N.C. State Archive


State’s Doeren likes experience and depth at quarterback

Q. You’ve had quarterbacks of differing styles your first year with Thomas, Mitchell. Now you have Jalen coming in, taking over the backup role. What have you seen from him? What kind of competition has he given Jacoby? COACH DOEREN: First of all, it’s the third year I’ve been at State and first year I’ve had a returner at that position, the first year I had a backup that we recruited to be a scholarship quarterback. I’m excited about the depth and the talent that we have there. I feel like we’re in a great situation because Jalen traveled to […]

Q. You’ve had quarterbacks of differing styles your
first year with Thomas, Mitchell. Now you have
Jalen coming in, taking over the backup role. What
have you seen from him? What kind of competition
has he given Jacoby?
COACH DOEREN: First of all, it’s the third year I’ve
been at State and first year I’ve had a returner at that
position, the first year I had a backup that we recruited
to be a scholarship quarterback. I’m excited about the
depth and the talent that we have there. I feel like
we’re in a great situation because Jalen traveled to
every game last year, was in every game plan meeting
with Coach Canada, took valuable reps in this offseason,
and is with Jacoby day in, day out. Jacoby is a
tremendous preparation guy. He’s getting to watch a
veteran guy go through it, a guy that’s going through it
the right way. He’s really dedicated, Jacoby has dedicated himself to the cause.
So for Jalen, I think he’s in a tremendous position. I tell kids all the time,
they want to play right away, all of them do, if you’re a
three-year starter at that level, that’s a lot. If you start
at quarterback for three years at the ACC or SEC,
you’re a pretty good football player now. He’s going to
be able to do that after Jacoby is gone. If we feel like
there’s a moment in a game, injury in a game, we don’t
have to change what we do. We have another 6’6″ guy
that can run and throw and is tough. It’s a great
scenario to have on your team. It’s the first time I’ve
had it since I’ve been here. I do sleep good at night
from a quarterback standpoint knowing that’s what we
have. Just like every year, you have different things.
Last year no one asked about our kicker and punter.
Now that’s the unknown. Our left tackle is a new guy.
That’s an unknown. At least at quarterback we don’t
have that problem.

Q. You raved about Jacoby the minute you landed
him as a transfer. Is it possible to overstate the
impact he’s had on the program? Can we overstate
how important he’s been to the transformation?
COACH DOEREN: No, I don’t think you can. I told
everybody last year, it’s his team because he’s the
quarterback. The quarterback’s the CEO of your
football team. We’re going to go, any team is, you can
go from Pop Warner to NFL, if you look at their
quarterback play, if it’s good, if he manages the team
the right way, if he’s tough, if he’s a leader, those teams
probably win some games. Vice versa, if you have a
team that has no identity at that position, they’re
probably not very good. So he’s helped us immensely.
I was excited when I got him because I’ve known him
since he was a freshman. He comes from a great
program. Was coached by a great high school coach
in Jack Daniels. He was a state championship
basketball player at point guard. I knew what I was
getting because I’d known him for so long. I knew what
we needed. I was coming from a program at Northern
Illinois that had tremendous quarterback play in Jordan
Lynch one year and Chandler Harnish they year
before. They were both Player of the Year in our
league. I knew that we were champions at Northern
because I had a championship quarterback. So to
know I was getting one that had that pedigree, once
you have that you can build around it. You can have a
lot of other things, but if you don’t have, that it’s hard to
reach the goals you have as a program.



Area football players land on Maxwell, Bednarik watch lists

A total of 14 Atlantic Coast Conference defensive players have been selected to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, while 11 ACC players have been chosen to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award. …read more
UNC defeats Duke, 45-20

A total of 14 Atlantic Coast Conference defensive players have been selected to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, while 11 ACC players have been chosen to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award. …read more


Undrafted: Duke’s Cofield signed by Redskins; ECU’s Carden by Bears

Takoby Cofield.

Takoby Cofield.

Now that the NFL draft is over, those who went undrafted are being made offers from teams as undrafted free agents. Several in North Carolina have already been signed including East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden (Bears) and Duke’s offensive tackle Takoby Cofield (Redskins).

Meanwhile, NC State was shut out of NFL Draft for the first time since 1996 but Wolfpacker Tyson Chandler, a 6-6 340-pound offensive tackle, signed with the Lions.

