Chris Graham: Early thinking on All-ACC voting

acc basketballAll-ACC ballots are due in two weeks, and we’ve got ourselves some serious dilemmas to resolve in terms of the voting.

To wit, I’ve got at least nine guys who should be on the first team.

The list starts for me with my player of the year, Malcolm Brogdon. Yes, there’s probably some bias here, since I see Virginia all the time, but Brogdon is the most complete player in the conference: fourth in the conference in scoring (17.8 points per game), and arguably the league’s best defensive player (capable of shutting down 6’9” Brandon Ingram and 6’1” Cat Barber in back-to-back games).

The other locks to me are UNC forward Brice Johnson (16.9 points per game, 10.9 rebounds per game, 62.3 percent shooting) and Duke guard Grayson Allen (21.0 points per game, 49 percent shooting, 42.9 percent on threes).

Which leaves me two spots, and how many worthy candidates?

Barber, at NC State, is leading the ACC in scoring (23.1 points per game) and fourth in assists (4.5 per game). Jaron Blossomgame at Clemson is third in the ACC in scoring (18.1 points per game) on 51.1 percent shooting from the field, 40.7 percent from three, and he’s also averaging 7.0 rebounds per game.

And what about Brandon Ingram at Duke, averaging 17.0 points and 6.8 rebounds a game on 46.1 percent shooting from the field and 40.8 percent from three?

Sheldon McClellan at Miami doesn’t score like the others (15.8 points per game), but the 6’5” senior guard is perhaps the most efficient offensively of any of them (52.1 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from three).

Last but not least is Notre Dame point guard Demetrius Jackson – 10th in scoring (16.4 points a game) on 46.9 percent shooting from the field and 34.7 percent from three, and second in the ACC in assists (4.9 per game).

How I’m leaning now on the first team:

  • Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
  • Brice Johnson, UNC
  • Grayson Allen, Duke
  • Brandon Ingram, Duke
  • Cat Barber, NC State

I still get to see Blossomgame and McClellan up close and personal in the final couple of weeks. I could see Blossomgame jumping ahead of Ingram, who will no doubt be a top two or three pick in the NBA Draft in June, on some ballots, same as I could see Jackson ahead of Barber on ballots due to the perception that could be there with Barber putting up big numbers on a bad team.

Barber is averaging an ACC-best 16.8 shots per game, and nobody else is really even close in that particular metric.

Fleshing out my early thinking on the upcoming balloting:

Second team

  • Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
  • Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame
  • Sheldon McClellan, Miami
  • Michael Gbinije, Syracuse
  • Anthony Gill, Virginia

Third team

  • Damion Lee, Louisville
  • Michael Young, Pitt
  • Devin Thomas, Wake Forest
  • Zach LeDay, Virginia Tech
  • Zach Auguste, Notre Dame

Freshman Team

  • Brandon Ingram, Duke
  • Malik Beasley, Florida State
  • Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
  • Bryant Crawford, Wake Forest
  • Luke Kennard, Duke

Defensive Team

  • Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
  • Chinanu Onuaku, Louisville
  • Brice Johnson, UNC
  • Damion Lee, Louisville
  • Isaiah Wilkins, Virginia

Freshman of the Year: Brandon Ingram, Duke

Defensive Player of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Sixth Man of the Year: Ivan Cruz Uceda, Miami

Player of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Coach of the Year: Jim Larranaga, Miami

– Column by Chris Graham

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is now available at a special pre-sale discounted price of $20. The book is expected to ship by June 10, 2019, and will retail for $25.
Pre-order for $20: click here.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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