With Miami losing their first conference game over the weekend in Winston-Salem it brought them to a 13-1 record still atop the ACC. Wake Forest played great at home, which they have done most of the season despite a 12-14 record overall(5-9 ACC). The Demon Deacons have big wins over #2 Miami, the then #18 NC State Wolfpack, Virginia, and Xavier all coming at home.
How Wake Forest played, and more so the play of a one-time ACC Player of the Year candidate in C.J Harris, made me wonder if anyone has really ran away with this seasons conference player of the year award(ACC) after Harris dropped 23 points. Another possible POY candidate in Shane Larkin was on the wrong end of the 80-65 debacle for the Hurricanes and seemed to somewhat show his age when it came to rallying the troops in a hostile environment. Larkin did score 13 points, but when his expertise was needed in the second half, and the potential 2013 ACC POY needed to prove himself worthy of the award, he kinda dropped the ball.
Though lets not feel sad for Larkin because my estimations still show him as one of the top three in my opinion of the available candidate for player of the year in the ACC. The son of one of the greatest middle infielders to play baseball (Barry Larkin) is still averaging 13.1 points per game, 4.3 assists per game, and at 5’11” is grabbing 4.1 rebounds per game. Larkin is also ranked number one in the conference in steal per game averaging over two a contest. You could definitely point to Shane Larkin as being a major part of the resurgence in Miami basketball and has shown early and often that he can lead as just a Sophomore with a 22-4 overall record(13-1 ACC) and sole possession of first place in the N.C Tobacco road conference. I’m sure regardless of how the Hurricanes basketball season ends fans in Miami see a bright positive future with a guy like Shane Larkin hopefully sticking around for a little while.
Erick Green is an interesting name considering he is on a 12-15 Virginia Tech squad that has only won 3 of 14 games in conference play. Green is leading not only the ACC but the entire nation in scoring at 25.2 points per game. In fact, since conference play started for the Hokies in early January, Green has scored more and in some cases even played better. In his 14 conference games Green is averaging 26 points each night out and has only scored under 20 one time. The only team to hold him under the twenty mark thus far in conference play has been the UNC Tar Heels, whadda ya know? The Heels and BYU are the only teams to hold Green under 20 points so far in the season. The 6’3” guard is shooting over 47% overall from the field and is 5th in the ACC shooting just over 82% from the free-throw line. Really, Erick Green deserves a shot at the award and I’m sure he will get a few votes.
And then there’s Mason Plumlee. More than likely he is the favorite in most eyes rite now being one of just two players in the conference averaging a double-double. Plumlee has somewhat blossomed in this his Senior season into a presence in the low post, both offensively and defensively. He is averaging over 17 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, and is also dishing out 2 assist per game. Plumlee has also showed up when he has needed to in big games like against Wake Forest on the road when he scored 32 points on 12-15 from the field in a close 75-70 win. Then again a week later against NC State when he dropped 30 points on a couple other possible POY candidates in Richard Howell and C.J Leslie.
Currently I believe Plumlee is a frontrunner for this seasons player of the year award but don’t count out Shane Larkin if he can rebound and gain a winning pace again for the Hurricanes after their upset loss this past weekend. Two other names that have played well for mediocre or bad teams this season that may get some recognition are a couple of Harris boys in Joe from Virginia and C.J from Wake Forest.
Who do you think will win the 2013 ACC Player of the Year Award?
Erick Green Virginia Tech
Mason Plumlee Duke
C.J Leslie NC State
Kenny Kadji Miami
Shane Larkin Miami
Joe Harris Virginia
C.J Harris Wake Forest
James Micheal McAdoo North Carolina
Ryan Anderson Boston College