Virginia Basketball Receives Well Deserved All-ACC Recognition

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Virginia basketball head coach Tony Bennett cuts down the net following his team’s victory over Louisville last Saturday. ~ Photo by Mike Ingalls

The Atlantic Coast Conference revealed its 2018-19 All-ACC men’s basketball selections on Monday (March 11). It was a good day for the University of Virginia, which is two days removed from capturing a share of the conference regular season championship and the no. 1 seed in the 2019 ACC Tournament.

UVA head coach Tony Bennett was the pick for ACC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Meanwhile, redshirt sophomore guard/forward De’Andre Hunter was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and received All-ACC First Team and All-Defensive honors, junior guard Kyle Guy earned All-ACC First Team honors, and junior point guard Ty Jerome earned All-ACC Second Team honors.

Under Bennett’s guidance, Virginia finished the ACC regular season with 16-2 record. The Cavaliers are 33-3 in conference regular season play over the past two seasons combined – 36-3 if you include the three wins in last year’s ACC Tournament title run. Bennett, who is now tied for third all-time with four ACC Coach of the Year distinctions behind Dean Smith (8) and Mike Krzyzewski (5), has led the Hoos to at least a share of the ACC regular season title four times since taking over the program in 2009. This week in Charlotte, Virginia is seeking its third ACC postseason championship in the Bennett era.

Hunter continues to rack up the accolades since redshirting as a true freshman in 2016-17. The ACC Sixth Man of the Year and All-Freshman team pick one year ago, Hunter added the three honors this year. The Philadelphia (PA) native received the third-most voting points (302) on the All-2019 ACC First-Team behind Duke’s Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett. Williamson, Barrett, and Hunter are the only three 2019 All-ACC selections to receive over 300 voting points.

Building off last year’s breakout season, Hunter has been outstanding on both sides of the ball for the Hoos in 2018-19. He is averaging 15.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, making 53.3% of his field goals including 47.3% of his 3s for the Associated Press No. 2 Cavaliers. UVA features the top-ranked defense, allowing 54.1 points per game. Hunter is an outstanding on-ball defender and able to guard the 1 through 4 positions for the Hoos. He is the fourth Hoo to capture the honor in the past five seasons.

Guy, who is currently leading Virginia in scoring with 15.3 points per game, becomes an All-ACC First Team pick for the second consecutive season. The sharpshooting junior leads the conference with 3.2 3-pointers per game and is third in 3-point percentage, making 45.1% from behind the arc in 215 attempts. Guy is also averaging 4.5 rebounds per game for the Hoos, almost two rebounds per game better than a year ago.

Kyle Guy lets loose a jumper versus Wake Forest.

Per the voice of the Hoos, Dave Koehn, on Monday’s “Coach’s Corner” radio show with head coach Tony Bennett, UVA last had two All-ACC First Team selections in 1982 with Ralph Sampson and Othell Wilson. Hunter and Guy received more accolades earlier Monday, with each earning Sporting News All-American Third-Team honors.

Jerome, Virginia’s floor general out of New Rochelle, New York, reaches All-ACC Second Team honors in 2018-19 after making the All-ACC Third Team last season. The 6’5” guard is averaging 13.5 points per game this season and has dished out 154 assists (5.3 per game) with just 48 turnovers (1.7 per game). Jerome was also named ACC Player of the Week for his performances last week in wins over Syracuse and Louisville. He averaged 20 points, 10 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 3 steals in the two victories.

Ty Jerome was outstanding in two crucial wins the final week of the ACC regular season. ~ Photo by Mike Ingalls

Hunter, Guy, and Jerome, who along with Jay Huff made up one of Virginia’s top recruiting classes in school history in 2016, have helped the Hoos to a 28-2 overall record this season.

Joining Hunter and Guy on the All-ACC First-Team are Williamson and Barrett, as well as North Carolina senior Cameron Johnson. Williamson also received ACC Player of the Year honors, receiving the bulk of the voting points (49) with Barrett (16) coming in second, Hunter (4) third, and Bowman (1) fourth. Joining Jerome on the All-ACC Second Team squad are North Carolina senior Luke Maye, Boston College junior Ky Bowman, North Carolina freshman Coby White, and Virginia Tech junior Kerry Blackshear, Jr. The All-ACC Third-Team includes Louisville sophomore Jordan Nwora, Clemson senior Marcquise Reed, Syracuse junior Tyus Battle, Virginia Tech sophomore Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Notre Dame junior John Mooney.

