have hoped for. He is the only player in the ACC averaging double digit rebounds (11.4, 6.9 offensive) and gets many of his 16.9 ppg off of those offensive rebounds. I would like to see him be a bit more demanding of the ball when Wake gets into trouble (although Ish Smith has shown he wants the ball in his hands at a time like that) but Aminu has been great so far this season.
Landesberg is that kind of player I was talking about earlier who has the ability to carry a mediocre team far above expectations. Landesberg has led UVA to an impressive 3-1 start in the ACC but after the loss to Wake, it will be interesting to see how he (and UVA) fares the rest of the season. Landesberg is 34th in the nation and first in the ACC in possessions used at 30.9% and will need to continue playing strong in UVA wishes to continue to surprise teams. I have a slight feeling that teams will start to key on him and be content with the supporting players beating them, which won’t happen that often. Right now though, he deserves this spot for getting UVA off to a tremendous start.
#1: Jon Scheyer
Scheyer is my current ACC POY due to the fact that he has stepped in so well to his PG role when one of the biggest knocks on Duke this preseason was their lack of PG play. Scheyer’s ORtg is a monstrous 137.3 (4th in the nation) but the more impressive stat is his TO% of 10.4%, good for 65th in the nation. He has managed to keep his scoring up at 18.6 points, second in the ACC, while dropping 5.7 assists. No doubt he is the best candidate so far.
ACC Rookie of the Year:
#3: Mason Plumlee
Plumlee has been a solid contributor for Duke so far and I can guarantee he will continue to improve throughout his time at Duke. He is averaging 7.4 points but is shooting a nice 63.6% from the field and is adding in 6.5 rebounds.
#2: Derrick Favors
The preseason ROY pick has not been a major disappointment but has yet to be the huge factor that was expected out of the #1 recruit in the country last season. He has done some nice things for GT and has huge potential but has yet to fully grasp it yet. Favors is currently averaging 11.8 points to go along with 8.9 rebounds.
#1: CJ Harris
Harris has been a pleasant surprise this season and has added a 3 point threat to
ACC Coach of the Year
#1: Tony Bennett
Bennett has definitely stood out in my mind so far, as he has taken a team that finished 10-18 (4-12) last season to 12-5 (3-1) so far. Bennett has shown in the past that he can win without as much talent as his opposition and he is doing it now at UVA. Like I said above, it will be interesting to see how UVA plays out the rest of their schedule but there is none more worthy than Bennett right now for Coach of the Year.