VT's Erick Green named ACC Player of the Year

VT's Erick Green named ACC Player of the Year
March 12, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Virginia Tech guard Erick Green led Division I in scoring this season, this we knew.

Revealed on Tuesday, Green led the way when it came to scoring votes in the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year race, the conference announced.

Despite playing for a 13-18 team that lost 14 of 18 conference games, the senior guard received 38 of the 76 votes as selected by members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Playing for the ACC's top two teams this regular season, Miami’s Shane Larkin (23) and Duke’s Mason Plumlee (12) finished second and third respectively in the voting.

Green becomes the first Virginia Tech player named the ACC Player of the Year and joins Maryland's Len Bias (1986) as the only ACC Player of the Year winner to play on a team in the bottom half of the league standings. 

Green's scoring numbers were of the prodigious kind. He tallied double digit points in every game this season, averaging 25.4 points while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and playing a ACC-high 36.4 minutes per game. The Winchester native was named first team All-ACC on Monday.

“I am extremely proud of Erick,” head coach James Johnson said in a statement released by the team. “To have the respect of the media and for people to recognize what he has done for this team, in such a tough conference against very good players and very good coaches, says a lot about Erick as a player. Erick is a great kid on and off the floor and the award couldn’t come to a better person.”

During the final weeks of the season a debate raged whether voters would side with the perceived best player (Green) or those starring on winning teams.

With Miami soaring for much of the season, Larkin had the look of frontrunner as the sophomore point guard averaged 13.7 points and 4.4 assists on the season. Perhaps the Canes sputtering close to the season - losing three of five games - hurt his cause.

Plumlee, who averaged 17.2 points and 10.3 rebounds, shared the headlines and scoring load with teammate Seth Curry. He may have also split votes with Larkin among those viewing the award in a Most Valuable Player sort of way.

Virginia Tech, seeded 12th in the 60th ACC Tournament, plays No. 5 NC State on Thursday.