Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another Korner 3’s. I’ve stayed true to my word so far and decided to make two posts in one week. We have, for the most part, reached the halfway point of the ACC play and what a January it has been.
Duke looks *somewhat* human with a home loss to Syracuse, UNC is scary when all cylinders are clicking (aka Nassir Little and Coby White take over), Virginia’s offense is the best it has ever been under a Tony Bennett led team and to top it all off, my Wolfpack are the best 4-4 team in the ACC. (I promise that’s the only bias I show in this post).
Onto the Midseason Awards…
All ACC Honorable Mention
Kyle Guy (UVA)
Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech)
RJ Barrett (Duke)
Coby White (UNC)
Tre Jones (Duke)
This is really who I think is the 2nd Team All ACC, but for the sake of shortening a post, I’m calling them honorable mention. You could easily make the argument that all of these guys are 1st Teamers, but two stand out in my opinion. Kyle Guy made the Preseason All ACC list by the media and is Virginia’s leading scorer. So why do I have him just missing out on my list? Mainly because, so far in my opinion, he hasn’t been the best player on the court for Virginia. Which, honestly, is crazy to write out, but it’s true. De’Andre Hunter has had a better first half of ACC play than the former man bun has. If Guy keeps his 3 point percentage (45%) up and increases his consistency in big games, I believe at the end of the season he could find his way back on my 1st Team.
Tre Jones is the best on ball defender in the nation. He also has an assist/turnover ratio of 5.56 which is insane because the next closest in the ACC is at 3.45. I jokingly said to a friend awhile back when Jones was out with a shoulder injury and they lost to Syracuse that he was really the best player on the team instead of Zion or the Maple Mamba. When the season is over with, that joke may turn into statement to be taken seriously.
All ACC First Team
Zion Williamson (Duke)
De’Andre Hunter (Virginia)
Chris Lykes (Miami)
Jordan Nwora (Louisville)
John Mooney (Notre Dame)
A few of these guys are no brainers. Zion is Zion and De’Andre Hunter is looking more and more like a lottery pick every game I watch him play. If I had to choose a Player of the Year for the Midseason it would end up being Zion edging Hunter, but not by much. Zion, to make a painfully terrible comparison, is that kid on a Middle School basketball team who hit puberty before anyone else has. His size is unreal and what he does on the court along with his ability to just be automatic in the paint makes him the best player in the ACC by far.
You might be scratching your head with the other three picks on my list. Chris Lykes is listed at 5’7″, but plays like he is 6’7″. Miami’s leading scorer just gets buckets and can do so in a hurry. He may take a lot of shots, but it’s more victim of circumstance because of the cards The U has been dealt this season, rather than him being a ball hog. It might not last all season, but currently making 50% of his two point field goals pushes him high on my list.
John Mooney is the ACC’s leading rebounder just inching past his doppelgänger Luke Maye for the top spot.
Jordan Nwora is definitely the wild card pick that I feel most confident has the potential to be a first team All ACC. Louisville’s leading scorer is in the top 5 in the ACC and a very efficient 3 point shooter for the Cards. He is just a player who sees a huge basket and isn’t scared to shoot. Don’t be surprised when he makes some media ballots at the end of the season.
ACC Coach of the Year
To keep the Louisville love fest going, I believe Chris Mack is the Coach of the Year favorite heading into the midway point. From as low as they sunk last year, to just beating the life out of UNC in the Dean Dome in a matter of a calendar year is impressive. Mack has done well everywhere he’s gone and with a somewhat favorable schedule the rest of the way through ACC play, he could have Louisville with a potential double bye in the ACC Tournament. It would not be bad at all for year 1.
The rest of the ACC season should be a good one. We still haven’t seen UNC-Duke at all, Virginia still plays Duke again and we haven’t seen Louisville play any other of the top teams other than UNC. We could also see a team that didn’t start the best, but could finish the season strong. If I had to make a guess, I’d say the safe bet is Florida State, but I still am on the Pitt bandwagon. Jeff Capel has a good group of young guys and I think the more games they play, the better they are going to get.