Logic can be really tricky. Case in point: the results of yesterday’s All-ACC honors. Mfiondu Kabengele running away with the hardware as the conference’s best sub was beyond a foregone conclusion. And while it was nice to see some other Florida State players and head coach Leonard Hamilton garner some votes for their respective awards, it’s rather difficult to fathom why one side or the other didn’t receive more clout.
Let’s start with the players. No member of the Seminole squad that finished fourth in the nation’s best conference was named to the All-ACC First Team. Or the Second. Or the Third. But, right or wrong, this is nothing new.
All ACC picks since conference expanded to 15 teams— Basketball School (@MichaelRogner) March 11, 2019
Dwayne Bacon remains the only FSU player to make an All ACC 1st - 3rd Team since the ACC expanded to 15 teams (2014). He was 2nd team in 2017— Basketball School (@MichaelRogner) March 11, 2019
So, if FSU is that lacking in talent — again — then surely the sage advice of head coach Leonard Hamilton must be the reason that this team finished behind only Virginia, North Carolina, and Duke, right?
That’s not how the voters (all 15 ACC head coaches and 55 media members) saw things. No, Hamilton finished fourth in ACC Coach of the Year voting— final conference standings are in parentheses:
ACC Coach of the Year
Tony Bennett, Virginia, 30 (1st place)
Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech, 12 (5th place)
Roy Williams, North Carolina, 11 (2nd place)
Leonard Hamilton, Florida State, 10 (4th place)
Chris Mack, Louisville, (7th place)
This isn’t about taking away from the other coaches to have received votes. But Hamilton as far down as fourth is simply egregious, especially considering that he began the season without starting forward Phil Cofer and then negotiated the rest of the campaign with key starters Trent Forrest and Terance Mann playing though injury. And, again, no players named to the All-ACC first-third teams.
So for those voting, the question warrants asking: how did FSU finish fourth in the ACC, just a game back of Duke, with neither a first-third team player nor an elite coach? Either Hamilton’s players were that good — and should have been recognized as such, which they weren’t — or he did an exceptional job of managing them, right?
I’m listening. Because it seems to me that you can’t have it both ways.
Update: Head coach Leonard Hamilton commented on this today:
Leonard Hamilton says he’s not too concerned about All-ACC selections. Says not many voters are from Florida, most reporters at ACC preseason media days can’t name five players on his team.— Tim Linafelt / FSU (@Tim_Linafelt) March 12, 2019