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Perhaps, my story last week did some good. The media associated with the ACC voted Erick Green as the league's Player of the Year award recipient. He joins the likes of Ty Lawson, JJ Reddick, Shane Battier, Tim Duncan, Elton Brand, Grant Hill, Horace Grant, some guy named Michael Jordan, Ralph Sampson, and many more great players as a winner of this award.
To be honest, this was a close race between Green, Joe Harris (UVA), and Mason Plumlee (Duke). However, nobody had a resume that could equal Green's this season. While the Hokies did struggle, the reason they were even in half of their games this season was because of Green. Harris had a fantastic season for UVA but his play over the final three games of the season cost him a shot at ACCPOY. You can't score 36 on Duke then follow it up with three straight sub-par shooting performances. Plumlee had the consistency aspect on his side but the talent around him was 10-times what Green had to work with. In the end, there was really only one player deserving of this award. Even if he played on the 12th placed team.
Green is the first player since 2007 (Jared Dudley - BC) to win the award while playing on a non-traditional ACC school. In fact, here's how this award breaks down if you look at the past 20 years.
Duke - 6
North Carolina - 5
Wake - 4
Maryland - 3
NC State - 1
Boston College - 1
Virginia Tech - 1
That total adds up to 21 but I accounted for a tie in 2001 when Shane Battier and Joseph Forte both won the award.
Overall, I'm pleased Green was able to overcome a short bench, a coaching change, and a lack of help from his teammates to achieve some success this season. Right now, he projects as a 2nd round pick and odds are, he'll see some time in the NBA next year. While winning ACCPOY won't affect the program immediately, it's another bullet Coach James Johnson can use on the recruiting trail when he's going up against some of the more prestigious programs. That alone should help the long-term recovery of our basketball program.
Congrats to Erick Green. Now, let's go beat NC State on Thursday.
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