All-ACC Team of the Decade
With the decade coming to a close, it is time to reflect on some of the players who defined the ACC in the 2000s.
These lists are always difficult to compile. Do you go with the best players overall, even if they lasted only one or two seasons?
Do you go with the players who meant everything to their teams? Players that define the program and have a place in its history.
Do you select players based on statistics and awards? What about the most important statistic of all: victories?
This list attempts to balance all of these factors. Some of the names made their mark even more pronounced in the pro ranks, while other names have never found success in the NBA.
Nevertheless, they represent the best and the brightest of this decade and, as you would imagine, the titans of Tobacco Road dominate the list.
STARTERS: PG-Chris Paul (Wake Forest)
Chris Paul appeared marked for greatness the second he took the floor in Winston-Salem. Alongside his partner in crime, Justin Gray, the Demon Deacons saw a resurgence in his two seasons.
During his time in college, Paul earned first-team All-American honors as a sophomore, and was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and National Freshman of the Year the previous year.
Paul averaged over just six assists per game. Considering most freshmen point guards are regarded as white meat in college, the fact that Paul was so dominant so early is simply incredible.
The Demon Deacons found regular season glory, but faded in the post season. Paul's last collegiate game was a disappointing second round loss in the NCAA tournament.
Nevertheless, Paul's greatness is undeniable and his place in the All-ACC ranks is unquestioned.
SG-J.J. Redick (Duke)
Face it Duke haters, you loved to hate J.J. Redick.
Maybe it was the fact that he did not look like an athlete, or maybe it was because he was guaranteed to hit a clutch shot against your favorite ACC team while you were crying like a baby in your dorm room.
Redick was the best pure shooter the ACC had seen in a long, long time.
Redick's career accomplishments are staggering. He is two-time ACC Player of the Year, Naismith College Player of the Year, All-American, 10-Time ACC Player of the Week, all-time three-point leader and, of course, scored 2,769 points.
Those accomplishments earned Redick the honor of a retired jersey atop Cameron Indoor and earned him a spot on our starting roster.
Redick's shooting prowess from behind the arc and at the line is undeniable and he was certainly the guy you wanted taking the key free throw late in a game.
Love him or hate him, Redick was the face of Duke basketball the second he stepped on campus and even if his team failed to capture the national championship, he has the numbers that just about any college athlete would die for.
Plus, now he's in Orlando getting tan, making a rap album and marrying a ridiculously hot girl. Who could ask for more?
SF-Shane Battier (Duke)
The defensive guru has to earn a spot on this list.
Granted, most of Battier's career took place in the previous decade, but his most important accomplishment came in 2001, when the Blue Devils captured the national championship.
Battier was the ACC Player of the Year in 2001 and finished his career with impressive numbers to complement his three time NABC Defensive Player of the Year award.
Battier finished his career with 1,984 points and 887 rebounds to go with 254 blocks. Not bad for someone known as the "No-Stats All Star."
Most importantly, Battier led his team to two National Championship games and led his team to victory en route to becoming national player of the year in 2001.
Also, were this an actual team, everyone would want Battier.
Battier is perhaps the smartest player on this list. Much has been made of the amount of film he goes over now that he is in the NBA, but during his time at Duke he graduated with a 3.64 GPA with a major in religion.
Battier is a selfless superstar and his mark on the ACC is clear.
PF-Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina)
Heart and hustle will always make a good player great, and a great player legendary.
Hansbrough was not an all-timer when he first arrived at North Carolina. Watching his progression over four years in Chapel Hill was truly something special to behold.
Hansbrough took physical abuse and kept coming back for more, banging with the big men and earning himself respect and victories in the process.
Hansbrough earned a unanimous spot on the first-team All-ACC ballot as a true freshman, the first time ever. He even finished second to Redick for ACC Player of the Year that season before he would eventually gain the title himself in 2008.
For his career, Hansbrough accomplished two important goals his senior season.
First, he became the all-time leading scorer in ACC history, surpassing Redick's mark with 2,836.
Second, he won a national title, cementing his place in ACC history.
Hansbrough became one of the most consistent scorers ever. His 75 career 20 point games is an ACC record. Not to mention that his junior year featured a mark of 39 games in double figures.
Hansbrough evolved his game over time to combat the best opposing coaches could offer. That earned him a first round selection in the NBA Draft and a spot on this list.
C-Shelden Williams (Duke)
A third Duke player on the starting lineup?
You bet, The Landlord may not have the buzz of our other starters, but look at his career accomplishments.
Williams holds the school record in career blocks, rebounds, and is the third player in NCAA history to achieve 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 350 blocked shots and 150 steals.
Williams is a two-time NABC Defensive Player of the Year and a 2006 All-American.
The Landlord was like a gnat, pesky and irksome. He made life miserable for his opponents and knew how to score when given the opportunity.
Sure, his team never won a national championship and he was never the center piece of the program. However, Williams knew how to work well with the talent around him, an essential quality to any All-ACC team.
His accomplishments make him worthy of this list.
BENCH: G-Juan Dixon (Maryland)
Finally, someone not from the state of North Carolina.
Juan Dixon helped lead his Maryland Terrapins to a national championship. Along the way, Dixon became Maryland's all-time leading scorer and joined Shane Battier on the All-ACC 50 Year Anniversary Team.
Dixon was not only the 2002 ACC Player of the Year but he won the ACC Athlete of the Year for all sports using his heart and his tenacity.
