November 26, 2020

Independent analysis and commentary on UVA athletics

HOOS Place Preseason All-ACC Awards



This is Chapter 3 of Unity, Virginia Basketball in 2020-21

For the fourth straight year, we gathered our Panel of Experts and had them vote on ten players for the All-ACC team, and on the individual awards for Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and Coach of the Year. This year we had our biggest panel yet: eight brilliant analysts:

Seattle Hoo


Karl Hess

Val Prochaska

Aaron Perryman


Eugene Mulero

and returning by popular demand:


Here are the results:

All-ACC Teams

First Team

Garrison Brooks (UNC) – The senior big man for Roy Williams topped all vote getters with our experts just like he has with other analysts, being a unanimous first-team choice and one vote from unanimous for Player of the Year. Brooks has steadily improved during his four-year career and enters this season as the top returning scorer in the league. (78 points)

Sam Hauser (UVA) – The transfer from Marquette was named to the All Big East Second Team in his junior campaign, and our writers expect him to build on that this season with the Cavaliers. Hauser is a great shooter and strong rebounder who can also handle the ball and defend. He will be central to Virginia’s National Championship defense. (54 points)

Jalen Johnson (Duke) – The most heralded of Duke’s latest top-rated recruiting class, Johnson is a 6-8, 215-pound guard who should step in and start from day one. He is 247’s #13 player in the class. Because no All ACC team can not have a Duke player or two, and Johnson is the highest rated of Duke’s Diaper Dandies, he gets the spot by default. (47 points)

Scottie Barnes (FSU) – The 6-9, 227-pound power forward is our second freshman anointed to the first team. Barnes was a consensus top 10 high school recruit – FSU’s fifth in six years – and should start for the Seminoles. Barnes is an extremely talented superstar with a glue guy’s attitude. (41 points)

David Johnson (Louisville) – Johnson came to Louisville with 5 stars last season and played an important reserve role. He will be the starting point guard for Chris Mack. A hardnosed player on both ends of the floor, he will be one of the best point guards in the league. (31 points)

Second Team

Aamir Simms (Clemson) – The rising junior from Fluvanna County, Virginia has come a long way in his time at Clemson. He was barely edged off the first team by one point to Johnson. Simms has shown ability to score inside, from the arc, and driving the ball, while being a strong rebounder and good defender for Brad Brownell. (30 points)

Michael Devoe (GT) – The 6-5 lead guard out of south Florida played his way into the starting lineup for Tech as a freshman, running next to Jose Alvarado, who also received voted for All ACC. Devoe can shoot, drive, and distribute the ball. (25 points)

Chris Lykes (Miami) – Perhaps the only player in the ACC shorter than Kihei Clark, Lykes is a dynamic scorer who has absolutely no conscience whatsoever. He also can be a pain in the ass on defense when he wants to be. Lykes dazzled enough of our analysts to get onto the second team. (23 points)

Jay Huff (UVA) – What needs to be said about the Huff Monster? Jay terrorized the ACC with his shotblocking and rolls to the hoop in the Continuity Ball Screen offense. With Kihei Clark back to feed him the ball and Sam Hauser to create space, look for Huff to have a monster senior season. Our most brilliant analyst picked Huff for Player of the Year, but the lack of enlightenment in his peers left Jay to the second team. (21 points)

Caleb Love (UNC) – For the second year in a row, Roy Williams is expected to put the ball in the hands of a freshman point guard, and expectations in the media are high. (20 points)

Third Team

D. J. Funderburk (NCSU) – 19 points

Kihei Clark (UVA) – 19 points [ed. note – I am ashamed of my colleagues for this. Kihei is first team all the way]

Buddy Boeheim (Syracuse) – 7 points

Jose Alvarado (GT) – 5 points

Joe Girard (Syracuse) and Jeremy Roach (Duke) – 4 points

Also Receiving Votes:

Tyrece Radford (VT), Manny Bates (NCSU), Prentice Hubb (ND), Marek Dolezaj (Syracuse), Carlik Jones (Louisville), Makai Ashton-Langford (BC), and Jay Heath (BC)

Coach of the Year

Tie: Tony Bennett, Jim Larrañaga, and Chris Mack

Votes were widely split on this one, with Roy Williams and Josh Pastner each receiving a vote.

Freshman of the Year

Jalen Johnson, Duke

This one was a three-horse race, with Johnson and Scottie Barnes tying at 3 votes each, and Caleb Love of UNC getting the other two votes. Johnson wins the tie breaker by virtue of getting more points for All-ACC.

Defensive Player of the Year

Jay Huff, Virginia

Second in the conference in blocked shots last year, Huff is expected to have a huge impact defensively this year, having logged over a thousand minutes in the Packline. He also had a 20% Defensive Rebounding rate and was a disruptive hedger late in the season. He will anchor Virginia’s defense this year. Leaky Black and Steffon Mitchell also received votes.

And finally, HOOS Place presents:

2020-21 Preseason ACC Player of the Year

Garrison Brooks, UNC

The top returning scorer in the league and one of two players who gave his heart and soul to keep Carolina competitive last season, Brooks was a near unanimous choice, with only one dissenting vote going to Jay Huff. Brooks will have to give his whole soul to the Heels this year, too, as he leads a very young team in the conference wars.

The Ballots


The ballots for all ACC teams
RankKarl HessMaizeAndBlueWahooStLouHooHooampKendallProchaskaEugene MuleroSeattle Hoo
2HauserFunderburkHauserJohnson, DLoveJohnson, DLoveD Johnson
3SimmsDevoeBarnesHauserClarkBarnesJohnson, JBrooks
4Johnson, JHauserBoeheimJohnson, JHuffHauserHauserHauser
5DevoeBarnesDevoeBarnesJohnson, JJohnson, JBarnesClark
6LykesLykesSimmsFunderburkBarnesClarkSimmsJ johnson
7HuffJohnson, JJohnson, JSimmsGirardSimmsJohnson, DRoach
10AlvaradoDolejazFunderburkJones, CAlvaradoFunderburkAshton-LangfordHeath

Individual Awards

Ballots for the individual award categories
 Karl HessMaizeAndBlueWahooStLouHooHooampKendallVal ProchaskaEugene MuleroSeattle Hoo
FOYJohnson, JBarnesBarnesJohnson, JLoveBarnesLoveJohnson, J
DPOYHuffMitchellHuffHuffHuffL BlackHuff

Next: ACC Power Rankings