It’s strange times in the ACC, as only two teams are nationally ranked. Not surprisingly, those two teams happen to be Duke and North Carolina, who are both heads and shoulders above the rest of the field in the conference. Also not surprisingly, three out of the five spots on the ACC All-January team are taken by Blue Devils and Tar Heels.
Guard – Ty Lawson – North Carolina – SO
14.1ppg, 6.0apg, 1.9spg
Best game – Jan 23rd – Miami (FL) – 23 points, 10 assists, 5 boards
As important as Tyler Hansbrough is to Carolina’s success, it can be argued that the play of Ty Lawson is just as crucial (see the Duke loss last night). The speedy (perhaps an understatement – what is quicker than speedy?) point guard had another stellar January – 16 points, seven assists and four boards a game. Most importantly, he only turned the ball over 16 times in eight games.
Guard – Tyrese Rice – Boston College – JR
19.8ppg, 4.9apg, 3.6rpg
Best game – Jan 12th – Wake Forest – 32 points, 8 assists, 6 boards
The second of three Ty’s in this month’s list, Tyrese Rice continues to lead a young Eagles’ team that only has three upperclassmen on the roster. His January averages of 21 points, four boards & four assists includes his monster game versus Wake mentioned above, where he went 11-11 from the charity stripe.
Guard – DeMarcus Nelson – Duke – SR
15.3ppg, 5.9rpg, 3.1apg
Best game – Jan 27th – Maryland – 27 points, 7 boards, 4 assists, 4 steals
TyMarcus, oops – DeMarcus, Nelson has gotten steadily stronger for the Dukies as the season has progressed. The senior leader has been showing off his all-around game, filling up the points, rebounds, assists & steals columns (January averages – 18 points, six boards, three assists, two steals). He’ll have to keep it up if undersized Duke has a shot at a National Championship.
Forward - James Gist – Maryland – SR
15.4ppg, 7.9rpg, 2.4bpg
Best game – Jan 8th – Holy Cross – 22 points, 9 boards, 5 blocks
January was a big month for the Terrapins (6-2) and for James Gist (19 points, eight boards, and two blocks per game). It didn’t get any bigger than on January 19th when they went into Chapel Hill and handed Carolina their first loss of the year. Gist had 22 points and 13 boards that game.
Forward – Tyler Hansbrough – North Carolina – JR
21.8ppg, 10.4rpg, 1.4spg
Best game – Jan 16th – Georgia Tech – 27 points, 11 boards, 3 steals
The third man in our triple threat of Ty’s, Tyler Hansbrough is far and away the best player in the ACC. January was no different, as he averaged 21 points and 10 boards and notched four double-doubles. The ACC might as well give him its player of the year award now.
Up next – Big 10