Wednesday, February 29, 2012

All-ACC: All-Freshman Team

It's been a strangely down year in the league for first-year players, Austin Rivers excluded. Some of the most heralded classes coming in - Carolina, Florida State & Duke - had so much experience returning that the freshman mostly spent the season as reserve players or watching from the bench. Virginia Tech's highly-touted class has played plenty, and while not disappointing exactly none of them have become stars for the Hokies in their first season.

All-Freshman team as of February 29th


Austin Rivers - No explanation necessary. He'll be the only freshman to show up on one of the All-ACC teams this season.

Ryan Anderson - Again, no explanation really necessary. He's become the best player on a Boston College squad full of freshman. His 22.5 defensive rebounding percentage is one of the best figures in the league and crushes the competition among freshman.

Shane Larkin - Injuries and ineffectiveness allowed Larkin to log 25 minutes a game despite Miami's crowded back court and he's made the most of that opportunity. He's shooting 85% from the line, 43% from 3 and totally perplexing 26% from two during league play. The only thing separating him from being a really good player is learning how to finish at the rim on his drives.

Malcolm Brogdon - Defense matters. You'll see this theme when I get around to the real All-ACC team and you're seeing it on this team as well. Brogdon is an important wing defender for the best defense in the conference and an effective shooter - 55 percent on twos, 33 percent from 3. He needs to rebound better, especially with Scott gone next year. His biggest problem however is turnovers, as he's giving it away at a 20 percent clip currently - a really ugly percentage for a wing player.

Dorian Finney-Smith - I'm admittedly tossing up my hands on this last spot. I thought Finney-Smith belonged here when I started writing this up, but I'm not really sure he does. He's been an awful offensive player in league play - and his rebounding numbers are decent but not as impressive as I thought they'd be. His numbers are more a product of his playing time than an indication of his overall play. But he's got the #5 spot for right now due to the lack of other viable candidates

Honorable Mentions
PJ Hairston - Hairston didn't make the original cut-off because he hasn't played enough, but he's been a highly efficient player when he's played and has been a valuable commodity off the bench for the Heels.
Chase Fischer - He's basically a break-even 3-point shooter but he's certainly not afraid to take them. He'll get votes because he plays a lot for the Deacons, but he has a lot of holes in his game right now. Best case scenario is that Fischer ups his shooter percentages and becomes a Scott Wood type of player for Wake.
Alex Len - He's been an efficient low post scorer and a defensive presence for the Terrapins but he's fallen off a bit down the stretch. If he can be this effective for 30 minutes a game instead of 20, Maryland will have quite a weapon in years to come.
Nick Faust - He's a lot like Finney-Smith in that he scores but he's not efficient and turns it over way way too much - 27 percent of the time. Also not the rebounder that Finney-Smith has been.



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