ECU’s Carden might be in a decent situation joining a team that went just 5-11 and whose fans booed the starting quarterback, veteraan Jay Cutler.

Carden has the best numbers of any East Carolina quarterback in history with nearly 12,000 passing yards, 86 touchdowns and more than 1000 completions.

Pirate teammate Lamar Ivey, a physical safety, was signed by the Seattle Seahawks.

As for the 6-4, 310-pound Cofield, a Tarboro native, Dane Brugler of CBS Sports said this before the draft, “Although guard Laken Tomlinson receives most of the attention on Duke’s offensive line, Cofield started 42 straight games at left tackle and has produced NFL worthy film of his own. He was a steady edge blocker for the Blue Devils, using adequate size, athleticism and constant hustle to get the job done. Cofield needs to introduce discipline to his play style to limit his lunges and improve his anchor to better sink in his stance to survive at the next level. Although he has wrinkles to iron out and his lack of range of physical tools aren’t ideal, Cofield shows promise and has enough talent to grow into a reserve swing tackle in the NFL – worth late round consideration.”

Cofield was a third-team All-ACC selection. His teammate quarterback Anthony Boone was signed by Detroit while Duke receiver Issac Blakeney was signed by the 49ers. Duke defensive end Jordan DeWalt-Ondigo, who was considered a possible draftee, signed with the Eagles.

The two UNC Tar Heel signed so far are cornerback Tim Scott, who was signed by the Cowboys, and tight end Jack Tabb, who was signed by the Saints. Scott impressed scouts with a 4.55 40-yard dash at UNC’s Pro Day prior to the draft but it wasn’t enough to get drafted.


State’s Weiman earns softball ACC Pitcher of the Week honors

Emily Weiman.

Emily Weiman.

NC State softball player Emily Weiman has earned ACC Pitcher of the Week honors.

Weiman went 4-0 for the week and did not allow an earned or unearned run. The Pasadena, Maryland, native allowed just two hits and struck out six batters in her first appearance of the week to earn the win at Radford.

In her next outing of the week at home against NC Central, Weiman allowed a hit to the leadoff batter but did not allow another, striking out seven of the next 13 batters she would face to earn her second win of the week.

The senior was at her best when it mattered most, helping her team earn the doubleheader sweep at Virginia Tech on Sunday. She pitched a pair of complete game shutouts and was equally as effective in both games.

In game one of the twin bill, she fanned 11 Hokie batters including striking out the side in the second and third inning, getting three called strikeouts in the third inning. At one point in the contest, she retired 11 consecutive batters spanning from the first to the fourth inning. Weiman had at least one strikeout in every inning, with the exception of the fourth inning when she got three groundouts.

In the second game, she allowed a single in the first inning and was dominant from that point on to retire the next 20 batters to end the game without allowing another baserunner. More impressively, she did not allow another ball to be hit out of the infield after the third inning, as the remainder of the outs were strikeouts or groundouts.

She also picked up her 100th career win against NC Central on Thursday to become just the fifth pitcher in ACC history to reach 100 career wins and the first in Wolfpack history. Weiman finished the week with 30 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched and did not allow a run.


Doeren talks about Wolfpack spring football

Dave Doeren.

Dave Doeren.

