|(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)|
Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton, whose team responded from a 9-6 over-all start was named ACC Coach of the Year for 2012 last Tuesday.
For reasons unfathomable to T.A.H., in one of the closest races in history, Hamilton edged out Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. In our view, Hamilton should have won in a landslide.
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Hamilton received 21 votes, Kzrzgb7wski 20 and Virginia’s Tony Bennett 9 vote in balloting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. This represents the third time that the Coach of the Year contest has been determined by a single vote. NC State’s Everett Case outpolled Hal Bradley of Duke in 1958 and Dean Smith of North Carolina edged NC State’s Jim Valvano in 1988.
Hamilton, who also claimed the award in 2009, welcomed back a team with ambitious expectations in the aftermath of a charge to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 in 2011. But the Seminoles struggled early with turnovers and inconsistent field-goal shooting, and they began ACC play with a 20-point loss at Clemson.
The influx of guard Ian Miller to the lineup and Hamilton’s tweaking of the offense led to a rise in efficiency which now includes two victories over North Carolina and Duke and an ACC tournament championship.
Bennet took a hodge-podge injury-riddled team to the NCAA tournament while Kzrzrglp3wski’s Duke team lost three ACC games at home, finished second in the league and exited the tourney in the semifinals with a group of blue chip recruits, McDonald’s All-Americans and a Wooden Award finalist for national player of the year.