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State of the U ALL ACC Everything Teams Plus More Hoops Thoughts

My All Conference, All Defense, All Rookie, Underrated/Overrated teams plus thoughts on the 'Canes and Atlantic Coast Conference regular seasons.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of the year when the tabulations of  All Conference votes begins.

So why not jump the gun a but with State of the U's All ACC Hoops Squads?

With out further delay here are my 2014-15 Atlantic Coast Conference All Everything selections:

All ACC 1st Team

Jahlil Okafor, Duke - The most NBA ready big man since Tim Duncan.  His D is not out of this world, but he is unstoppable one on one in the post.  Could a Final 4 showdown with Kentucky's plethora of NBA bigs be in the cards?

Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia -  The best player on the best team. Scores, rebounds, defends, passes and plays big in the clutch. His numbers might not blow you away, but his play will.

Justin Anderson, Virginia -  Despite missing the last 7 games, gets the nod.  He's Pippen to Brogdon's Jordan, or the other way around, take your pick.  Another guy who saves his best for down the stretch of close games.

Rakeem Christmas Syracuse -  Most improved player in the country.  Relentless on the glass, finishes with power, and outside of Okafor the best player in the ACC with his back to the basket.

Jerian Grant Notre Dame -  Single biggest reason the Irish are guaranteed a trip back to March Madness. Scores with aplomb, gets teammates involved, and also has the sickest finish all season long in conference play.

2nd Team:

Tonye Jekiri,  Miami - Where would the 'Canes be with out the ACC's leader in rebounds?  Jekiri is the most improved overall player in the country outside of Christmas.

Montrezl Harrell, Louisville -  Arguably the best PF in the nation.  Plays the game with tons of passion. Sometimes too much so as evidenced by his volleyball like spike off Jekiri's head a few weeks back.

Olivier Hanlan, Boston College - Smooth scorer leads the ACC in PPG.  If only he played for a contender, he might earn even higher accolades.

Trevor Lacey, NC State - The Alabama transfer is the biggest reason the Wolfpack have the strongest resume of the ACC's bubble teams. Lacey is deadly with his step back jumper, especially in close games.

Sheldon McClellan, Miami - Talented scorer is perhaps too unselfish at times. Underrated defender as well, and the runner up in Dunk of the Year:

3rd Team:

Quinn Cook, Duke - Has really turned into one of the premier shooters in the conference. Deadly at the line as well. Still has PG skills when needed.

Tyus Jones, Duke -  You could make the argument Jones belongs way higher than this. He's tough as nails, talented, and has a ridiculous future ahead of him.

Brice Johnson, North Carolina - Johnson runs the floor, plays great D, scores in the paint or with his back to the basket, and has a very nice developing medium game. He's been arguably the best player for the Heels this season.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes, FSU - Up and down start to his freshman campaign has been overshadowed by some explosive performances.  But how do I not find a spot for a guy that went for 35 on two different occasions?

Michael Young, Pittsburgh -  Consistent inside force with a versatile overall game. Has gotten better as the season has progressed.

Honorable Mention  -

UNC - Marcus Paige, Kennedy Meeks,

Louisville - Terry Rozier, Wayne Blackshear

UVA - Anthony Gill, London Perrantes

Duke - Justise Winslow, Amile Jefferson

Notre Dame - Pat Connaughton, Zach Auguste, Demetrius Jackson

NC State -  BeeJay Anya, Ralston Turner,  Cat Barber

Syracuse - Tyler Roberson, Trevor Cooney

PittCameron Wright, James Robinson

Miami - Davon Reed, Angel Rodriguez

Clemson - Jaron Blossomgame

FSUMontay Brandon

Wake Forest - Devin Thomas, Codi Miller-McIntyre

BC - Patrick Heckmann

Georgia TechMarcus Georges-Hunt

Virginia Tech - Adam Smith

All Defensive:

Tonye Jekiri Miami, Malcolm Brogdon UVA, Beejay Anya NC State, Landy Nnoko Clemson, Michael Gbinje Syracuse

All Rookie:

Jahlil Okafor Duke, Tyus Jones Duke, Justise Winslow Duke, Xavier Rathan-Mayes FSU, Justin Jackson UNC,

Player of the Year:

Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Rookie of the Year:

Jahlil Okafor, Duke

Defensive Player of the Year:

Tonye Jekiri, Miami

All Underrated:

Adam Smith, VT - Kid can flat out shoot.