Florida State sophomore Mfiondu Kabengele was named ACC Sixth Man of the Year. Virginia junior Braxton Key picked up some votes for the honor.

Louisville sophomore Jordan Nwora received ACC Most Improved Player recognition.

(Breakdown of 2019 All-ACC voting. The * means the voting was unanimous.)

First Team
Zion Williamson, Fr., Duke, 350*
RJ Barrett, Fr., Duke, 346
De’Andre Hunter, So., Virginia, 302
Cameron Johnson, Sr., North Carolina, 277
Kyle Guy, Jr., Virginia, 231

Second Team
Luke Maye, Sr., North Carolina, 221
Ky Bowman, Jr., Boston College, 188
Ty Jerome, Jr., Virginia, 177
Coby White, Fr., North Carolina, 171
Kerry Blackshear Jr., Jr., Virginia Tech, 170

Third Team
Jordan Nwora, So., Louisville, 135
Marcquise Reed, Sr., Clemson, 129
Tyus Battle, Jr., Syracuse, 128
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, So., Virginia Tech, 72
John Mooney, Jr., Notre Dame, 71

Honorable Mention
Mfiondu Kabengele, So., Florida State, 69
Cam Reddish, Fr., Duke, 37
Tre Jones, Fr., Duke, 18
Terance Mann, Sr., Florida State, 16
Elijah Thomas, Sr., Clemson, 10

ACC Player of the Year
Zion Williamson, Fr., Duke, 49
RJ Barrett, Fr., Duke, 16
De’Andre Hunter, So., Virginia, 4
Ky Bowman, Jr., Boston College, 1

ACC Rookie of the Year
Zion Williamson, Duke, 47
RJ Barrett, Duke, 21
Coby White, North Carolina, 2

ACC Coach of the Year
Tony Bennett, Virginia, 30
Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech, 12
Roy Williams, North Carolina, 11
Leonard Hamilton, Florida State, 10
Chris Mack, Louisville, 7

ACC Defensive Player of the Year
De’Andre Hunter, So., Virginia, 46
Tre Jones, Fr., Duke, 19
David Skara, Sr., Clemson, 3
Trent Forrest, Jr., Florida State, 2

ACC Most Improved Player
Jordan Nwora, So., Louisville, 30
John Mooney, Jr., Notre Dame, 27
Cameron Johnson, Sr., North Carolina, 5
Mfiondu Kabengele, So., Florida State, 4
Kerry Blackshear Jr., Jr., Virginia Tech, 2
Chris Lykes, So., Miami, 2

ACC Sixth Man of the Year
Mfiondu Kabengele, So., Florida State, 60
DJ Funderburk, So., NC State, 3
Jared Wilson-Frame, Jr., Pitt, 3
Nassir Little, Fr., North Carolina, 2
Braxton Key, Jr., Virginia, 2

ACC All-Defensive Team
De’Andre Hunter, So., Virginia, 60
Tre Jones, Fr., Duke, 56
Zion Williamson, Fr., Duke, 53
Elijah Thomas, Sr., Clemson, 31
James Banks III, Jr., Georgia Tech, 29

ACC All-Freshman Team
Zion Williamson, Duke, 70*
Coby White, North Carolina, 67
RJ Barrett, Duke, 66
Xavier Johnson, Pitt, 40
Tre Jones, Duke, 38

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1 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. “Damning With Faint Praise” is a talent with which the RTD and writer Mike Barber is supremely gifted.

    Tony Bennett gets his 4th ACC COY. 4th in 6 years. Trails only K (5) and Deano now. Big stuff. National news.

    Now go to the RTD site, and read their coverage.Then note:

    1) They don’t devote an article to the award, or even mention it in a headline, it’s lumped in with “honors mounting up” for the team;

    2) Buzz Williams is mentioned as getting second most votes, with more column space given to him than there is about Tony’s COY award;

    3) The argument is put forth that the award is a popularity contest, and that Buzz should certainly have won it this year, with reasons and record listed;

    4) And space is reserved at the end, lest anyone forget, to remind readers that UVA won a bunch last year but then flamed out in spectacular fashion.

    You have to laugh.

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