First Quarter All-ACC Basketball Team

We’re already past the quarter pole in the college basketball season which means it’s time to take a look at the top individual performers so far around the ACC. The traditional conference blue bloods aren’t well represented here, but such is life in the new era, and yes only first-teamers earn video highlights.

First Team

Guard- Jerian Grant, SR Notre Dame

Grant has returned from an academic suspension the second half of last season and picked up right where he left off. He leads the conference in scoring (18.9 PPG) and assists (6 APG) while helping guide Notre Dame to a 10-1 start.

Guard- Sheldon McClellan, JR Miami

The transfer from Texas has made a major impact for the upstart 9-1 Hurricanes. He’s fifth in the conference in scoring (16.2 PPG) and at 6’5″ he’s one of the top rebounding guards in the league (6.4 RPG).

Forward- Rakeem Christmas, SR Syracuse

The Orange have been inconsistent early, but it’s no fault of Mr. Christmas. He’s fourth in scoring (16.4 PPG) and eighth in rebounding (8.9 RPG) while shooting 60.4% from the field and 71.7% at the free throw line. He’s also good for 2.4 blocks a night.

Forward- Montrezl Harrell, JR Louisville

To say Harrell is NBA-ready is an understatement almost as big as he is. He’s third in scoring (17 PPG) and leads the ACC in rebounding (10.4 RPG) to average a double-double every time out. The only thing he needs to improve at this point is his free throw shooting.

Center- Jahlil Okafor, FR Duke

Okafor isn’t far behind Harrell, though he needs more seasoning to reach that level. Okafor is second in scoring (18 PPG) and tied for fifth in rebounding (9.0 RPG). He’s the runaway favorite for freshman of the year both in the ACC and nationally.

Second Team

Guard- Justin Anderson, JR Virginia

Anderson has been key to Virginia’s undefeated start and top ten ranking. He’s stepped up his game to shoulder the scoring load (15.8 PPG) withimpressive shooting from the field (57%) and from behind the three point line (58.8%).

Guard- Olivier Hanlan, JR Boston College

Defenses have made Hanlan their focus but he’s still scoring while also becoming a more complete player. While his scoring is down slightly (16.4 PPG) his assists (3.9), steals (2.2) and rebounding (4.2) averages are all up from last season.

Forward- Kennedy Meeks, SO North Carolina

Meeks shed some weight in the offseason and it’s paid off considerably. He’s still a big body at 6’9″, 280 but he’s now better suited for UNC’s fast-paced style and his 13.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game are proof that his hard work is paying off.

Forward- Michael Young, SO Pittsburgh

You could put a number of guys here, but Young shoots a bit better than some of the others so he gets the nod. Another long 6’9″ frontcourt player, he’s more than doubled his scoring (12.9 PPG) and rebounding (8.8 RPG) from his rookie campaign.

Center- Zach Auguste, JR Notre Dame

The 6’10” junior has been a force down low for the Irish and if you see the theme here, you’ll know he’s improved tremendously from last season. He’s more than doubled his scoring (15.2 PPG) and rebounding is up as well (6.8 RPG). With Auguste in the post and Grant running the show, Notre Dame just might be a tournament team.

Third Team

Guard- Marcus Paige, JR North Carolina

Paige has underachieved slightly this season based on the massive expectations pundits and fans have for him. He’s a first team talent without question but has delegated too much this season dropping his scoring (13.1 PPG) as well as his assists (3.5 APG). He’ll turn it around if his shooting stroke returns.

Guard- Tyus Jones, FR Duke

Just a freshman, he already has the savvy of a veteran. He’s second in the ACC in assists (5.6 APG) and his assist to turnover ratio is an astounding 4.2. The sky truly is the limit for Jones.

Forward- Wayne Blackshear, SR Louisville

An important part of Louisville’s attack, Blackshear has a knack for making plays and stands out among a talented crop of ACC wings. His 12.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG make him only one of four main scoring options with the Cardinals, but he’d star on most teams.

Forward- Chris McCullough, FR Syracuse

McCullough and Rakeem Christmas have formed a dominant frontcourt. The freshman is putting up 13.3 points per game while pulling down 8.4 rebounds. He’s a 6’10” terror in the Orange zone defense blocking 2.4 shots and adding 2 steals per game.

Center- Tonye Jekiri, JR Miami

The only seven-footer on this list, Jekiri is a versatile player for someone of his size. He only puts up 7.4 PPG, but he pulls down 9.7 rebounds (second in the ACC), 2.2 blocks and manages 2.2 assists per game.

Honorable Mention

Trevor Lacey (NC State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Aaron Brown (Boston College), Quin Cook (Duke), Terry Rozier (Louisville), Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame), Chris Jones (Louisville), Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson).

Player of the Year

Jerian Grant, SR Notre Dame

Rookie of the Year

Jahlil Okafor, FR Duke

Coach of the Year

Jim Larranaga, Miami

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