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Mar
10
2014

Something is wrong in the balloting

ACC-BB-logo-300x167Wodden FinalistsIt seems that the people in charge of voting for the top players in the country, known as the Wooden Award, and the head coaches that have ranked the All-ACC teams do not really see eye to eye. And they do not by a wide margin. First let’s check out the finalists for the Player of the Year…

As you can see there are 15 players, three of them from the Atlantic Coast Conference, of which not just one, but a pair from newly arrived Syracuse, senior C.J. Fair and freshman Tyler Ennis. First off, maybe I am wrong in this, but I would have put the Duke combo of Jabari Parker, who is the third from the conference on the list, with Rodney Hood before the duo from the upstate New York program. I would have also had either Marcus Paige, from North Carolina, or T.J. Warren, from N.C. State, before a second selection coming from SU. And I believe that the All-ACC selectors are on my side.

All ACCThe only Orange to make the first All-ACC team is Fair, along with Parker, Paige (both ahead of him in voting), Warren and Malcolm Brogdon from the top program in the conference, Virginia. On the second team it was Ennis, followed by Lamar Patterson (Pittsburgh), Hood, K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) and Joe Harris (Virginia). The 1st, 2nd & 3rd team selections, as well as the honorable mentions, were voted on by the fifteen head coaches in the conference during the last week of the regular season.

I might be wrong, but to have two players on the ballot for top players in the country that squad would truly have to be a special. One that was a clear cut favorite not only to win its own conference but to win the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year. Syracuse did not win the ACC this season, and if you listen to many so-called experts there is a handful of teams that are all in the mix to win it all, with Florida, not SU, being the one just a bit above the rest. And those same analysts have also said that SU is now a stronger team because Jerami Grant, who is on the honorable mention squad, is back from injuries.

I might not be making any friends in the Empire State, but if you had two of the top players in the nation having someone return from injury should not be a big of a deal as this seems to be for the Orange. In my mind, UNC without Paige or State without Warren would not have won half the games they did without their top players. That tells me both Paige and Warren were key to the success each of their squad had. I am not sure if you take out just Ennis or Fair (especially if Grant was not hurt) the Orange would have been as bad as the Heels or Wolfpack without their top player. All of this just makes me think that the Wooden selection committee made a big mistake in putting the duo from SU on their list while leaving out either Paige or Warren.

Of course that does not mean that someone one else from another team was not worthy to be a Wooden Finalist, but I focus mainly on the ACC, and so I looked at those players.

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