Unfortunately for the Tar Heel Nation, this article does not discuss any Tar Heels. Based on the most up-to-date statistics, this year’s race for the 2013 ACC Player of the Year is between two student-athletes: Duke’s Mason Plumlee and Virginia Tech’s Erick Green.
First, let’s examine Mason. He plays for the Blue Devils who have been ranked #1 for five weeks this season. In addition, here are his statistics and how he ranks in the Atlantic Coast Conference (in parentheses). Mason Plumlee averages 17.3 points (second), 11.4 rebounds (first), 8.3 defensive rebounds a game (first), 3.1 offensive rebounds a game (fourth), 0.571 field goal % (third), and 1.7 blocks per game (tied for fourth w/fellow teammate Ryan Kelly) while playing 34.2 minutes a game (sixth).
Now, lets look at the Erick Green from Virginia Tech. Green averages 24.5 points (first), 4.4 assists (tied for fourth w/UNC’s Marcus Paige), .825 free throw % (fourth), 1.5 steals per game (eighth), and has a 1.8 assist to turnover ratio (seventh), while playing 35.8 minutes a game (2nd).
In the past, the ACC Player of the Year has been a player who is the most consistent player on his team (Tyler Zeller), has excellent statistics (Julius Hodge), or has the highest scoring average in the conference (J.J. Redick). We have no idea who will get the nod this season. I think that Mason Plumlee will win this honor, simply because he is in the top two for points and rebounds. However, Erick Green averages 7.2 points more than Plumlee. In addition, Green does not have the support that Plumlee has in Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly (who is injured). I would give my vote to Erick Green because he is more important to the Hokies. Virginia Tech ranks fourth in scoring in the ACC, with an average of 75.5 points per game. Green accounts for 32% of their offense, whereas Plumlee accounts for 22% of Duke’s offense which has an average of 77.8 points per game. The bottom line is this: numbers don’t lie.