My Votes For The 2022 ACC Basketball Season Awards

ACC Player of the Year: Alondes Williams

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This award is a lot easier than the media is making it seem. We see Hubert Davis campaigning for Armando Bacot to claim this award, but this one is not close. Yes, Bacot is having a great year while he's averaging 16.4 PPG (Points Per Game), a league-high 12.7 RPG (Rebounds Per Game), and shooting 58.5% from the field. But is he the most impactful player on his team? I would argue he is not, and here's why. Caleb Love is the player who makes the most significant impact on this UNC team. This team lives and dies by him. When Carolina wins, Love averages 16.9 PPG, and when Carolina loses, he averages just 11.8 PPG. 

North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Hubert Davis speaks with North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot during the college basketball game...
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But this is nothing compared to what is happening down in Winston-Salem. Alondes Williams is currently average a league-high 19.3 PPG, a league-high 5.3 APG (Assists Per Game), 6.7 RPG, and shooting 51.8% from the field as a guard. Nobody has led the ACC in points and assists since the late 70s, while Williams is doing that right now. His most underrated quality in his game is court vision and ability to control the game. The Demon Deacons were projected to finish 13th by ACC voters in the preseason, and they have now finished just outside the top four looking like a lock for the NCAA Tournament. What Steve Forbes and his crew have done has been remarkable, and without Williams, this team would struggle to qualify for the NIT. He is undoubtedly the most valuable player on his team and has been the best player in the conference this season.

ACC Coach of the Year: Mike Krzyzewski 

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I know what you're thinking, "Of course, Karter would pick Coach K" or "How can he pick Alondes Williams for POTY but not Steve Forbes for COTY." Do I believe it will go to Coach K? No. Remember, this is if I had a vote, not what will happen. Wake Forest Head Coach Steve Forbes will win the award, and I believe it's warranted, but I think Coach K has a fair argument. Coach K has not won an ACC Coach of the Year award since 2000 despite finishing top of the ACC multiple times. This award is much like the NBA MVP; you need a media narrative to run with the award. That is why we see guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has had an MVP caliber season, but he's not even in the discussion. Duke has won their first outright ACC regular-season title since 2006 while being the only team ranked in the AP Top 25 in the conference. Duke has dominated the conference with a 16-3 record with just one game to go. As I mentioned earlier, it's remarkable what Steve Forbes has done with this Wake program, and he will probably win the award he has earned. But everyone likes to talk about what a remarkable turnaround it has been by Steve Forbes and Wake. Let's not forget last season, Duke finished 10th in the ACC and missed the NCAA Tournament, and this year finished first while being ranked number four in the AP Polls. Yes, Duke has the most talent in the ACC, and they were predicted to win the ACC, but they accomplished it and did it without difficulty. We had seen in past seasons when Tony Bennett finished first in back-to-back years; he still won the award twice. The media gets tired of picking the same guy every year, so they want to switch it up. I'll repeat it if Steve Forbes wins Coach of the Year. I have no problem with it, he has deserved it, and it is phenomenal to see Wake basketball relevant again. 

ACC Freshman of the Year: Paolo Banchero

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The ACC Freshman of the Year award should be a unanimous vote for Banchero this year. Not much needs to be discussed about this award. The only other freshmen close to Banchero's numbers are Blake Wesley and his two teammates Trevor Keels and A.J. Griffin. Wesley is having a fantastic season averaging almost 15 PPG and helping the Irish to a top 3 spot in the ACC. But Banchero is currently averaging 16.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, and shoots 46.5% from the field. He is arguably the best player on a star-studded Duke roster and a freshman and soon-to-be top-five pick in the NBA draft. He's the clear pick for this award and should be a shoo-in for All-ACC First Team.

ACC Most Improved Player: Dereon Seabron

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Dereon Seabron finished last season, averaging 5.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 0.8 APG. He is averaging 17.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 3.0 APG this season. I understand he gets to take a lot of shots on a miserable NC State team this year, but the improvement is incredible. He also has to play big a lot of the time with the limited depth NC State has without Manny Bates. We have seen him go from being just a guy on the roster to a potential star if he stays in school. Wendell Moore was my second choice, but Seabron's leap is more significant than Moore's. Wendell Moore did take that next step into being a legit leader and stellar on-ball defender, but ultimately this is Seabron's award.

ACC Defensive Player of the Year: Mark Williams

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There is a lot of debate about this one because you decipher between on-ball defender guards or big men who get blocks. You'll see North Carolina fans campaigning for Leaky Black, and Virginia fans will be claiming Reece Beekman should receive the award. But Mark Williams was the best defensive player in the conference this season. He ranks top ten in the country and first in the conference in blocks with almost three blocks per game. Mark Williams affects the game in many different ways, but his rim protection bars none in the ACC. His presence in the paint wreaks havoc for anybody that attempts to penetrate in the lane. But this does not mean guys like Beekman and Black are not good defenders; I believe both are the best on-ball defenders in the conference. But Williams's ability to protect the rim leaves a much bigger imprint on the game than any other player in the ACC.

First-Team All-ACC

Alondes Williams

Armando Bacot

Paolo Banchero

Mark Williams

Jake LaRavia

Second-Team All-ACC

Wendell Moore

Kameron McGusty

A.J. Griffin

Keve Aluma

Dereon Seabron

Third-Team All-ACC

Blake Wesley

Buddy Boeheim

Trevor Keels

Jayden Gardner

Michael Devoe