DraftExpress 2006-2007 Big 10 Postseason Honors
Player of the Year: Jared Dudley, 67, senior, SF/PF, Boston College
This was a two-horse race from nearly the beginning of the season, but what Dudley has managed to accomplish in leading Boston College after the Sean Williams dismissal gives him the slight edge over fellow senior Al Thornton. Dudley isnt the flashiest of players, but dramatically improved his outside shot while remaining both a relentless rebounder and phenomenal passer. Dudley is a marked man in the ACC, but is somehow still averaging 58% from the floor and averaging 20 ppg. Is there anything else to say?
Draft Prospect of the Year: Al Thornton, 68, senior, SF/PF, Florida State
A late season slide has left the Seminoles scrambling to earn a Tourney bid, but this doesnt change what senior leader Al Thornton has accomplished this season in terms of his professional future. Thornton has steadily improved over the course of his career, from an athletic garbage-type PF as an underclassman to a legit perimeter scoring force as a senior. His athleticism is world-class, and the question of whether he can take his game outside has been all but answered at this point. In all, Thornton has upped his stock from bubble first rounder to potential late lottery.
Freshman of the Year: Greivis Vasquez, 65, PG/SG, Maryland
It should be obvious that Brandan Wright is not only the best freshman draft prospect in the ACC, but the best draft prospect period. It is hard to deny fellow UNC frosh Ty Lawson this award, considering he might be the best player in the conference regardless of class. But impact on the standings must also be taken into account, and Vasquez far outpaces any other newcomer in this regard. Gary Williams has a handful of veterans in the rotation, but Vasquez was the teams emotional leader and go-to playmaker from day one. This is one case where the already impressive statistics (currently 10.1 ppg, 4.7 apg) dont tell the entire story.
Coach of the Year: Al Skinner, Boston College
Seth Greenberg and Dave Leitao are certainly deserving, but Skinner is proving yet again why he is the most underrated coach in the country. Of course, Skinner has been doing this for years, so he needed to do more than just get the most out of his players and compete for the conference title. And Skinner managed to compete for the conference title despite losing the countrys top shot blocker halfway through the season. BC doesnt have that gaudy win that jumps off the resume, but hasnt slipped up in conference play and Skinners late game management remains superb.
First Team All-ACC:
Sean Singletary, 60, junior, PG, Virginia
J.R. Reynolds, 63, senior, PG/SG, Virginia
Zabian Dowdell, 63, senior, PG/SG, Virginia Tech
Al Thornton, 68, senior, SF/PF, Florida State
Jared Dudley, 67, senior, SF/PF, Boston College
There has been a power shift over the second half of ACC conference play, and the All-ACC First Team reflects this. Instead of household names from Duke and North Carolina, standouts from the traditional lower-tier schools have emerged. Virginia would have struggled to win a single game in ACC play without either one of Singletary or Reynolds, while Tar Heel killer Zabian Dowdell has literally exploded as a senior.
Second Team All-ACC
Tywon Lawson, 60, freshman, PG, North Carolina
D.J. Strawberry, 65, senior, SG, Maryland
Josh McRoberts, 611, sophomore, PF, Duke
Brandan Wright, 69, freshman, PF, North Carolina
Tyler Hansbrough, 69, sophomore, PF, North Carolina
Any of the three Tar Heels on the second team could have ended up on the first team, but North Carolinas tremendous depth and talent dilutes the impact an individual can make. Teams have learned how to deal with Hansbrough a bit better, but he is still the top true post player in the conference. McRoberts took a lot of flack for Dukes midseason mediocrity, but is still the player that makes the Blue Devils tick. And Marylands D.J. Strawberry will end his Maryland career on a high note, finally taking his offensive game to the next level and continuing to play his brand of hard-nosed on the ball defense.
Third Team All-ACC
Tyrese Rice, 60, sophomore, PG, Boston College
Jamon Gordon, 63, senior, PG, Virginia Tech
DeMarcus Nelson, 64 SG, junior, Duke
James Mays, 69, junior, PF, Clemson
Kyle Visser, 611, senior, C, Wake Forest
A few more preseason no-names appear on the third team, with James Mays and Kyle Visser each having breakout seasons. Tyrese Rice appears to be on the typical Boston College path to stardom, while athletic floor general Jamon Gordon sets the tone for the Hokies defensively.
First Team All-Freshman
Tywon Lawson, 60, PG, North Carolina
Greivis Vasquez, 65, PG/SG, Maryland
Javaris Crittenton, 64, PG, Georgia Tech
Brandon Costner, 69, PF, North Carolina State
Brandan Wright, 69, PF, North Carolina
This was a freshman class for the ages, with any of the above five more than worthy of taking home Freshman of the Year honors in an average season. Georgia Techs Crittenton has both won and lost games by himself, but given how just how spectacular the spectacular moments have been and the immense natural tools, one would have to think that the best is yet to come. Wright has dazzled in stretches, showing off the lethal combination of athletic gifts and feel for the game that will make him a lottery pick in June. The super-smooth Costner is actually a redshirt freshman, but the center of Sidney Lowes rebuilding project nonetheless.
Second Team All-Freshman
Jon Scheyer, 65, SG, Duke
Wayne Ellington, 65, SG, North Carolina
Thaddeus Young, 68, SF/PF, Georgia Tech
Trevor Booker, 67, PF, Clemson
Dwayne Collins, 68, PF, Miami
Most conferences couldnt put together a first team this good. Scheyer has come on in conference play, while Booker is a future ACC standout that has received little press. Ellington and Young havent quite lived up to the high expectations, but still rank amongst the top players in the conference at their respective positions.
Looking Forward to 2008 : Wayne Ellington, 65, freshman, SG, North Carolina
At this point, it is hard to come up with the best fit for this category because there will likely be a current potential lottery pick or two back in college next fall. The conference will also take big hits in terms of graduation and early entry, and there is a lot of untapped talent currently sitting on the bench. If there is a single player poised for a breakout season, it could be North Carolinas Wayne Ellington. Ellington has the pure scoring tools to lead the conference in scoring someday, but struggles when he doesnt get consistent touches. In the case of two Tar Heel underclassmen jumping ship, look for Ellington to blow up.
Draft Disappointment: Gerald Henderson, 65, freshman, SG/SF, Duke
While Ellington hasnt set the world on fire like many expected him to, his high school teammate has fared even worse. Duke Freshman Gerald Henderson looked like a surefire ready-to-contribute standout at this time last year, but has yet to fully adjust to the higher level of play. Henderson has looked out of place in the Duke offense most of the season, usually passing up open jumpers and forcing the action off the bounce. There is still plenty of time for Henderson to turn it around, but more was expected of the former McDonalds All-American.