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NCAA Basketball

ACC Basketball Awards Midway Through 2015-16 Season

The ACC is arguably the deepest, most talented basketball conference in the country. Every team was above .500 in non-conference competition. There have already been a number of great head-to-head individual matchups in the ACC, and some players have shown their superiority. Through half of the season, these are the midseason winners for the ACC awards.

Coach of the Year – Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh)

Coach of the Year – Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh) Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dixon has led his team to a 13-1 start to the season. Even though their non-conference schedule wasn’t too intimidating, the Panthers have looked like a strong, experienced unit. That’s credit to Dixon’s development and philosophy.

Honorable Mention: Buzz Williams (Virginia Tech)

Dixon has led his team to a 13-1 start to the season. Even though their non-conference schedule wasn’t too intimidating, the Panthers have looked like a strong, experienced unit. That’s credit to Dixon’s development and philosophy.

Honorable Mention: Buzz Williams (Virginia Tech)

Player of the Year – Anthony Barber (NC State Junior Guard)

Player of the Year – Anthony Barber (NC State Junior Guard) Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
While Barber hasn’t received as much attention nationally, he is known as the fastest player in the ACC. He has put the Wolfpack on his back this year, averaging 22.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game for a team that has narrowly lost their first two ACC games. Barber is definitely the most valuable player in the ACC.

Honorable Mention: Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia)

While Barber hasn’t received as much attention nationally, he is known as the fastest player in the ACC. He has put the Wolfpack on his back this year, averaging 22.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game for a team that has narrowly lost their first two ACC games. Barber is definitely the most valuable player in the ACC.

Honorable Mention: Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia)

Defensive Player of the Year – BeeJay Anya (NC State Junior Center)

Defensive Player of the Year – BeeJay Anya (NC State Junior Center) Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
There isn’t a player in the ACC who controls the game defensively like Anya. The feared shot-blocker rejects nearly three shots a game and alters almost any shot in the paint. He has struggled with foul trouble, but he is a wall in the lane.

Honorable Mention: Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville)

There isn’t a player in the ACC who controls the game defensively like Anya. The feared shot-blocker rejects nearly three shots a game and alters almost any shot in the paint. He has struggled with foul trouble, but he is a wall in the lane.

Honorable Mention: Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville)

Freshman of the Year – Brandon Ingram (Duke Forward)

Freshman of the Year – Brandon Ingram (Duke Forward) Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Ingram has continued to blossom for the Blue Devils. He has received Kevin Durant comparisons, and while I wouldn’t go that far, Ingram is a remarkable talent. His averages of 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists should only improve as Ingram progresses in his playmaking. When Amile Jefferson comes back, he’ll be allowed to play more minutes at his natural small forward position.

Honorable Mention: Malik Beasley (Florida State)

Ingram has continued to blossom for the Blue Devils. He has received Kevin Durant comparisons, and while I wouldn’t go that far, Ingram is a remarkable talent. His averages of 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists should only improve as Ingram progresses in his playmaking. When Amile Jefferson comes back, he’ll be allowed to play more minutes at his natural small forward position.

Honorable Mention: Malik Beasley (Florida State)

Sixth Man of the Year – Ja’Quan Newton (Miami Sophomore Guard)

Sixth Man of the Year – Ja’Quan Newton (Miami Sophomore Guard) Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Newton has been phenomenal off of the bench. In addition to averaging 12.0 points and 2.9 assists, the sophomore is shooting 52 percent from the field and 39 percent from three. If he keeps up his production, Miami has a legitimate chance to win the ACC.

Honorable Mention – Luke Kennard (Duke)

Newton has been phenomenal off of the bench. In addition to averaging 12.0 points and 2.9 assists, the sophomore is shooting 52 percent from the field and 39 percent from three. If he keeps up his production, Miami has a legitimate chance to win the ACC.

Honorable Mention – Luke Kennard (Duke)

Most Improved Player – Grayson Allen (Duke Sophomore Guard)

Most Improved Player – Grayson Allen (Duke Sophomore Guard) Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports
There were high expectations for Allen coming into the season, and he has surpassed all of them. He has upped his scoring average by over 16 points, sitting at 20.8 right now to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. The former McDonald’s All-American has brought great energy to the Blue Devils and shown terrific improvement as a playmaker.

Honorable Mention: Anthony Barber (NC State)

There were high expectations for Allen coming into the season, and he has surpassed all of them. He has upped his scoring average by over 16 points, sitting at 20.8 right now to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. The former McDonald’s All-American has brought great energy to the Blue Devils and shown terrific improvement as a playmaker.

