Posted: 10:33 a.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2013
By Josh Kaufman
Best Individual Performance: Tie – Joe Harris, Virginia and Ryan Kelly, Duke. Each of these talented forwards scored 36-pts in leading their teams to big wins. Without the endless flopping, Kelly gets it easily based on the Hollywood script that was his return to action against Miami. But since he flops like a politician in an endless campaign season, he shares the award with Harris. Harris’ big game against Duke likely stamped Virginia’s ticket to the Big Dance.
Worst Individual Performance: Seth Curry, Duke. Earlier in the season, sharpshooter Curry didn’t look so sharp as he laid an ostrich-sized egg in a 27-pt blowout loss to Miami in Coral Gables.
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Best Follow Dunk: Rodney Purvis, NC State. This explosive freshman unleashed one of the most impressive dunks you’ll ever see. Purvis went airborne and the rest is history. Honorable Mentions: Mason Plumlee, Duke; K.J. McDaniels, Clemson. Best Dunk: Kenny Kadji, Miami. Kadji’s dunk over Kelly was vicious. The most impressive part of this play was that it happened so quickly that Kelly couldn’t get into flopping position or curl up into a ball in time. This is also a biased selection. There are so many awesome dunks year in and year out, that it’s difficult to narrow it down to one. Best Dunk in Traffic: Daniel Miller, Georgia Tech. Miller is mostly known for his stellar defense but with this dunk he shows that he can use all 257-lbs of his frame to power through contact and finish with authority at the rack. Best Floor Slap: University of Miami Hurricanes. There were only 2 instances of floor slapping (I think) in the ACC this season. When the ‘Canes executed the slappage, Miami was crushing Duke. It was perceived as disrespectful by many in Dukeland. Duke tried it when they were up by 10 in the rematch and Miami subsequently cut the lead and had a shot to force overtime as the clock expired. Best Oop: This is a difficult call. There were so many so I picked out a quartet of them. I’m going to leave this up to the voters. The Nominees: Devin Booker, Clemson; C.J. Leslie, NC State; Lorenzo Brown, NC State; Justin Anderson, Virginia; Mason Plumlee, Duke. Worst Flopper: As impressive as Ryan Kelly was in his return from injury, his penchant for flopping is cringe-worthy. One would suspect that he is constantly in contact with Jedi flopping-master Greg Paulus. On his way to a 36-pt outburst against Miami, Kelly flopped like a flounder snagged from the depths of the ocean to the deck of a fishing boat. Most Timely 3-Pointer: Michael Snaer, Florida State. Snaer has been a late-game Houdini on the court for most of his spectacular career. If there were stat leaders for buzzer-beating heroics, Snaer would be the national leader. Honorable mention: Scott Wood, NC State. Best Tip-In at the Buzzer: Reggie Johnson, Miami. In one of the ‘Canes biggest games of the year, the massive center was able to help Miami steal a close one against NC State. Marcus Georges-Hunt, Georgia Tech, gets the honorable mention with his buzzer-beating tip against the ‘Canes. Best Series of Blocks: Julian Gamble, Miami. It’s a rare occurrence when one player repeatedly blocks the same player over and over again. Gamble accomplished the hat trick here. Honorable mentions: Devin Booker, Clemson; Shane Larkin, Miami; Kenny Kadji, Miami. Best Block by a Translucent Individual: Brice Johnson, UNC. Johnson, a talented freshman, is painfully thin. When he plays it’s almost possible to see beneath his skin and watch the blood and tissue flow and twist with the effort. Johnson harnessed all 187-lbs (which is a generous listing) of his 6’9 frame to float up via the air-conditioning inside the Dean Dome and deliver a timely block. Don’t worry UNC faithful, Johnson will pack on some weight and develop into an excellent big man for the Tar Heels. Best Showtime Dunk: This one is a no-brainer. When ‘Canes Kenny Kadji and Shane Larkin executed this fast-break masterpiece it even brought Miami Heat stars Lebron James and Dwayne Wade to their feet. Best ACC Regular Season Title Celebration: University of Miami Hurricanes. To be fair, the ‘Canes are the only team able to win this award. Miami finished up a fantastic regular season by cutting down the nets for the first time at the BUC. Best Court Storm: Wake Forest University. I’m going to give this one to Wake for the simple reason that I cannot remember if an ACC opponent defeated Miami and rushed the court to celebrate on their home floor. Coach K whines about this kind of thing because he’s lost perspective. When fans celebrate with the team after a big win it’s a great compliment to the losing team. Best Performance During a Court Storm: C.J. Leslie, NC State. Rushing the court is one of the great things a fan can experience in college basketball. The excitement can be infectious and there’s the possibility (as there is when a lot of people start moving rapidly in one direction) of injury. Usually these celebrations go off without a hitch, but when excited NC State fans went to celebrate a big win over Duke, C.J. Leslie recognized something was wrong and acted quickly. Worst Performance During a Court Storm: Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke. Here is the legend after the loss to Virginia complaining about safety even though video evidence shows that his staff and players were in no danger. Coach K should be more concerned with the likelihood that continued flopping may result in debilitating back injuries to his players.