Of all the All-Everythings the ACC media chooses, perhaps the most difficult is the all-defensive team. Sure, we can look at blocks and steals and try to quantify how much effort certain guys put into overall team defense, but it’s really the coaches who study (and re-study) such things on game film.
Which is why it’s interesting to see how they would vote on the matter.
On Tuesday, Duke Basketball Report published the 17th Annual Fan’s Guide Coaches All-Defensive Team, in which the league’s coaches -- all granted anonymity -- voted for their top defensive players, regardless of their position. The players could be from their own teams.
The top four vote-earners matched the ACC media’s choices: UNC’s John Henson, Florida State’s Bernard James, Virginia’s Jontel Evans and FSU’s Michael Snaer. But while the dues-paying members of the ACC's media association gave Clemson’s Andre Young the fifth nod, the coaches were all over the board, with Miami’s Durand Scott and Clemson’s Tanner Smith tying for the position -- but Young, Duke’s Mason Plumlee, Maryland’s Sean Mosley and Virginia Tech’s Erick Green also received more than one vote.
One tidbit: Henson, voted the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year by the media for the second straight season, was not a unanimous pick; one coach left him off. According to DBR:
Told a colleague failed to vote for Henson, a coach reached for his wallet and offered to contribute to a reeducation fund for whomever left off the ACC’s single most disruptive defender.
Another tidbit: Henson wasn't the UNC player also received a vote. Wrote DBR:
Henson and teammate Tyler Zeller -- one coach wished to cast a sixth vote on his behalf --form what a coach called “a lethal combination” inside. UNC held its regular-season opponents to cumulative 38.6 percent field goal accuracy, second-lowest against the Tar Heels since 1960. (The 1998 team forced .384 shooting.)
This year's coaches' team was also notable, according to DBR, because it was the first in 16 years that didn't include a Duke player.
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.