DAVE DOEREN: It was a good spring.
We got a lot accomplished. I was really pleased
with how hard our guys practiced and put the
momentum from the end of our season, winning 4
of the last 5 games, and entered the off-season
with a lot of good energy, good confidence. Guys
learned, as a young team, the do’s and don’ts of
preparation, I think, and saw the results in how we
played at the end of the year.
It was fun to be the head coach here this
spring. There was just a lot of competition a
various positions. The way Jacoby and Jalan
threw the ball around.
We had several players we held out, just
being banged up like we were after the Bowl
game, trying to get David Grinnage and several
defensive linemen healthy. So a lot of young guys
were able to take part in the drill work.
Saw great strides on the offensive line.
Tyler Jones at left tackle had a great spring, got a
lot better for us. Will Richardson got better and
better and better as we went.
It’s good to have our inside three back,
Quinton Schooley, Joe Thuney, and Tony Adams
are very veteran, good players with good chemistry
playing well together.
Alex Barr returns. The guy has three
years of experience on the O-line and is very
motivated to have a great senior year.
Benson Browne and David Grinnage,
Jaylen Samuels did some good things at tight end.
I had a receiver, Bra’Lon Cherry, had a really good
finish to his spring. He was a little banged up at
the beginning and finished really strong.
It was great to have Gavin Locklear back.
He had an injury last season in the summer. One
of the best leaders in the receiver room and did a
nice job being a constant presence for the
quarterback position.
We moved a young man over to receiver
named Elliott Davis from DB, and he did a nice job.
He was probably the most explosive player. And
Jumichael Ramos probably made the most big
plays in the position group. Running back, Matt
Dayes and Shad Thornton and we have a
freshman that’s here already, Reggie Gallaspy,
that had nice springs for us.
On defense we have a lot of players back
with experience. If we counted the other day,
there’s nine different guys in our secondary, if you
include our nickels, that played for us last year —
three linebackers, five or six defensive linemen.
So excited, even though we’re young,
we’re experienced. Experienced sophomore
teams, experienced junior class, probably the
biggest question mark going into the fall will just be
the production at the kicker and punter position
because we lost such veteran players there, two
four-year starters.
So the kids here competed hard this spring
and was impressed with them, but it’s going to be
about game day for that position.
Spring game here was tremendous, had a
great crowd, a lot of people here supporting not
only the football team, but the Kay Yow spring
game raised over $16,000. So very thankful for
that. Look forward to a good summer.

Q. I know you brought up Jacoby
(Brissett) and Jalan (McClendon and just what
you can say about each of them individually,
how they looked through the spring.
DAVE DOEREN: Yeah, they looked great.
Both of them can make every throw. They’re very
competitive. Jalan is going through kind of a
learning curve we saw Jacoby in two springs ago,
how to manage the clock and how to take care of
the huddle, and when we want to go fast, how to
operate. He’s got tremendous leadership skills,
very competitive and super coachable. It’s fun
watching him progress through the spring.
And Jacoby on the other side of it has just
turned into such a great manager of what we do
and very consistent, doesn’t have a lot of change
in his personality, good play, bad play. Just keeps
playing, and excited to have both those guys in the
quarterback room.

Q. As far as how you kind of look at it
going into the fall, is Jacoby the guy for you?
Or is Jalan someone who can fight his way
getting the opportunity? How do you view your
quarterbacks going forward?
DAVE DOEREN: Jacoby is our starting
quarterback, there’s no doubt. He’s a senior. He
played his butt off as a junior, excited for him. But
also excited to have a guy as good as Jalan
behind him. You can look at Ohio State and see
how important your next quarterback is, and for
them, the next and the next.
We’re not going to enter the season with a
controversy or anything like that. We’re just
excited about the quality of both of our guys, and
we hope that we can get Jalan some great minutes
and get him ready to be the guy in it case that
would happen.

Q. Coach Doeren, can you talk about
how Darian Roseboro acclimated himself as a
freshman that graduated early from high
school, from Lincolnton?
DAVE DOEREN: Absolutely. I just met
with him today. Had a great conversation. He’s
grown up a lot. I’m just really glad he was able to
come in early. He has such a great family. I knew
homesickness would be an is
sue, and it was. I’m glad he didn’t have to go through that during the
fall semester.
But he got over it pretty quickly and is
really acclimated. Took a lot of reps with our
starting defense because Mike Rose is out for
spring with an injury. So he was the beneficiary of
a ton of repetitions, and I know that made him so
much better. He had two great plays in the spring
So excited for Darian. Now it’s just going
to be a matter of getting some shape so he can
play the way he wants to play every snap, and the
conditioning factor that’s just completely different
than the high school level.

Q. He played all over the map in high
school, including offense. Is there any thought
to do that with him at your level, or do you see
him as a defensive lineman specifically?
DAVE DOEREN: He’ll be a D-lineman. I
have used D-linemen in goal line packages before.
If we get to the point where we feel he can help us
win, we’ll have that conversation. Right now he’s
trying to learn what side of the ball he’s on and do
all the things we need him to do at D-line, so I think
it’s premature for that.

