Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Zeller named ACC POY; Henson DPOY
By Robbi Pickeral
North Carolina forward Tyler Zeller on Tuesday became the 13th Tar Heel to be named the ACC’s Player of the Year; teammate John Henson won his second straight ACC Defensive Player of the Year award.
Zeller, a unanimous first-team All-ACC selection, beat out Virginia’s Mike Scott (14 votes) and teammates Harrison Barnes (2) and Henson (1); the 7-footer from Washington, Ind., won by a landslide, earning 45 of the 62 votes cast in balloting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
“This is just phenomenal,” UNC coach Roy Williams said in a prepared statement. “It’s an outstanding recognition of an outstanding young man who has been playing big time basketball for us all year. He performed at a high level on extremely consistent basis and did so in every phase of the game.”
Henson received 56 of 62 votes. Virginia guard Jontel Evans and Florida State guard Michael Snaer received three votes apiece. The junior from Tampa, Fla., becomes only the second multiple-season winner of the eight-year-old defensive award; Duke Shelden Williams won it in 2005 and 2006.
“John is a game-changing presence on defense, someone who has a direct impact on the opposition’s ability to score in every game,” Williams said in the statement. “He blocks three shots and probably alters at least that many that result in missed shots. Plus, he cleans up so many misses that help us start our break. He’s been a big factor for us.”
In addition, Duke’s Austin Rivers was named ACC Rookie of the Year, and Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton was named ACC Coach of the Year.