Hokies’ Green makes history as ACC player of year
The historic accomplishment of leading the nation in scoring helped Virginia Tech’s Erick Green make history in another way on Tuesday.
The Hokies senior guard, averaging an NCAA Division I-best 25.4 points per game, was voted as the ACC player of the year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
Green is the first player from a last-place team to be named player of the year in the ACC’s 60-year history (13-18, 4-14 ACC).
“This is an honor that is well deserved,” Virginia Tech coach James Johnson said. “This young man has put in numerous hours and has relentlessly worked on his game to put himself in this position.
“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.”
Green topped sophomore guard Shane Larkin of ACC regular-season champion Miami and senior center Mason Plumlee of second-place Duke for the award. Green had 38 votes to 23 for Larkin and 12 for Plumlee.
The only other player from a team in the bottom half of the standings to win player of the year was Maryland’s Len Bias in 1986.
Larkin is averaging 13.7 points per game to lead Miami in scoring while averaging 4.4 assists per game.
Plumlee finished second behind Green in the ACC regular-season scoring race with a 17.2 average. He averaged 10.3 rebounds, second in the league behind N.C. State’s Richard Howell.
While Larkin fell just short of player of the year honor, Miami coach Jim Larranaga was selected as the ACC coach of the year.
In his second season with the Hurricanes after a stint at George Mason that included a 2006 Final Four appearance, Larranaga led Miami to its first ACC regular-season championship. Ranked No. 9 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, the Hurricanes (24-6, 15-3) are the top seed for this week’s ACC Tournament.
Miami senior guard Durand Scott was named the ACC defensive player of the year after averaging 1.6 steals per game (third in the ACC). He received 23 votes to edge Larkin (21) in the balloting.
The ACC also announced that Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan was named the league’s freshman of the year. Hanlan lead all ACC freshmen in scoring at 14.6 points per game.
Hanlan had 43 votes to beat out Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon (15 votes) and N.C. State’s T.J. Warren of Durham (12 votes) for the award.
USBWA all-district awards
Plumlee received a regional honor from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, which named him player of the year in District III on Tuesday.
District III includes schools from N.C., S.C, Maryland and Virginia.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is the District III coach of the year.
Plumlee is joined in the 10-player all-district team by fellow Duke senior Seth Curry.
North Carolina’s Reggie Bullock and James Michael McAdoo also made the team, along with Richard Howell and Lorenzo Brown of N.C. State.
Green, Maryland’s Alex Len, Virginia’s Joe Harris and Virginia Military Institute’s Stan Okoye round out the team.