Yesterday, a few Tar Heels were honored when the media votes for All-ACC awards were released. In summary, Cam Johnson was voted to the all-conference first team, Luke Maye and Coby White to the second team, Roy Williams finished third in voting for Coach of the Year, White received votes for Freshman of the Year, and Nassir Little received votes for 6th Man of the Year.
But they’re not the only ones allowed to vote on these things! We here at Tar Heel Blog voted for these awards as well, and I think it’ll be fun to compare our results to the official ones. We voted before seeing the official results, and we start off with a major twist:
ACC Player of the Year: R.J. Barrett, Duke (4 votes)
Also receiving votes: Cameron Johnson, UNC (3); Zion Williamson, Duke (3)
I’ve bolded Williamson here because he was the media vote, and I’ll follow that convention for the rest of this list. But here we have a pretty interesting situation: Barrett, who if you read national sports outlets consistently played second fiddle to his explosive teammate, actually takes the vote here for, I’m presuming, his keeping pace with Williamson as a scorer while the both were playing and taking his game to another level while his teammate was injured. I see arguments for both; Williamson’s game is a lot more complete, especially on the defensive end, but Barrett does a lot more offensively to keep the Blue Devils in order. Johnson’s got a legitimate case as well, as the best shooter in the conference but also a complete offensive player who threw in a cool 7 boards per game and led his team to an ACC title.
Cam Johnson, UNC
R.J. Barrett, Duke
Zion Williamson, Duke
De’Andre Hunter, UVA
Ky Bowman, BC
(Unanimous selections in italics. Yes, we had one petty unnamed voter who apparently thought not finishing the season disqualified you from first-team consideration.)
Kyle Guy, UVA
Coby White, UNC
Marcquise Reed, Clemson
Luke Maye, UNC
Kerry Blackshear, Jr, VT
Ty Jerome, UVA
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, VT
Tyus Battle, Syracuse
Jordan Nwora, Louisville
John Mooney, ND
Tre Jones, Duke; Ebuka Izundu, Miami; Cam Reddish, Duke; Elijah Thomas, Clemson
Stunningly, we got all 15 representatives, and for the most part placed everybody the same as the media as well. We swapped Jerome and Reed as well as Bowman and Guy, which someone defending us might see as a sign of not falling for team success as a metric... just saying. But it is interesting to see a consensus here.
ACC Freshman of the Year: R.J. Barrett, Duke (5)
Also receiving votes: Coby White, UNC (3); Zion Williamson, Duke (2)
Given how our POY vote went, no surprises here.
ACC Defensive Player of the Year: Zion Williamson, Duke (4)
Also receiving votes: De’Andre Hunter, UVA (3); Elijah Thomas, Clemson (2); Kenny Williams, UNC (1)
Williamson’s combination of block and steal stats, combined with the cliff Duke’s team defense fell off without him, make this a fairly obvious choice. Oddly, he got no votes for DPOY from the media despite being 3rd in voting for the all-defensive team. In fact, nobody but Hunter and Tre Jones from DPOY voting made the all-defensive team. Weird... go ahead and consider these four and Jones our all-defensive team, because we here value consistency.
ACC Coach of the Year: Roy Williams, UNC (9)
Also receiving votes: Buzz Williams, VT (1)
A perfect road record in the ACC, with a freshman point guard at one of the most notoriously difficult point guard positions in college basketball, three seniors each in essentially their 2nd full season of UNC basketball, and injury to an already depleted frontcourt earns you this award. Coach Williams doesn’t care about the accolades, sure, but I don’t think there’s any bias to the statement that this year’s could easily have been his.
What do you think about our selections? Who would you replace? Who would be your votes for MIP and 6th Man of the Year? Let us know below!