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ACC Coach Of The Year Race: Grading Steve Donahue's Performance

Let me start by saying I have no problem with awarding this year's ACC men's basketball Coach of the Year award to either Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina's Roy Williams. Both have done a great job this year and either coach is certainly deserving of the award.

However, it's a rare occurrence when the best coach in the conference actually comes home with the Coach of the Year award. How else can you explain the fact that Krzyzewski hasn't won the award since the 1999-2000 season?

The ACC is in a down year. No question. Duke and North Carolina play for the regular season crown on Saturday, and it's very much been "Duke, Carolina and everyone else" this season. So if there was ever a year to right this wrong and give the Coach of the Year award to either Krzyzewski or Williams, this is the year.

That said, the News & Observer's Caulton Tudor takes this point about the COY race, puts his usual Tobacco Road spin on it, and doles out some rather ridiculous letter grades for the remaining 10 ACC coaches (emphasis added):

"It's virtually unheard of for only two coaches to get votes in the ACC postseason awards derby, but that should be the case this year.

Other than Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina's Roy Williams, there's just not another viable candidate.

If grades were assigned, those two would get As. The other 10 coaches would get Cs, Ds and Fs."

I'm glad I never took a course with Professor Tudor at Boston College. Tough grader.

I'll be the first to admit that I have some lingering doubts about how Donahue will perform in the ACC longer term, but to suggest that he should get a C, D or F for this year's coaching performance is absurd.

Donahue has already won more games than last year's Eagles team ... against a tougher schedule ... with a roster that has less talent than it did a season ago. Not to mention a team that gives significant playing time to not one, not two, but three walk-ons. The fact that Donahue has BC in position to win 19 regular season and 9 conference games is a testament to the job he has done in his first year on the Heights.

As a reminder, this was a program that was picked to finish 10th in conference in the preseason. Even the most optimistic (unrealistic?) preseason projections had BC winning just 18 games, going 7-9 in conference and playing in the NIT. Apparently, surpassing even the most optimistic of preseason expectations is good enough for just a C.

Ever heard of grading on a curve?