Demetrius Jackson, ND - Overshadowed by Grant, almost as explosive

Davon Reed. Miami - Missed a lot of time with an injury.  but an improving scorer and elite defender

Tyler Roberson, Cuse - Undersized beast on the glass.

Montay Brandon, FSU - Smooth player on both ends of the floor.

All Overrated:

Angel Rodriguez, Miami - Love his grit, but he shoots the 'Canes out of too many games.

Justise Winslow  Duke -  Talented kid but has a lot of maturing to do. Ocassionally plays dirty.

Pat Connaughton ND -  Good player, who I admittedly overrate myself. Too much made of his promising baseball career.

Trevor Cooney, Cuse -  High volume shooter takes a lot of bad shots.

Marcus Paige, UNC -  Is still a very good player, but has dropped off from last season a bit.

Closing Thoughts on the Regular Season:

  • All of talk of back to back conference regular season champs UVA being bad for College Hoops is absolute hogwash!  What's wrong with playing sound, airtight, hard nosed D and being an unselfish and balanced albeit occasionally low scoring offense? In fact I believe Kentucky essentially just improved to 30-0 using the same formula, and no one is complaining about them.  The only difference is that the Hoos do it with out a roster of McDonald's All-Americans.
  • Another thing about Virginia. They are the perfect model of how to build a team regardless of talent. Everyone knows their roles, and they all fit together perfectly.  You have Star A in Brogdon, Star B in Anderson, heady PG London Parrientes, solid if unspectacular pivot Mike Tobey, and a well above average trash man in  Anthony Gill. The one thing they may be missing despite a deep bench, is the prototypical high scoring 6th man. They make up for it with suffocating defense......  Which brings me back to the 'Canes.  If there is one thing in my mind that haunted them more than any other this season, it is their undefined roles/identity.  I don't blame Coach L too much as 9 new players will do that to a team. Two years back they had the perfect mix with Shane Larkin stirring the straw, Durand Scott complimenting him perfect as a stopper/#2, Kenny Kadji the ideal stretch 4, Trey McKinney-Jones the sharpshooter, Julian Gamble the trash man and defensive stopper, and Rion Brown your occasional microwave off the bench.   Next season UM needs to figure out and embrace their roles. Ideally in my mind McClellan is the star, with Davon Reed the #2, Jekiri a star as a defender/rebounder/finisher at the pivot, Angel embracing a Rajon Rondo rather than Allen Iverson type presence at the point, Oklahoma State transfer Kamari Murphy as your trash man at the 4, and Deandre Burnett or JaQuan Newton or James Palmer as your Vinnie Johnson if you will. If it all comes together, watch out for Miami next season.
  • Speaking of Larkin, as my colleague Josh Kaufman has pointed out more than a few times, Duke freshman Tyus Jones has a lot of Larkin in his game, except he's taller.
  • Before the season, my surprises to finish in the upper half of the league were Notre Dame and Florida State.  Looks like I was one for two.  FSU might have been a year premature.  Xavier Rathan-Mayes is going to be even more of a handful next season (unless he declares) and the Seminoles have a top 20 class on the way featuring 4 star wings Dwayne Bacon & Terrance Mann plus a 7'4 monster named Jean Marc Koumadje. Leonard Hamilton's squad will be heard from in 2015.
  • It's not my place to judge the guilt/innocence of Chris Jones or Rasheed Sulaimon.  But the timings of their dismissals despite reports of warning signs in each case raises an eyebrow.  With out getting too far into specifics I think both Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski could have handled the respective situations better.   Both guys are HOF coaches with National Championships on their resumes.  That does not mean they are perfect outside of the lines.

Enjoy the rest of the regular season, and the ACC Tournament next week everyone.

Feel free to provide lots of feedback in the comments section