You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Georgia Tech’s Pastner named ACC coach of the year


A season that has surpassed expectations was accordingly recognized by the ACC’s voting panel Sunday.

Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner was named the league’s coach of the year while center Ben Lammers was named the conference’s defensive player of the year. Lammers was also named second-team All-ACC, was the leading vote getter on the all-defensive team and was second in voting for most improved player behind Wake Forest forward John Collins. Guard Josh Okogie was named to the five-player all-freshman team.

In his first season, Pastner becomes the third Tech coach to earn the honor, following three-time winner Bobby Cremins and one-time winner Paul Hewitt. With a team whose leading returning scorer averaged five points last season (forward Quinton Stephens) and was thought to have a chance to finish 0-18 in ACC play, Pastner led the Jackets to an 8-10 league record with wins over top-25 teams North Carolina, Florida State and Notre Dame.

“To me, it’s a program award,” Pastner said. “I mean, it’s a tremendous honor. It’s a great honor for our program because, you get an award like that, it’s based on the job that your staff has done. My assistant coaches, my entire support staff, my staff has been absolutely just awesome, and then obviously the players, because it’s the players producing.”

Pastner was twice named Conference USA coach of the year in a seven-year term at Memphis. He was the choice of 24 of 53 voters.

“Josh has done a great job with that team,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Saturday after the Orange defeated Tech. Boeheim said Tech was the biggest surprise in the league and that Pastner deserved coach of the year honors without any question. “They really play well together.”

Lammers is Tech’s first winner of the defensive player of the year award, which was introduced in the 2004-05 season. Lammers was the primary force in the Jackets’ finishing the regular season seventh nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, 72 slots better than their 2015-16 finish. Lammers’ ability to block shots (he’s third nationally at 3.32 per game) and alter others was a major reason why opponents shot 43.5 percent on two-point field-goal attempts, 16th in Division I and first in the ACC through Saturday’s games, according to teamrankings.com. He was named on 37 of 53 ballots.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey called him the best rim protector in the league.

“We’ve piggybacked on his back, so for us to have a solid season like we’ve had to this point, he deserves a lot of credit,” Pastner said.

Ben Lammers balances mechanical engineering, basketball

Okogie, who won ACC rookie of the week four times and joined greats Mark Price and Kenny Anderson as the only Tech freshmen to have multiple 30-point games, became Tech’s first all-freshman team member since Robert Carter made the coaches team in the 2012-13 season and the 15th overall. Okogie averages a team-high 15.5 points per game, the sixth highest average for a Tech freshman in school history.

“Similar to Ben, he continues to get better and better,” Pastner said. “The year he’s had as a freshman in this league is fantastic.”

Guard Tadric Jackson received four votes for sixth man of the year, which was won in a landslide by Virginia Tech guard Seth Allen.

Georgia Tech will be the No. 11 seed in the ACC tournament and will play No. 14 seed Pittsburgh Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Brooklyn.

How rising star Josh Okogie ended up at Georgia Tech



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Michael Vick wants one more day as  an Atlanta Falcon
Michael Vick wants one more day as  an Atlanta Falcon

Few people likely thought Michael Vick would ever be an Atlanta Falcon again -- in any capacity for any length of time. But the quarterback apparently has given it a lot of thought. Vick, 37, told 92.9 The Game that he has talked with the Falcons about signing a one-day contract and officially retiring with the team that drafted him in 2001. But Vick...
Pitcher Garcia puts some Kemp hitting tips to good use
Pitcher Garcia puts some Kemp hitting tips to good use

SAN FRANCISCO – After Braves pitcher Jaime Garcia drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the seventh inning of Friday night’s 2-0 win against the Giants, the left-hander gave credit to Matt Kemp for providing some recent hitting tips. “I don’t hit as much as other (pitchers) do between starts, but I like to talk to...
Dream clamp down to beat Sparks
Dream clamp down to beat Sparks

It’s no surprise that the Dream would have a day like Saturday, when scoring was so often a struggle, but Atlanta put the clamps on the Los Angeles Sparks and topped the defending WNBA champions 75-73 by defending. Emerging scorer Tiffany Hayes put up 24 points, continuing to grow her game in the absence of dynamic scorer Angel McCoughtry as...
Braves Hall of Famer Phil Niekro: Jim Bunning was ‘a great American’
Braves Hall of Famer Phil Niekro: Jim Bunning was ‘a great American’

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher who parlayed his sports fame into a political career as an uncompromising advocate for conservative causes, has died. He was 85. Known as a no-nonsense pitcher who threw hard and knocked batters down when necessary, Bunning belonged to a rare group of major league pitchers to throw a perfect game...
Christopher Eubanks stopped in NCAA quarterfinals
Christopher Eubanks stopped in NCAA quarterfinals

Christopher Eubanks’ bid for an NCAA singles title ended in the quarterfinal round Saturday. The Georgia Tech junior lost to Virginia’s Thai-Son Kwiatkowski 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in Athens. After splitting the first two sets with Kwiatkowski, Eubanks was broken early in the third and was not able to break back. Eubanks, who became just the fifth...
More Stories