Q. Coach, what have you seen from the
defensive units as a whole this spring that has
impressed you more than anything else?
DAVE DOEREN: A lot of the guys are
back. So the chemistry, their ability to
communicate with each other and know where
each other is going to be. We do a lot of things
offensively here. So you have to be able to adjust
and make your calls and adjust your rules all the
time. You just see how well they function as a unit
together now.
Last year there were three new starters in
the secondary. So there was a lot of new things
happening, there was new starters at every
position. We have a lot of guys back that have
taken valuable game reps, and it’s just a lot more
We’re building off what we did last year. I
think we finished the season bringing a lot of
different pressures, and it helped our kids. We’ve
built on that here in the off-season. The guys are
excited about what they’re doing, and they
understand what’s asked, and where the strengths
and weaknesses of the calls are.

Q. Good afternoon. You’ve got some
holes to fill on the starting offensive and
defensive lines. How do those holes look to
you coming out of the spring?
DAVE DOEREN: I’m excited about our
D-line. Mike Rose is back. So is B.J. Hill, who
played in every game as a true freshman last year,
started almost all of them. Kentavius Street, we’ve
moved to D-tackle and had a really good spring.
Bradley Chubb was probably one of the best
surprises of the spring on the defensive line.
And then we had a number of players that
played last year that are coming back in the fall
from injuries — Monty Nelson, Justin Jones, Garrett
Bradbury. So we feel good about the depth, and
we recruited well on that side of the ball.
We’ve got four D-linemen coming in here
in less than a month. So excited to get those four
bodies in here too. Two defensive ends that are
6’5″ and 6’7″, and two D-tackles that are over 220
pounds. So we’re happy with the D-line.
On offensive line, I already mentioned the
three starters that are back, in Alex Barr and Tyler
Jones, had a really good spring, and Will
Richardson, who’s gotten better and better and
better. Bryce Kennedy, who we need to step up
this summer, and did some good things, just needs
to be more consistent.
We have a junior college tackle, Darius
Workman, that will be here in May, and three high
school tackles that will be here in June. So we’re
going to be a little bit younger filling those holes
possibly on the offensive line than we are on the
defensive line, but we like who we have to work

Q. Coach, last time we talked was right
after the spring game. I was wondering, now
that you’ve had a chance to go back and watch
the film, what stood out to you about that?
DAVE DOEREN: Well, the way we took
care of the ball on offense. There was a lot of
snaps in that game, and there was no turnovers.
Defensively, we tackled pretty well. I thought there
were some great runs by some of the backs, Matt
Dayes and Reggie and Shad had a really nice run
after the catch. The quarterbacks did a nice job
taking care of the football.
Defensively, I think we’re stopping the run
about our first defense very well, and the second
defense has got to step up a little bit. Part of that’s
the guys that were out of the game.
You just see a bunch of guys that know the
systems, that are playing within it and know whato do, playing fast.
And some of the backup guys, Shawn Boone played with the ones all day, did a
great job. Jermaine Pratt came in and did a great
job. It was fun to see some of the freshmen get
out there and make plays, Reggie and Darian and
James Smith Williams and Riley Nicholson and
Ford Howell. There are some young players that
just got here that are out here playing and playing
Really what I saw was what I thought it
was going to be. Offensive line-wise, I think we got
bodies on bodies. We picked up pressures pretty
well. We need to work on our vertical movement in
the run game, displacing people, creating some
bigger lanes for our backs. That’s why you play
those games so you can find the things that you’ve
got to focus on for the summer.

Q. Now that (Pharoah) McKever had a
full season on defense and is starting to feel
more comfortable on that side of the ball, how
much more of a weapon can he be for you this
DAVE DOEREN: It depends how strong
he can get. He’s a guy that was a role player a
year ago. Was a good pass rush, third down type
guy that could do a lot of different things in our
third down package. We’d like him to be a first-
down, second-down, third-down player.
When you go from receiver, quarterback,
safety, to D-line, there’s a huge curve when it
comes to playing the run. Pass rush, an athlete’s
an athlete. But in the run game, you’ve really got
to be able to bend and be strong and handle
double teams and different blocking schemes.
So for Pharaoh, his biggest progress is
going to come from his strength. He knows that.
He’s just going to grind all summer and get
stronger and stronger. He improved a lot in the
spring, and I think that’s the biggest thing, to see
him go from being a role player to an every down
starter is just going be to the lower body strength.