Honorable Mention: Anthony Barber (NC State)

All-ACC First Team – Anthony Barber (NC State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Brice Johnson (North Carolina), Grayson Allen (Duke), Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame)

All-ACC First Team – Anthony Barber (NC State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Brice Johnson (North Carolina), Grayson Allen (Duke), Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame) Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Barber is the current Player of the Year. Brogdon is a return first team All-ACC player who has improved his efficiency. With the return of Kennedy Meeks, Johnson’s numbers will dip, but he has become the go-to scorer and a tenacious rebounder. Duke runs with Allen, and they haven’t lost when he scores double figures. After being a bit passive in non-conference play, Jackson looks primed to take over as a star for the Fighting Irish.

Barber is the current Player of the Year. Brogdon is a return first team All-ACC player who has improved his efficiency. With the return of Kennedy Meeks, Johnson’s numbers will dip, but he has become the go-to scorer and a tenacious rebounder. Duke runs with Allen, and they haven’t lost when he scores double figures. After being a bit passive in non-conference play, Jackson looks primed to take over as a star for the Fighting Irish.

All-ACC Second Team – Damion Lee (Louisville), Marcus Paige (North Carolina), Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Brandon Ingram (Duke), Sheldon McClellan (Miami)

All-ACC Second Team – Damion Lee (Louisville), Marcus Paige (North Carolina), Michael Gbinije (Syracuse), Brandon Ingram (Duke), Sheldon McClellan (Miami) Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Pitino would have an average team without Lee’s 17.3 points per game. Even though Paige just came back from injury, he has looked like the healthy star that he was as a sophomore. He could end up being a first team member. Gbinije has led a young team with 18.0 points and 4.7 assists. Ingram has been unguardable at times, and he will only get better. McClellan is a star for the Hurricanes right now.

Rick Pitino would have an average team without Lee’s 17.3 points per game. Even though Paige just came back from injury, he has looked like the healthy star that he was as a sophomore. He could end up being a first team member. Gbinije has led a young team with 18.0 points and 4.7 assists. Ingram has been unguardable at times, and he will only get better. McClellan is a star for the Hurricanes right now.

All-ACC Third Team – London Perrantes (Virginia), Anthony Gill (Virginia), Jamel Artis (Pittsburgh), Devin Thomas (Wake Forest), Malik Beasley (Florida State)

All-ACC Third Team – London Perrantes (Virginia), Anthony Gill (Virginia), Jamel Artis (Pittsburgh), Devin Thomas (Wake Forest), Malik Beasley (Florida State) Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
Perrantes and Gill have upped their scoring to add to their complete skill sets. Beasley has been terrific for the Seminoles. Artis is averaging 15.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists for a one-loss team, and Thomas has dominated with 16.7 points and 10.3 rebounds a game.

Perrantes and Gill have upped their scoring to add to their complete skill sets. Beasley has been terrific for the Seminoles. Artis is averaging 15.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists for a one-loss team, and Thomas has dominated with 16.7 points and 10.3 rebounds a game.

All-Defensive Team – BeeJay Anya (NC State), Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Tonye Jekiri (Miami), James Robinson (Pittsburgh)

All-Defensive Team – BeeJay Anya (NC State), Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Tonye Jekiri (Miami), James Robinson (Pittsburgh) Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Anya is the top shot blocker in the conference. Onuaku and Jekiri play similar roles as mobile big men who can protect the rim. Brogdon has been a lockdown perimeter defender for three years. Even though he is playing less, Robinson still aggressively guards the ball.

Anya is the top shot blocker in the conference. Onuaku and Jekiri play similar roles as mobile big men who can protect the rim. Brogdon has been a lockdown perimeter defender for three years. Even though he is playing less, Robinson still aggressively guards the ball.

All-Freshman Team – Brandon Ingram (Duke), Malik Beasley (Florida State), Dwayne Bacon (Florida State), Bryant Crawford (Wake Forest), Luke Kennard (Duke)

All-Freshman Team – Brandon Ingram (Duke), Malik Beasley (Florida State), Dwayne Bacon (Florida State), Bryant Crawford (Wake Forest), Luke Kennard (Duke) Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Ingram, Beasley and Bacon should be able to maintain their spots on this team. Crawford was great in Codi Miller-McIntyre’s absence, and he looks like a guard more than willing to excel as a scorer off the ball. With his late shooting surge, Kennard looks like he can be a big-time scorer in the ACC.

Ingram, Beasley and Bacon should be able to maintain their spots on this team. Crawford was great in Codi Miller-McIntyre’s absence, and he looks like a guard more than willing to excel as a scorer off the ball. With his late shooting surge, Kennard looks like he can be a big-time scorer in the ACC.

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