CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina placed three players on the first-team All-ACC team, which was announced earlier today. Tyler Zeller was a unanimous choice for the first team, and teammates John Henson and Harrison Barnes joined Zeller.
It represented only the second time in ACC history that a team had three first-team all-ACC players. The only other time it happened came in 2002, when Duke had three first-teamers.
As rare as it is for a team to place three players on the first team, it’s even rarer that one team have four of the top six vote getters for the all-ACC teams. But there sophomore point guard Kendall Marshall was – with the most voting points of any player on the all-ACC second team.
UNC became the first team in league history with four players who were among the top six vote-getters for the all-ACC team. In the voting – a system that awards a player three points with a vote for the first team, two points for a vote for second team and one point for a third-team vote – Marshall was just two points behind Barnes, who received the fewest number of points of any player on the first team.
Marshall set a single-season school record for assists this season, and he’ll enter the ACC tournament with 299 assists – just four short of setting a new single-season record for the conference. Not known for his scoring, Marshall has also proven recently he can do that, too.
He had 22 points and 13 assists during UNC’s 86-74 victory at N.C. State on Feb. 21, and he finished with 20 points and 10 assists during UNC’s 88-70 victory at Duke on Saturday night. Still, despite putting together a historic season for an ACC point guard, Marshall’s accomplishments weren’t enough to earn him a spot on first team.
Marshall figured last week he might not be named first-team all-ACC:
“I guess everyone has their own reasons,” he said. “You know, I may not score enough. But that’s perfectly fine with me. I’d much rather my teammates get those individual accolades as long as we’re still winning games. And it’s tough for a team like ours to have four big-time players that maybe votes are being spread out like that. But I don’t think any of us mind if one or another gets some type of accomplishment out of that.
“We’d all be happy for each other.”
Indeed, after the all-ACC teams were announced on Monday, Marshall posted on his Twitter account: “Happy for my teammates.”