The Virginia Tech basketball team’s regular season didn’t go as planned, especially during ACC play, but point guard Erick Green and freshman Dorian Finney-Smith did manage to earn all-conference honors, the league announced Wednesday afternoon.
Green was named to the all-ACC second team after following up a breakout sophomore campaign by averaging a team-high 15.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists this season as a junior captain. Green finished the year ranked among the ACC’s top ten in points, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and minutes played.
Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg praised Green’s ability to adapt to a starring role this year on Monday’s ACC’s teleconference, although he declined to discuss why he decided to bench Green to start the second half of Sunday’s loss to North Carolina State.
“I think last year he played off of two very good players and had a great sophomore year,” Greenberg said. “Now he’s the guy that everyone sets their defense for, and I think he has a better appreciation for that. But having said that, I think he’s really had an outstanding year and I can’t even imagine what our season would have been like without him.”
Finney-Smith, meanwhile, became just the third Virginia Tech player to be named to the ACC’s all-freshmen team, joining Deron Washington in 2006 and Jeff Allen in 2008.
The Portsmouth, Va., native went through a six-game stretch in which he missed 25 consecutive shots, but the slump finally ended with a 12-point, eight-rebound performance in a home win over Clemson last month. Since then, the highly touted recruit has averaged 8.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Finney-Smith finished the regular season as the second-best rebounder (6.8 per game) amongst ACC freshmen.
“He’s really come around,” Greenberg said. “We’ve had to make some significant changes in his release point and his shooting, but he’s continued to rebound the basketball. He’s active. I think he’s gotten his second wind, and again, he’s really gonna be a special player and he’s a pleasure to coach. I enjoy being in the gym with him. He makes the energy better.”
This is the fourth year in a row the Hokies have had at least one player make one of the three all-ACC teams, but the first time since 2009 there is no Virginia Tech player on the all-ACC first team. Malcolm Delaney earned first team honors the past two seasons.
Three North Carolina players – senior Tyler Zeller, junior John Henson and sophomore Harrison Barnes – highlighted this year’s first team. It was the first time since 2002, and just the second time ever, one ACC team has had three players represented on the league’s first team. They were joined by Virginia’s Mike Scott and Duke’s Austin Rivers.
Sixty-two members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association conducted the voting. Green received 70 of a possible 186 points in the all-ACC voting, while Finney-Smith received 53 of a possible 61 votes for the all-freshmen team. The league will announce its player of the year, coach of the year, rookie of the year and defensive player of the year on Tuesday.
For the record, Washington Post rules preclude me from taking part in the voting process. Below, you’ll find a complete rundown of the all-ACC teams:
C Tyler Zeller, North Carolina, Sr. (186); F Mike Scott, Virginia, Sr. (184); F John Henson, North Carolina, Jr. (170); G Austin Rivers, Duke, Fr. (164); F Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, So. (153
G Kendall Marshall, North Carolina, So. (151); G Terrell Stoglin, Maryland, So. (131); G Michael Snaer, Florida State, Jr. (127); F C.J. Leslie, North Carolina State, So. (99); G Erick Green, Virginia Tech, Jr. (70)
G Seth Curry, Duke, Jr. (65); G C.J. Harris, Wake Forest, So. (57); G Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State, So. (52); F Kenny Kadji, Miami, Jr. (45); C Mason Plumlee, Duke, Jr. (43)
F Bernard James, Florida State, Sr. (42); G Andre Young, Clemson, Sr. (35); F Travis McKie, Wake Forest, So. (26); G Durand Scott, Miami, Jr. (26);
G Austin Rivers, Duke (61); F Ryan Anderson, Boston College (61); F Dorian Finney-Smith (53) G Shane Larkin, Miami (43); Nick Faust, Maryland (41)
F John Henson, North Carolina, Jr. (61); F Bernard James, Florida State, Sr. (54); G Jontel Evans, Virginia, Sr. (39); G Michael Snaer, Florida State (31); G Andre Young, Clemson, Sr. (29)