With the conclusion of the regular season on Saturday, the ACC handed out some hardware Sunday afternoon and the Yellow Jackets were well represented.
First year Head Coach Josh Pastner was voted ACC Coach of the Year, receiving 24 votes from the panel consisting of the 15 head coaches and various media members. Pastner’s surprising success in his first year has been well documented, but it bears repeating. He took over a team that had lost its four leading scorers and was predicted by many to go 0-18 in conference and led them to an 8-10 conference record with wins over highly ranked North Carolina, Florida State, and Notre Dame. Pastner is the third Georgia Tech coach to win ACC Coach of the Year, joining Bobby Cremmins and Paul Hewitt.
Junior center Ben Lammers had a big day, winning ACC Defensive Player of the Year and placing on the All-Defensive Team as well as earning a spot on the All-ACC Second Team. Lammers led the conference in blocks (2nd nationally) and played a key role in anchoring Georgia Tech’s excellent defense (ranked 8th nationally in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency). Additionally, his ability as a facilitator and scorer on offense were critical in many of Tech’s biggest victories.
Finally, Tech’s freshman phenom, Josh Okogie, was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team. Okogie was named ACC Rookie of the Week four times and had one of the best seasons a freshman has ever had on the flats. He led the team in scoring with 15.5 points per game and was even better in conference play (17.1 ppg). Early in the season, Okogie set the school record for points scored by a freshman, scoring 38 against Tulane. He followed that up later in the season with 35 point, 14 rebound game in the upset of #6 Florida State. A few days later, in perhaps the highlight of the season, Okogie hit a buzzer-beating layup as time expired to defeat #14 Notre Dame. Okogie tied for third in Freshman of the Year voting, behind NC State’s Dennis Smith Jr. and Duke’s Jayson Tatum.
Okogie was also honored earlier in the week when he was named to the All-ACC Academic Team alongside fellow freshman Justin Moore. To be eligible for this recognition, players must have earned a 3.00 grade point average the previous semester and a cumulative 3.00 grade point average during their academic careers.
Tadric Jackson finished a distant second in Sixth Man of the Year voting, losing to Virginia Tech’s Seth Allen. Ben Lammer’s nearly picked up a fourth award, finishing second to Wake Forest’s John Collins for Most Improved Player.
With Tech set to tip off in the ACC Tournament against Pitt on Tuesday night, the team has already made their way to New York City. Check out this video to see their reactions to the All-ACC honors.
The full awards listing can be found here.