Virginia Tech's Green expects to be drafted higher

Virginia Tech's Green expects to be drafted higher
May 18, 2013, 6:15 pm
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CHICAGO -- Erick Green has the numbers of an elite point guard, and definitely the skill set.

Problem is, he compiled them on a very bad team at Virginia Tech in his senior season.

“I definitely feel I’m an elite guard. I thought I had a great year. I thought I proved that,” said Green, who led the nation in scoring at 25 points per game, four rebounds and four assists.  “I got overlooked because the way my team was. Finishing last, I didn't get a lot of national attention. I had a great year.”

Indeed, he did. Green beat out Shane Larkin (Miami) and Mason Plumlee (Duke) for Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year.  Only Plumlee interviewed with the Wizards at the NBA combine this week.

Green is a shade under 6-2 and is undersized to play at shooting guard in the NBA. His wingspan was listed as 6-7 before the combine but instead is slightly under 6-6.  The differences may appear insignificant, but inches can be the difference in whether or not a player can create enough space to get off a clean shot.

Green interviewed with the Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors and at least five other teams at the combine.

He was hoping to get a look from the Wizards, who are in need of scoring and had a 30-minute sitdown with Lehigh combo guard C.J. McCollum. As a freshman at Virginia Tech, Green averaged just 2.6 points per game. He has come a long way, a good athlete who gets can create his own shot off the dribble, has good elevation on his jumper, made 47.5% of his field goals last season and 39% of three-pointers.

“That would be nice if I have the opportunity. My mom and dad were born in Inglewood, California. We lived in D.C. for a while,” said Green, a Winchester, Va., native who played his senior year in high school at Paul VI in Fairfax. “Definitely staying home, having an interview with them and getting a chance to play with the Wizards would be nice.”

Regardless, Green is confident that he’ll go higher than projected.

“Leadership, I think I bring that to the table a lot. Being a leader out there, scoring the ball, facilitating the ball, running the offense and having people follow me. Players really look up to me,” he said, comparing himself to NBA players without prompting. “My game is a combination between George Hill (Pacers) and Devin Harris (Hawks). I’m a leader like George Hill. I can score the ball like George Hill.  In transition I’m like Devin Harris and can score the ball like he can. He can break down the defense one-on-one or coming off the pick-and-roll.  

"People’s biggest concern is my strength, see if I can handle a little bump. I think I’ll be fine. I handled the bump when I got to college, getting knocked around, getting to the free throw line. I think I’ll be fine at the next level."