- Robbi Pickeral, College Basketball
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Ballots for the All-ACC teams have been sent out, and there likely will be a lot of hand-wringing among voters as to which players fall where. Among the lingering questions:
Do Virginia Tech’s Erick Green (the nation’s leading scorer) or Virginia’s Joe Harris (making a late push) have a chance to beat out Duke’s Mason Plumlee or Miami’s Shane Larkin for player of the year?
And just where does North Carolina fit into the mix?
The Tar Heels, who have won six in a row and are currently third in the league standings, pose an interesting conundrum all on their own because they boast three players deserving of votes -- but for different reasons: consistency vs. potential vs. impact.
Junior wing Reggie Bullock has been the Tar Heels’ most steady player, scoring in double figures in all but two games in ACC play, making 45.2 percent of his 3-point shots, serving as the team’s top defensive stopper, and picking up his rebounding when the team went to a four-guard lineup. (He’s posted three double-doubles in his past four games, and is averaging 14.4 points and 6.4 rebounds for the season.) How much will voters appreciate all he contributes?
Sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo was a first-team preseason selection, is the team’s leading scorer (14.6 PPG) and rebounder (7.8 RPG) and is considered a future first-round NBA draft pick (should he choose to leave early). But he hasn’t been the dominating star everyone expected him to be. How much will that push voter perception?
And then there’s sophomore P.J. Hairston, whose insertion into the starting lineup has resulted in UNC’s late-season push. Playing the ‘4’ position, Hairston has done a bit of everything -- hitting 3-pointers, driving to the basket, defending bigger post players. At times, he has looked like the best player on the floor, and is averaging 13.6 points and 4.1 rebounds a game. But will his reserve role early affect his votes late?
The likelihood of votes being divided up among the trio could keep a Tar Heel off the first team, but it will be interesting to see which, and how many, UNC players make the second and third teams.
Point guard Marcus Paige also has a strong shot at the ACC All-Freshman team, and Bullock is a candidate for All-Defense.
62dJeff Goodman and Jeff Borzello