Breaking Down The All-ACC Team


The All-ACC team was announced Monday and for only the second time in history, three players from one team were represented on the first team.  The North Carolina Tar Heels were robbed of a fourth as Kendall Marshall was snubbed with a 2nd team selection.  Never before has a team had more than the three players the Tar Heels sent this year.  And the voters made sure it stayed that way by robbing the best point guard in the land in favor of an over hyped freshman wing from Duke.

But as Roy put it, “I guess in some people’s minds, he might have to score more to be put in that elite, dominating category I guess.”  So the 2011-12 All-ACC team is what it is.  Let’s break down the teams now shall we?

First Team

Mike Scott Virginia-The senior power forward has been a beast and the leader of the Cavaliers on the court all year long.  Averaging 17.9 points and 8.3 rebounds the big guy can post up, face up and drive and hit the three a little.  On a sub-par offensive team, Scott has been the rock for VA similar to Tyler Zeller for UNC.

Austin Rivers Duke-The freshman guard has had some great moments for the Blue Devils this year.  He’s a reliable outside shooter who can create his own shot and has handled the college transition well.  Scoring is Rivers main contribution at 15.2ppg.  He’s not a big time defender by any means and he doesn’t rebound that well at 3.2 per game.  I wouldn’t mind him on the second team but this is Kendall Marshall’s spot.

Harrison Barnes UNC-Barnes 153 votes were the lowest among all the first teamers.  The second leading scorer in the conference who has played such a steady, efficient game like Barnes couldn’t be left off.  A lot will be made of Marshall’s absence (more by me to come) but don’t let anybody tell you he should have take Harrison’s spot.  Barnes took higher percentage shots and cut down on his mistakes as a sophomore.  But he hasn’t exploded yet and put the Heels on his back like he was expected to do.  A preseason Player of the Year favorite, this All-ACC honor is likely the only first team honor Barnes will see this season.

John Henson UNC-Henson was an absolute monster this year!  Coming in known as just a defensive player and good rebounder, Henson improved every aspect of his game this season.  Henson took his offensive game to new heights this season pairing a new impressive post game with a nice mid range jump shot.  Henson is one of the best in the nation at sneaking underneath for the lob and had too many thunderous put back dunks to count this season.  He truly has become the complete player the Heels envisioned when they recruited him.

Tyler Zeller UNC- The Tar Heels senior big man came through in a big way this season.  He was the most consistent player on the court throughout the entire season.  Time and time again UNC went to it’s big man with a surging opponent on its back and Zeller came through.  As great as Henson, Marshall and Barnes were this season for North Carolina.  Zeller was the one who Roy Williams could count on to play great basketball every single game on both ends of the floor.  Zeller again improved his game this season as a senior as he has every year of his college career.  He became a much better defensive player than we have ever seen.  A better, more physical rebounder who not only used his length and positioning but his muscle and fight to secure the boards.  A more efficient post player with extended range on his turnarounds and hook shots.  A better mid range jump shooter who remained money at the free throw line.  Zeller in my opinion should be a lock for ACC Player of the Year.

Second Team

Kendall Marshall UNC- The biggest bunch of BS that I have ever heard of is keeping Marshall tucked away on the second team.  The best point guard in the entire nation and likely Cousy award winner on the second team.  In favor of a freshman who does nothing more than score.  Marshall set the UNC and ACC all time single season record for assists.  He didn’t score much, but he’s also on a team with three players on the first team that specialize in scoring, not to mention a few others that like to shoot the rock also.  Marshall was needed to score a couple times, and he did.  Knock his defense all you want, Austin Rivers isn’t bringing much, if anything more than Kendall on the defensive end.

Terrell Stoglin MD- I’ll agree with Stoglin’s inclusion simply because I don’t have anybody else I’d like to replace him with.  Had Dexter Strickland not torn his ACL and played the whole year, I’d be arguing him here.  Stoglin is the conferences leading scorer, the only one averaging over 20 per game.  That’s why he’s here, nothing else.  Maryland is a soft offensive team that needs an Allen Iverson like ball hog to jack up 15-20 shots per night and pray for 40 to bail them out.  That’s what Stoglin is.  He takes bad shots and shoots an awful percentage from the field.  No doubt he’s got a lot of talent, but he’s also got a lot to learn and I wonder if he would even play double digit minutes at Carolina.

Michael Snaer FSU- I like Snaer better than both Stoglin and Rivers because he’s a better all around player.  Snaer isn’t quite the shooter Rivers is and Stoglin is probably the better athlete.  But Snaer’s the best basketball player of the three.  He’s a nice one on one defender that creates turnovers and can minimize the oppositions top wing man.  Snaer made a big improvement in his junior season going from eight to 14 points per game but needs to improve his assists and rebounding numbers in his senior year.  He looks like an NBA prospect to me and he’s right where he belongs on the second team.

CJ Leslie NC State- I really like CJ Leslie, although it’s hard considering he picked State over Carolina.  Leslie reminds me a lot of Tim Thomas in his prime.  A slick, athletic power forward who’s not quite a power player, and not quite a perimeter player.  His 14 points and seven rebounds is impressive as a sophomore and Leslie has a ton of upside.

Erick Green Virginia Tech- Green has a solid all around game and has made huge improvements each of his three years at VT.  As a junior he improved his shooting and his range and became a reliable three point shooter for the Hokies.  He improved his rebounding and one on one defense, becoming one of the teams top players on that end of the floor.  Green has come a long way in his career and his 15 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals per game this year are deserving of his second team placement.  If he can continue his rate of improvement, he could be a sleeper for first team honors next season.

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