Q. How much weight has he gained
since the end of the season?
DAVE DOEREN: Not too much. He’s still
around the same weight. He’s just trying to make
sure he’s got the right weight, getting rid of body fat
and turning everything into lean muscle. He’s a big
old guy. I mean, I don’t even know his exact
weight right now. I met with him the other day, and
he said he’s been maintaining. So it’s really not
going to be his weight that matters as much as his


Carolina third in Learfield Sports Cup; ACC well represented

tarheelslogoSeven Atlantic Coast Conference schools rank among the top 26 of the 2014-15 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Division I Standings following the completion of the fall and winter sports seasons.

The ACC is tied for the most among all conferences with four schools ranked among the top 12 and seven ranked among the top 30. The ACC’s 12 schools ranked among the top 65 also tie for the most of any conference. Nine ACC schools rank among the top 50, while 13 of the conference’s 15 schools earned sports among the top 84.

The Duke men’s NCAA basketball championship highlighted the winter season for the ACC, which also saw the Notre Dame women’s basketball team place second nationally. A total of 18 teams from ACC schools posted national top-10 finishes in the sports of basketball, fencing, swimming and diving, wrestling and ice hockey.

North Carolina holds third place in the overall scoring with 823.5 points and is joined in the top-10 by Notre Dame in ninth place with 601.5.

Florida State ranks 11th with 597.5 points, followed by Virginia in 12th place with 571.

NC State (22nd place with 466.5 points), Duke (25th place with 450.5) and Louisville (26th with 449.5) round out the ACC’s representation among the top 30.

Virginia Tech ranks 41st (392 points), Syracuse 48th (344.5), Miami 58th (248), Clemson 59th (244.5), Boston College 65th (217), Pitt 84th (145), Georgia Tech 105th (110) and Wake Forest 172nd (50).

Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on NACDA’s website at www.directorscup.org.

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish in up to 20 sports — 10 women’s and 10 men’s.

The first standings of the spring sports season will be released on Thursday, May 28.


What they’re saying about NC State’s upset of Villanova

statelogoThe 8th seeded N.C. State Wolfpack is going back to the Sweet 16 for the second time in the last four years after an 71-68 upset of top-seeded Villanova on Saturday. The last time the Pack beat a regional No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament was during the run to the title in 1983. Here is what they’re saying about the victory.

“I want to give credit to N.C. State. They played a great game, and I think they were able to impose their will and do the things that they did well all season and take us out of what we do well.”
– Villanova coach Jay Wright

“In my opinion, (the ACC) it’s an undervalued conference right now for how strong our league is. So when you went on the road like we have and beat North Carolina, or on the road and beat Louisville or beat a Duke team, it’s not that we don’t respect — we respect Villanova, but we’ve seen good teams. We’ve seen a lot of them in our conference. You see them about every night. So a league like that prepares you for games like tonight. But again, our guys don’t — it’s not something we make a big deal out of, whether they’re the 1, or whatever. We’re going to play, and that’s our next opponent.”
– NC State coach Mark Gottfried

“In terms of talent, N.C. State is in top 15ish range. I’d argue they’re more talented than Villanova. Wolfpack just didn’t always show up.”
– NBC Sports Rob Dauster

“Seriously, did the entire Villanova team get food poisoning last night? One of the best shooting teams in country putting up airballs.”
– Fox Sports Stewart Mandel

“If the Wolfpack can control the pace and tempo in the Sweet 16, they could very well make a surprising run.”
– Bleacher Report’s Nate Loop

“All the close calls that went against N.C. State during the regular season are suddenly going the Wolfpack’s way in the NCAA tournament.”
– Raleigh News & Observer’s Joe Giglio

“We came out today with the feeling that everybody expected us to lose to a one seed, but we believe in ourselves and that we’re good enough to beat anybody in the country and we went down and did it.”
– NC State’s Beejay Anya

“The Wildcats have one more March failure to tack on the list. They shot a season-high 63 percent in the tournament opener against Lafayette. Against the Wolfpack, they fired ’em early in the shot clock, got stuffed at the rim and twice airballed 3-point attempts. These were the top-seeded Big East champs?”
– Associated Press’s Dan Gelston

“Before the game, a team manager had passed around a blog post suggesting that even N.C. State’s finest effort would not be enough to fell the Wildcats, losers of just two games all season and 9.5-point favorites coming off a 41-point thrashing of poor Lafayette. It would not let that go by easily either.”
– Sports Illustrated’s Dan Greene

“We used all that to add fuel to the fire.It s houldn’t take that, but we like those things to get us over the hump.”
– NC State’s Trevor Lacey, who scored a game-high 17 points.


