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Is Ben Lammers worthy of a first-team All-ACC spot?

 

Georgia Tech junior big man Ben Lammers has been a key part of the Yellow Jackets’ return to respectability in the ACC this winter.

A disruptive force on the defensive end, Lammers has emerged as the league’s most improved player.

Statistically, Lammers makes a strong case for All-ACC recognition. But is he first-team All-ACC material?

As a shot-blocker, Lammers has no equal in the ACC. The junior, in fact, ranks second nationally, behind only Nicholls State’s Liam Thomas, with 81 blocks. That’s an average of nearly 3.25 blocks per contest. Opponents are wary of Lammers’ presence, and as the ACC season has worn on, he’s gained new respect around the basket.

With his ability to deflect, alter and disrupt shots in the post, Lammers has helped the Yellow Jackets develop into one of the more improved defensive teams in the country this winter.

According to KenPom.com, Georgia Tech ranks in the nation’s top 10 in adjusted defensive efficiency — ahead of all ACC teams with the exception of Louisville and Virginia.

In addition to his shot-blocking, Lammers’ boxout and leverage skills have improved from last season. Now, Lammers is second in the ACC in rebounding with an average of 9.7 boards an outing. He’s getting it done on both ends, ranking third in the ACC in defensive rebounds (6.5 per game) and fourth in offensive rebounds (3.2 per game).

One of the biggest hurdles in Lammers’ quest for first-team All-ACC status is his scoring. While he’s second on the Yellow Jackets in scoring at 14.7 points per game, he ranks 21st in the ACC. He is, however, third in the league in field-goal accuracy at 52.6 percent.

Media who vote on the All-ACC squads tend to place a higher significance on scoring than defensive excellence. In that regard, Lammers hasn’t done enough for first-team honors.

Realistically, Lammers will need a strong late scoring push to garner the media’s support for a first-team All-ACC selection. But given his shot-blocking and rebounding, it would be a travesty to leave Lammers off the second and third teams.