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Moses Wright, Jose Alvarado, Mike Young highlight ACC Basketball postseason honors

moses wright georgia tech
Moses Wright attacks the rim in Georgia Tech’s 83-65 win over Clemson back from Jan. 20. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

Moses Wright, for some reason or the other, is the ACC Player of the Year. Maybe more vexing is that Jose Alvarado is the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.

This is where I stop voting for awards.

To be clear, I wasn’t on this panel, not that it would have mattered.

Wright and Alvarado, both from Georgia Tech, which had a fine regular season, are both fine players, with fine counting numbers (Wright: 18.0 ppg, 8.1 rebounds/g, 54.2% FG, 39.3% 3FG; Alvarado: 15.5 ppg, 4.2 assists/g, 51.2% FG, 40.6% 3FG).

Wright, as Player of the Year, isn’t ranked in the Top 10 among ACC players in offensive rating, defensive rating or box plus/minus, which, whatever.

Alvarado, the Defensive Player of the Year, isn’t in the Top 20 in defensive rating, and he rates as only “very good” as a one-on-one defender by Synergy Sports, allowing opponents 0.797 points per possession.

So, why is he Defensive Player of the Year? He led the league in steals, with 66.

Counting stat, and one that values a guy overplaying passing lanes, gambling and sometimes getting burned.

The laziness of the voting panel in that is evident in who finished second in the voting for the All-Defensive Team: N.C. State’s Manny Bates.

Bates ranked 15th in the conference in defensive rating, rates “good” in the Synergy rendering, allowing opponents 0.836 points per possession, but he led the ACC in blocked shots.


The panel, like a broken clock, got two things right today – honoring Virginia Tech coach Mike Young and Florida State freshman Scottie Barnes.

Young’s Hokies had been picked to finish 11th in the preseason voting, but Tech finished third with a 9-4 record that included a double-digit win over league champ Virginia and an early-season non-conference win over Villanova.

The only question in the Coach of the Year race came from the late-season push by Georgia Tech, which won its last six to storm into the double byes, and a likely first NCAA Tournament berth under fifth-year coach Josh Pastner.

Wait. I’m being told that Young narrowly edged out FSU coach Leonard Hamilton in the voting, and that Pastner was third.

Hamilton’s ‘Noles, last year’s regular-season champs, had been picked third in the preseason.

Georgia Tech, 17-14 last year, had been picked ninth.

Hamilton, in other words, probably wins if Florida State doesn’t lay the egg on Saturday in South Bend.

Checks out.

Barnes, the Freshman of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year, was sort of the last man standing among the freshmen, in a year lacking in quality one-and-dones.

The sixth man thing: kind of a made-up sportswriter award anyway.

Anyway, I’m hereby renouncing my memberships in the outfits that put these kinds of awards out.

There are better things to do with the money that you have to pay to get a ballot; among them, straight flushing it down the toilet.

2020-2021 ACC Basketball Honors

acc basketballThe 2020-21 All-ACC Team was determined by a 75-member panel consisting of the league’s 15 head coaches and 60 members of the media. All-ACC Team points are determined on a 5-3-1 system (five points for first team, three points for second team, one point for third team).

All-ACC First Team

  • Moses Wright, Georgia Tech, 344
  • Justin Champagnie, Pitt, 343
  • Carlik Jones, Louisville, 327
  • Matthew Hurt, Duke, 310
  • Sam Hauser, Virginia, 281

All-ACC Second Team

  • Keve Aluma, Virginia Tech, 277
  • Jose Alvarado, Georgia Tech, 244
  • Jay Huff, Virginia, 214
  • M.J. Walker, Florida State, 200
  • Aamir Simms, Clemson, 176

All-ACC Third Team

  • RaiQuan Gray, Florida State, 167
  • Isaiah Wong, Miami, 102
  • Quincy Guerrier, Syracuse, 55
  • Prentiss Hubb, Notre Dame, 42
  • Armando Bacot, North Carolina, 41
  • Scottie Barnes, Florida State, 41

Honorable Mention

  • Michael Devoe, Georgia Tech, 35
  • Kihei Clark, Virginia, 31
  • Alan Griffin, Syracuse, 29
  • David Johnson, Louisville, 22
  • Nate Laszewski, Notre Dame, 18
  • Jericole Hellems, NC State, 13
  • Tyrece Radford, Virginia Tech, 10

Coach of the Year

  • Mike Young, Virginia Tech, 26
  • Leonard Hamilton, Florida State, 24
  • Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech, 16
  • Tony Bennett, Virginia, 6
  • Brad Brownell, Clemson, 2
  • Chris Mack, Louisville, 1

ACC Player of the Year

  • Moses Wright, Georgia Tech, 33
  • Carlik Jones, Louisville, 13
  • Justin Champagnie, Pitt, 13
  • Sam Hauser, Virginia, 5
  • Jose Alvarado, Georgia Tech, 4
  • Matthew Hurt, Duke, 3
  • Keve Aluma, Virginia Tech, 3
  • Jay Huff, Virginia, 1

ACC Defensive Player of the Year

  • Jose Alvarado, Georgia Tech, 35
  • Jay Huff, Virginia, 17
  • Manny Bates NC State, 13
  • Jordan Goldwire, Duke, 5
  • Aamir Simms, Clemson, 4
  • Keve Aluma, Virginia Tech, 1

All-Defensive Team

  • Jose Alvarado, Georgia Tech, 69
  • Manny Bates, NC State, 62
  • Jay Huff, Virginia, 53
  • Jordan Goldwire, Duke, 43
  • Moses Wright, Georgia Tech, 34

ACC Freshman of the Year

  • Scottie Barnes, Florida State, 53
  • Day’Ron Sharpe, North Carolina, 10
  • DJ Steward, Duke, 6
  • Jae’Lyn Withers, Louisville, 5
  • Kadary Richmond, Syracuse, 1

All-Freshman Team

  • Scottie Barnes, Florida State, 74
  • DJ Steward, Duke, 67
  • Day’Ron Sharpe, North Carolina, 63
  • Jae’Lyn Withers, Louisville, 58
  • Caleb Love, North Carolina, 32

Sixth Man of the Year

  • Scottie Barnes, Florida State, 39
  • Day’Ron Sharpe, North Carolina, 24
  • Nick Honor, Clemson, 6
  • Jordan Goldwire, Duke, 5
  • Nikola Djogo, Notre Dame, 1

Most Improved Player

  • Matthew Hurt, Duke, 17
  • Isaiah Wong, Miami, 13
  • Moses Wright, Georgia Tech, 11
  • Justin Champagnie, Pitt, 11
  • RaiQuan Gray, Florida State, 10
  • Nate Laszewski, Notre Dame, 5
  • Quincy Guerrier, Syracuse, 3
  • Armando Bacot, North Carolina, 2
  • Jay Huff, Virginia, 2
  • David Johnson, Louisville, 1

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