Anya glad you kept watching; State wins at buzzer

beejayanyaLSU missed its last 12 field goals and last six free throws as NC State came from 16 down to win at the buzzer on a left-handed hook by Beejay Anya. The 66-65 Wolfpack win advances them to the round of 32 against Villanova Saturday.

The Pack had several opportunities to tie or take the lead in the last minute and a half after missed free throws but missed four three-point shots. LSU led 65-62 with a minute to play but Anya tipped in a Ralston Turner missed three to draw State to within a point at 65-64.

Trevor Lacey came down with a rebound on the other end, keeping the dribble going as he was falling down and the Pack called timeout with 14 seconds left.

It appeared that Lacey was going to take the last shot but he was heavily covered and hastily got it to Anya in the lane with four seconds left. Anya went to his right but found no opening so he reversed to the left, hooking up a shot from about six feet out. The ball bounced around and fell through for the victory. Those four points were the only ones Anya scored all night.

The Pack led 20-19 and never led again until the Anya shot. The Pack trailed by 16 at the half.

“We wanted to stay positive,” State coach Mark Gottfried said. “We got after them at the half but these guys can handle it.” He said that in the second half, the defense stopped LSU from getting easy second-chance dunks that they got in the first half.

“But the big thing was that we stayed positive and kept fighting til the end.”

Lacey agreed. “We was staying positive,” he said. “We knew our shots was gonna fall. We came out and we was excited. We wasn’t executing as well as we know we could.”

He said that in the second half the players calmed down. “It started on the defensive end,” he said. “Once we got stops, we got out on the transition and got some easy baskets.”

Cat Barber led the Pack with 17 points but they got good play off the bench by Kyle Washington who scored nine points on a four of five performance in just 12 minutes of play.

Box score


State’s Barber cleared to play

Cat Barber.

Cat Barber.

NC State sophomore point guard Anthony ‘Cat’ Barber has been cleared to play after suffering a spasm in his neck muscles.

Barber, a native of Newport News, Va., will continue to receive treatment and is expected to be at full strength for NC State’s postseason play next week.

Barber was under the care and supervision of NC State’s sports medicine personnel since the injury on Thursday night. On Friday evening, he received a computed tomography (X-ray CT) scan of his head and neck. The tests all came back normal.

The injury occurred at the 13:26 mark in the second half of NC State’s ACC Tournament contest vs. Duke.

Barber averages 12.1 points per game and leads the Wolfpack with 3.81 assists per game. He has been a breakout player in recent weeks for NC State, averaging 16.0 points over the last 11 games. He scored a career-high 34 points in NC State’s ACC Tournament victory over Pittsburgh.

NC State owns a 20-13 record and is currently listed as No. 39 in the ESPN.com Daily RPI.


My official All-ACC ballot differed very slightly from writer’s or coaches’ polls

My official All-ACC ballot had exactly the same first team as both the writer’s poll and the coaches’ poll. Of the 15 players on the first three teams, my ballot had 13 of the same players as the writer’s poll and 14 of the same players as the coaches’ poll. My ballot had NC State’s Trevor Lacey on the second team and UNC’s Marcus Paige on the third team, same as the writer’s poll but the opposite of the coaches’ poll. Probably the biggest difference I had with the two polls was my exclusion of Virginia’s Justin Anderson, who was […]

My official All-ACC ballot had exactly the same first team as both the writer’s poll and the coaches’ poll. Of the 15 players on the first three teams, my ballot had 13 of the same players as the writer’s poll and 14 of the same players as the coaches’ poll.

My ballot had NC State’s Trevor Lacey on the second team and UNC’s Marcus Paige on the third team, same as the writer’s poll but the opposite of the coaches’ poll.

Trevor Lacey.

Trevor Lacey.