Dixon was not built physically to be a star, but his energy and effort allowed him to re-write Maryland's history books and easily earn a spot on this list.
He is still Maryland's all-time leading scorer in the postseason, as well as being the only player in NCAA history to score 2,000 points, 300 steals and 200 three-pointers in a career.
F-Jared Dudley (Boston College)
The 2007 ACC Player of the Year knows a thing or two about being tough as well.
The Boston College Eagle played every game his first three seasons and alongside Sean Marshall and eventually Tyrese Rice, helped take the program to the next level.
Dudley finished his career with over 2,000 points and 900 rebounds. He also played in the NCAA tournament all four seasons at Boston College, even though they were unable to get past the second round.
Dudley represents a transition from the Big East to the ACC. Dudley is the lone player on our list to represent the three recent additions to the conference and he helped gain respectability for the Eagles when Boston College made it all the way to the championship game of the ACC tournament.
Dudley's toughness extended to his team and helped make the Boston College Eagles a threat in every game they played.
F-Chris Bosh (Georgia Tech)
A player with freakish athleticism that most knew would not last long in college.
Chris Bosh was a man among boys in the ACC.
The 2003 ACC Rookie of the Year averaged 15.6 PPG and 9 RPG in his one season at Georgia Tech. He also was able to shoot nearly 48% from behind the arc, making him an offensive dynamo.
Bosh's performance was so good, even he was convinced that it was time to move on to the NBA and the Toronto Raptor has established himself as one of the best big men around.
Of course, Bosh helped set a trend that would define Paul Hewitt's legacy at Georgia Tech. Although he has been able to bring in great players, keeping them has been a difficult task. Bosh is one of many examples to Yellow Jackets fans of what could have been for Georgia Tech in this decade.
G-Jay Williams (Duke)
Before the motorcycle accident and his troubles in the NBA, Jay Williams was a dynamic player for the Duke Blue Devils as the point guard for the 2001 championship team.
Williams was National Freshman of the Year, averaging double figures in scoring and nearly seven assists per game.
For his career, Williams was a two-time All-American and the 2002 National Player of the Year. With over 2,000 points and 600 assists in just three seasons, Williams made the Duke offense a scary thing to behold.
Williams may have fallen off the map these past few years, but in Durham, he was one of the many great point guards to grace Cameron Indoor under Coach K.
G/F-Julius Hodge (North Carolina State)
This man was North Carolina State basketball for the decade.
Julius Hodge was an unquestioned leader, someone who knew a thing or two about stepping up in big moments. His greatest moment came in the second round when he knocked in the game-winning shot against two-seed Connecticut.
It represented what appeared to be the arrival of the Wolfpack, however, the surprising departure of Herb Sendek and the void left by Hodge changed that.
Hodge ended his career with the Wolfpack with over 2,000 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists and ACC Player of the Year honors.
Hodge's team may not have had the championship dreams fulfilled like others on this list, but he gave everything he could for his program. His impact was strongly felt by the league and his place is secure.
F-Josh Howard (Wake Forest)
Josh Howard represents yet another amazing talent who did not realize his full potential until after his time at Wake Forest.
Howard may be a center piece to the Dallas Mavericks currently, but at the beginning of this decade he was making waves in the ACC.
Howard was the 2003 ACC Player of the Year as a junior, and the next season averaged nearly 20 PPG. Howard won a few national player of the year awards and, most importantly, captured Wake Forest's first outright ACC title for the first time in decades.
Howard's career numbers are similar to those of Shane Battier and his accomplishments earn him a spot on the list.
G-Ty Lawson (North Carolina)
Every great team needs a captain, and Ty Lawson knew how to run the ship.
Surrounded by future NBA stars, Lawson played conductor to a symphony of basketball dominance in 2008-09.
However, Lawson cemented his place on this list well before his national championship team last season.
Over three years, Lawson had to find his way among one of the deepest benches in the country. Yet he still finished his career with over 1300 points and 600 assists.
What is even more impressive is that Lawson has just over 200 turnovers for his career. In his final year where he won the Cousy award for the best point guard and earned All-American honors, Lawson had a turnover/assist ratio of 4 to 1.
Lawson was definitely the spark plug to the best team in the country last year. He knows how to work well with the talent around him and make everyone successful.
On an ACC team such as this, how could you afford not to have him on your roster?
F-Sean May (North Carolina)
Sure, he was not the pure athlete that some were. I remember when I was in college we used to refer to him as the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Yet it was Sean May who got the last laugh.
In just three seasons, May became a dominant force in the ACC. The son of a legend, May was one of the most heavily recruited players in history. He soon showed everyone why.
May averaged over double-digits every year of his career and scored 24 points in the NCAA Championship game against Illinois en route to being named Most Outstanding Player of 2005.
His junior year, May averaged a double-double with 17.5 PPG and 10.7 RPG.
Now that May has disappeared in the NBA we may forget what a dominant player he became near the end of his collegiate career. Nevertheless, his championship run gives him a special place in the ACC.
Coach: Roy Williams
The guy sure can win.
Roy Williams may not have the most wins in NCAA history, but he has an insane winning percentage of around 81 percent.
He also has two national championships this decade, more than Duke and one behind Coach K for his career.
Williams has done an amazing job reloading after his championship runs and his ability to manage highly talented players make him the coach of this All-ACC team.
Let the debate begin!