Hurricanes’ Jim Larranaga (coach of year) and Durand Scott (defensive player of year) win ACC honors

When Jim Larranaga accepted the job as the University of Miami’s basketball coach in April 2011, he said part of the allure was a chance to match wits with ACC counterparts like Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams.

Larranaga has done that and more. On Tuesday, Larranaga, 63, was named the 2012-13 ACC Coach of the Year in a landslide. Of the 77 votes cast by ACC media, Larranaga received 75. Krzyzewski and Williams picked up one vote each.

“Really what it means is we’ve got really good players,” Larranaga said. “The players are the ones that win the game.”

The ninth-ranked Hurricanes (24-6) earned their first outright regular season championship in school history and are one victory shy from setting the school record for wins in a season.

Miami is the top seed in the ACC tournament that begins Thursday in Greensboro, N.C. The Hurricanes own a first-round bye and will play their opening game on Friday against the winner of Thursday’s Boston College-Georgia Tech matchup.

Larranaga wasn’t the only one earning accolades on Tuesday.

Senior guard Durand Scott was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year. Coming in a close second behind Scott was teammate Shane Larkin, a sophomore point guard.

Larkin led the ACC in steals, but it was Scott who drew the opponents’ best perimeter player on a nightly basis. Scott received 23 votes as the conference’s top defender while Larkin was named on 21 ballots. No other ACC player earned more than seven votes.

Larkin also finished second in ACC Player of the Year voting behind Virginia Tech’s Erick Green, the nation’s leading scorer.

Green’s selection drew some criticism because the Hokies finished last in the ACC.

“In our opinion, the player of the year really should come from the team that wins the championship,” Larranaga said.

Larkin was picked to the the All-ACC first team on Monday, joining Jack McClinton as the only UM players ever to earn first-team honors.