It’s been a college basketball season full of upsets, the most recent one being against the number one ranked Big East champion Syracuse, who I am now questioning on whether they are good enough to make a Final Four run. Read more.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that there were upsets in the individual achievement awards as well, namely in the ACC. The Maryland Terrapins swept the big awards for the ACC this year by winning both Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards.
It’s a bit of a shocker to me, as I thought and would have bet on the Duke Bluedevils to sweep those awards. I thought Coach K had one of his better seasons in recent memory and I also thought that shooting guard turned point guard John Scheyer would get the player of the ACC player of the year award. Shows how much I know, Vasquez ended up winning in a landslide collecting 39 of 53 votes, with Scheyer getting the remaining 12. The thing is, to transition from a shooting guard to a point guard and run a team, while still scoring is not an easy thing, I think that aspect was overlooked a bit. Truthfully, considering that Duke is ranked 4th in the country and had a much more difficult schedule, I’m a little surprised. Perhaps the big win the Terrapins had over Duke recently to tie for a share of the ACC league title was the deciding factor, either way, looks like Duke got the short end of the stick.
Senior Terrapins guard Greivis Vasquez became the first Maryland player to win the player of the year award since Juan Dixon did it in 2002. Though somewhat surprising, Vasquez’s numbers don’t lie, he was the only player in the nation to average over 18 points and over six assists on the season. Maryland coach, Gary Williams has always been regarded as one of the premier coaches in college basketball, and this is his second time winning the Coach of the Year award since winning it in 2002.
But accolades and awards aren’t important in College Park. Maryland has been starved for a decent title run for the past eight years and will certainly be hoping that championship awards follow, beginning with the ACC conference tournament championship. The Terrapins head into the conference tournament as a #2 seed and things being equal, will likely meet Duke for a rematch in the conference championship game. Though of course, in college basketball these days, nothing is ever for certain. Given the way the Terrapins closed out the season I would expect them to carry that momentum into the conference tournament. As for the big dance, I can’t say the ACC was a strong conference this year, so I’m not betting on them to tear up the competition, so it will really depend on their draw. Safe to say, Gary Williams isn’t relishing that Coach of the Year trophy, he’s too busy pushing his boys to win the conference tourney to get the highest tournament seed possible.