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March 8, 2007

All-ACC Team: Thornton leads POY hopefuls

This weekend, the NCAA Tournament selection committee will face some difficult choices in deciding how many ACC squads make the 65-team field.

Selecting the ACC's best players was hardly an easier task.

In what was a topsy-turvy season, several players took turns displaying how valuable they were to their respective teams.

There was Sean Singletary's fade-away that lifted the Cavaliers to a victory over Duke. Al Thornton's 45-point effort pushed the Seminoles past Miami. Zabian Dowdell scored 33 points at North Carolina.

And Boston College's Jared Dudley? He led the Eagles all season, which became more difficult after the dismissal of two teammates in January.

In all, one could argue that seven players if you include Virginia's J.R. Reynolds and Maryland's D.J. Strawberry had a case at one time or another for the league's player of the year honor.

North Carolina freshman Brandan Wright made a smooth transition to the collegiate game and his future may just be the brightest of anyone's in the ACC this season.

At a time when the focus of college basketball seems to be on freshmen, the ACC had several senior leaders.

Here are the Rivals.com All-ACC teams for the 2006-07 season.

Rivals.com 2006-07 All-ACC First Team Rivals.com 2006-07 All-ACC Second Team
G Sean Singletary
Virginia, Jr., 6-0, 175
The lightning-quick guard averaged 18.8 points per contest. He led the upstart Cavaliers to an 11-5 league mark and a first-place tie with North Carolina.

G J.R. Reynolds
Virginia, Sr., 6-3, 197
Few players were more valuable to their teams than Reynolds. It seemed that whenever the Cavaliers needed a clutch basket, Reynolds supplied it. Reynolds was the second leading scorer in league contests, averaging 20 points.
G/F Zabian Dowdell
Virginia Tech, Sr., 6-3, 200
Averaged 18.3 points per game and was second in the ACC with 64 steals. Dowdell performed best in big games. He scored 33 points in the Hokies' overtime win at North Carolina.

G D.J. Strawberry
Maryland, Sr., 6-5, 201
No player helped spur the Terrapins' late-season run more than Strawberry. The senior led the Terps in scoring and notched 27 points in the home victory against North Carolina.
F Jared Dudley
Boston College, Sr., 6-7, 225
The do-everything forward averaged 19.3 points and a league-best 8.5 rebounds for the Eagles. Dudley's value increased after the dismissal of two teammates in January. Dudley carried BC to a 10-6 ACC mark and a fourth-place finish.
G Tyrese Rice
Boston College, So., 6-0, 183
While Dudley stole most of the headlines for the Eagles, it was Rice that provided a much-need scoring complement. Rice averaged 17.1 points and 5.7 assists.

F Al Thornton
Florida State, Sr., 6-8, 220
The league's best scorer and perhaps best overall talent, Thornton led the ACC in scoring (20.1 ppg) while also grabbing 7.2 rebounds a contest. Thornton finished the season in impressive fashion. He averaged 28.7 points over his final four games, including a 45-point effort in the regular season finale.
F Josh McRoberts
Duke, So., 6-10, 230
The multi-talented McRoberts improved on a strong freshman campaign by averaging 12.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.48 blocks per contest while also finishing second on his team with 108 assists.

C Tyler Hansbrough
North Carolina, So., 6-9, 235
There was no sophomore slump here. The bruising post player followed up his ACC Freshman of the Year campaign by leading the talent-laden Tar Heels with 18.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest.

F Brandan Wright
North Carolina, Fr., 6-9, 200
Wright made a smooth transition to the college ranks and provided the perfect post counterpart to Hansbrough. Wright averaged 14.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest while leading the ACC in field-goal percentage (66.0 percent).
Rivals.com 2006-07 ACC All-Freshman Team
G Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech, 6-5, 195: 14.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.7 apg
G Ty Lawson, North Carolina, 5-11, 175: 10.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg. 5.4 apg
F Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech, 6-8, 215: 14.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.1 apg
F Brandan Wright, North Carolina, 6-9, 200: 14.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.0 apg
F Brandon Costner, N.C. State, 6-8, 230: 16.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.7 apg

Rivals.com ACC Tournament Preview

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