Player of the Year: Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
Marshall didn’t put up the numbers that the rest of his teammates did. He didn’t score as much as a number of other point guards in the conference. But there is no one in the league — maybe in the country — that was as vital to his team’s success this season as Marshall was. I don’t think its even debatable that Marshall makes every single player on this team better. Tyler Zeller, Harrison Barnes and John Henson would not put up the numbers they currently put up with a different point guard running the show. Marshall didn’t make First Team All-ACC. That is borderline criminal.
Coach of the Year: Leonard Hamilton, Florida State
Florida State didn’t finish the season much higher than they were supposed to finish, which is generally how you pick the Coach of the Year. But based on how they started out the year — losing five games in the non-conference, including an 0-2 performance against the Ivy League, and starting out ACC play with a 20 point loss to Clemson — the fact that the Seminoles finished third in the ACC with wins over Duke and UNC is impressive. Turning around a bad season is just as difficult as putting together a great year from start to finish.
Rookie of the Year: Austin Rivers, Duke
Rivers didn’t quite live up to the hype that he came into college with, but by the end of the regular season, he was easily Duke’s best player. And, arguably, their most important. On a team that lacks play makers on the perimeter, Rivers has taken on the role. He still gets out of control at times, but the game-winning three he hit to beat North Carolina in the Dean Dome was one of the seasons iconic moments.
Sixth-Man of the Year: Ian Miller, Florida State
Miller is the easy pick for sixth-man of the year in the ACC. While he’s only played 19 games for the Seminoles this season after sitting out the first semester, Miller has become one of the most important pieces on the roster. He’s the team’s second-leading scorer and a dynamic back court presence. Along with Snaer, Miller is one of the few guys that Leonard Hamilton has that can create his own shot. It should come as surprise that FSU’s season turned around when he got eligible.
Defensive Player of the Year: John Henson, North Carolina
Henson is top 50 in the country in defensive rebounding percentage and top 25 in the country in block percentage. What’s that mean? He ends possessions and he changes shots around the basket. The latter is probably the most important considering that the Tar Heels aren’t exactly littered with great perimeter defenders.
All-ACC First Team
POY: Kendall Marshall, So., North Carolina
G: Austin Rivers, Fr., Duke
G: Harrison Barnes, So., North Carolina
F: Mike Scott, Sr., Virginia
F: John Henson, Jr., North Carolina
C: Tyler Zeller, Sr., North Carolina
All-ACC Second Team
G: Terrell Stoglin, So., Maryland
G: Michael Snaer, Jr., Florida State
F: CJ Leslie, So., NC State
F: Kenny Kadji, Jr., Miami
C: Bernard James, Sr., Florida State
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.