The Toughest Call in College Basketball: Block or Charge?

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By Brian Graham
bdgraham21@gmail.com

Thursday, April 4, 2013

With Virginia Tech’s(11-14,2-10) out of conference schedule over with, and with only a handful of games before the ACC tournament, I have to ask the question, if Erick Green continues at the pace he is on, should he be named ACC player of the year?

Green is the leading scorer in all of College Basketball at a shade over 25 points a contest. Giving him more than a seven and a half point advantage to the nearest ACC competitor (Plumlee). One would assume Green would be a lock to hoist the mythical trophy, right…..? As the mascot head wearing college football enthusiast would say “Not so fast my friend!”

Of the past ten ACC POTY recipients, nine of their teams were in the top 25 by the end of the regular season, and six never left the top 10 throughout the entire season. Green’s Hokies would be lucky to finish with a winning record based on their current eight game losing streak in ACC play, and would have to say at least 200 Hail Mary’s a day to have any chance of winning the ACC Tournament. The lowest seeded team to ever be crowned ACC Tournament Champs were #6, currently six spots ahead of where VT lies right now, in dead last.

How much do the voters account for scoring when making up their mind as to whom deserves the award? Four times, has a player has won POTY while holding the scoring title in the ACC over the past ten years. In that same ten year span, three holders of the scoring title finished second in the POTY voting. So clearly, in a sport where defense and passing is sometimes a tad overlooked, Green could get votes based on scoring alone.

In 2005 J.J. Redick was 8 points ahead of his nearest competitor at seasons’ end. Redick finished the regular season averaging 26.8 points a contest, and garnered 105 of a possible 108 votes for POTY.

Now, that year, Redick’s team did finish the regular season at 27-3, strengthening his case for the award. But however, can VT’s record truly be held against Green? Shooting 47% from the field is more than efficient for a guard who gets the utmost attention from the opposing teams best defender game in game out.

To be fair, Green has taken 120 more shots than any other player in the ACC,(almost 5 shots more per game) but let’s be honest, other than Jarell Eddie, there is not another player on that team who should be attempting more than 5 shots a game anyway.

This is a two horse race, between Plumlee, who’s the best player on arguably the best team in the conference/country, and Green, who’s scoring like a madman, on a team that is sitting in the basement of the ACC.

Oh yeah, one final stat:

Duke has won the award 14 times in their storied history, complete with 4 national titles and 11 final fours.
Virginia Tech has never had a player win the award, and has yet to sniff the sweet 16… Good luck Erick


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