Probably the biggest difference I had with the two polls was my exclusion of Virginia’s Justin Anderson, who was picked on the second team of both the writer’s and coaches’ poll. I struggled with excluding Anderson, who midway through the season looked like a player of the year candidate. But he was injured for a month and I put a great emphasis on how players did during the conference season, of which he missed a lot.

My other general bias is for upperclassmen over freshmen, which could help explain why I chose Notre Dame Senior Jerian Grant as the ACC player of the year rather than Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor.

Also, I did not have Duke freshman Tyus Jones on my team, although I had him on the All-Freshman team. He was third team on both the writer’s and coaches’ poll. Instead, I had Pitt sophomore Jamel Artis on my third team. Artis leads Pitt in scoring – 13.8 overall and 16.1 in ACC games. He gets six rebounds a game, has an 80 percent conversion rate from the line, 48 percent from the floor and the forward has hit 40 percent of his threes. He is ending the season strong by scoring in double figures each of the last 16 games, averaging 18.5 points per game during that stretch.

The only other discrepancy I had with the writer’s poll (and the coaches’ poll for that matter) is that I had Syracuse’s Michael Gbinije on my third team. Gbinije is 11th in the ACC in scoring at 15.1 points per game, is 9th in field goal percentage at 45.4, is first in steals at 2.1 a game, is second in three-point percentage at 43.4, is 10th in the number of threes made plus he hauls in 5.6 rebounds a game and dishes out 3.9 assists per game.

I suspected he might not make many others’ ballot but I had hoped he would get the most improved player award but that went to Rakeem Christmas, who was also honored with first-team All-ACC and the Defensive Player of the Year. While I also voted for Christmas for first team and for defense, I thought the fact that Gbinije was coming off the bench last year gave him a slight edge for most improved player. Christmas was certainly improved offensively but he was just as excellent defensively last year.

The coaches chose Virginia’s Mike Tobey as the winner of the Sixth Man Award and that makes sense as he played for the best team in regular season and scored 7.2 points with 5.2 rebounds in 18 minutes a game. I don’t like to see players penalized for not being on the best team in the regular season so I went with Charles Mitchell of Georgia Tech, who had better numbers. Mitchell scored 9.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game in 22 minutes per game.

The only vote I regret is leaving Virginia’s Malcolm Brogden off the All-Defensive team. He is a lock-down defender and I should have rewarded him for that rather than simply going by numbers. I had Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton on the team instead – I weighted very heavily that he was second in the league in defensive rebounds. While Connaughton was deserving of being mentioned, Brogden should have been on my team. But, he didn’t need my vote anyway and, again, Connaughton got mentioned.

First Team All-ACC
Jerian Grant – Guard – Notre Dame
Jahlil Okafor – Center – Duke
Rakeem Christmas – Center – Syracuse
Olivier Hanlan – Guard – Boston College
Malcolm Brogdon – Guard – Virginia

Second Team All-ACC
Quinn Cook – Guard – Duke
Montrezl Harrell – Forward – Louisville
Terry Rozier – Guard – Louisville
Brice Johnson – Forward – North Carolina
Trevor Lacey – Guard – NC State

Third Team All-ACC
Jamel Artis – Forward – Pittsburgh
Pat Connaughton – Guard/Forward – Notre Dame
Marcus Paige – Guard – North Carolina
Anthony Gill – Forward – Virginia
Michael Gbinije – Forward – Syracuse

ACC All-Defensive team
Rakeem Christmas – Center – Syracuse
BeeJay Anya – Forward/Center – NC State
Tonye Jekiri – Forward – Miami
Montrezl Harrell – Forward – Louisville
Pat Connaughton – Guard/Forward – Notre Dame

ACC All-Freshman team
Jahlil Okafor – Center – Duke
Xavier Rathan-Mayes – Guard – Florida State
Tyus Jones – Guard – Duke
Justise Winslow – Forward – Duke
Justin Jackson – Guard – North Carolina

ACC Player of the Year
Jerian Grant – Guard – Notre Dame

ACC Rookie of the Year
Jahlil Okafor – Center

ACC Coach of the Year
Tony Bennett – Coach – Virginia

ACC Defensive Player of the Year
Rakeem Christmas – Center – Syracuse

ACC Most Improved Player
Michael Gbinije – Forward – Syracuse

ACC Sixth Man of the Year
Charles Mitchell – Forward – Georgia Tech