K.J. McDaniels named ACC defensive player of year

Clemson's K.J. McDaniels blocks Maryland's Evan Smotrycz in the second overtime period.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson's K.J. McDaniels blocks Maryland's Evan Smotrycz in the second overtime period.

Brownell proud of improved, All-ACC McDaniels

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Clemson’s McDaniels was voted the ACC Defensive Player of the Year after leading the ACC in blocked shots during the regular season (2.77) per game. The leading vote-getter on both the ACSMA and the Coaches’ All-ACC Defensive Teams announced on Monday, the Birmingham, Ala., native also leads the Tigers in steals with 1.2 per game.

McDaniels was named on 39 ballots for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Virginia’s Akil Mitchell was next with 21.

McDaniels is the first Tiger to earn the award that has been presented annually since 2005. He is Clemson’s first major ACC award winner of any kind since Greg Buckner was named Rookie of the Year in 1995.

McDaniels was also named All-District III by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, one day after earning first-team All-ACC recognition from the conference media. He leads the Tigers in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and steals this season. McDaniels is on pace to post Clemson’s highest blocks per game figure since Sharone Wright (2.91) in 1993-94. McDaniels currently leads the ACC in the category for the second straight season.

McDaniels blocked at least one shot in 17 of 18 regular season conference games and enters this week’s ACC Tournament with a 12-game streak. He blocked a season-high seven shots in back to back games during non-conference play, against South Carolina and Temple. In ACC play, he has blocked six shots on three occasions – at Notre Dame and at home against NC State and Maryland.

The 6-foot-6 wing has been a force on the glass all season, ranking seventh among ACC players in overall rebounds per game (7.1) and eighth in defensive rebounds per game (4.7).

NC State sophomore T.J. Warren has been chosen as the ACC Player of the Year, as announced today by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).

Warren was the choice of 48 members casting ballots. The Durham, N.C., native finished ahead of Duke freshman Jabari Parker, who placed second with 25 votes.

Parker was voted the ACC Freshman of the Year, while Virginia’s Tony Bennett received ACC Coach of the Year honors and Clemson’s K.J. McDaniels was voted the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

NC State’s Warren leads the ACC in scoring at 24.8 points per game and in field goal percentage at .532. The 6-foot-8 forward closed the regular season with back-to-back scoring games of 41 and 42 points in wins over Pitt and Boston College. Warren has scored at least 20 points in 26 of the 30 games in which he played, and has scored more than 30 points on nine occasions.

Warren is on pace to join Clemson’s Horace Grant (1987) and Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan (1997) as only the third player in ACC history to lead the conference in both scoring and field goal percentage. He ranks third nationally in scoring, and his 9.8 field goals made per game ranks first.

Warren also ranks eighth among ACC rebounders with 7.1 per game – including an ACC-high 3.17 offensive rebounds per game – and is eighth in minutes played at 34.9 per game.

This marks the eighth time that an NC State student-athlete has been honored as the ACC Basketball Player of the Year. Warren joins Ronnie Shavlik (1956), Lou Pucillo (1959), three-time winner David Thompson (1973-75), Rodney Monroe (1991) and Julius Hodge (2004).

Duke’s Parker, who was named the ACC Rookie of the Week a record-tying 10 times during the regular season, ranks second in the ACC in scoring at 19.2 points per game and leads in rebounding at 9.0 per contest. The Chicago native leads the ACC with 14 double-doubles on the season and will take a 15-game double-figure scoring streak into this week’s ACC Tournament.

Parker received 72 of a possible 77 votes, with fellow Wooden Watch Award finalist Tyler Ennis receiving four. Parker becomes the seventh Duke Freshman of the Year honoree, joining Jim Spanarkel (1976), Mike Gminski (1977), Gene Banks (1978), Chris Duhon (2001), Kyle Singler (2008) and Austin Rivers (2012).

Bennett led Virginia to a 25-6 overall record and a 16-2 ACC finish that produced the program’s first outright regular-season conference title since 1981. The Cavaliers, who were picked to finish fourth in the preseason by media in attendance at the ACC’s Operation Basketball, tied the conference record for league wins in a season and will head to this week’s ACC Tournament in Greensboro as the No. 1 seed.

Bennett’s Virginia team has allowed an ACC-low 55.4 points per game and opponents to shoot a collective .384 percent. Virginia’s 13 consecutive wins from January 18 through March 1 represented the school’s longest streak since 1981. Bennett was the choice of 68 ACSMA voters as the ACC Coach of the Year. North Carolina’s Roy Williams was second with six votes.

Virginia claimed ACC Coach of the Year honors for the fifth time. Bill Gibson received the award in 1972, followed by Terry Holland in 1981 and 1982, and Dave Leitao in 2007.

ACSMA 2013-14 ACC Player of the Year Voting

T.J. Warren, So., NC State (48)

Jabari Parker, Fr., Duke (25)

Marcus Paige, So., North Carolina (2)

C.J. Fair, Sr., Syracuse (1)

K.J. McDaniels, Jr., Clemson (1)

ACSMA 2013-14 ACC Freshman of the Year Voting

Jabari Parker, Duke (72)

Tyler Ennis, Syracuse (4)

London Perrantes, Virginia (1)

ACSMA 2013-14 Coach of the Year Voting

Tony Bennett, Virginia (68)

Roy Williams, North Carolina (6)

Jamie Dixon, Pitt (1)

Brad Brownell, Clemson (1)

Jim Larrañaga, Miami (1)

ACSMA 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year Voting

K.J. McDaniels, Jr., Clemson (39)

Akil Mitchell, Sr., Virginia (21)

Daniel Miller, Sr., Georgia Tech (5)

Jabari Parker, Fr., Duke (4)

Tyler Ennis, Fr., Syracuse (3)

T.J. Warren, So., NC State (1)

Cameron Wright, Jr., Pitt (1)

Devin Thomas, So., Wake Forest (1)

Justin Anderson, So., Virginia (1)

Marcus Paige, So., North Carolina (1)

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